Asphaltenes deposition is one of the common problems encountered in the petroleum industry as it clogs the area near the wellbore, builds up in the well tubing, and precipitates inside separators and other surface facilities. Thus, it restricts the flow of the fluids from the formation to the wellbore and to the surface and, hence, leads to production loss. The remedial measures for asphaltenes deposition, however, cost money and time.
The aim of the study presented in this paper was to experimentally investigate the role of ultrasonic wave technology as an asphaltenes flocculation inhibitor and to quantify the actual reduction in asphaltenes content of the crude oil when ultrasonic waves were applied. For these purposes, sonication experiments, viscosity measurements, and asphaltenes extraction experiments were performed. Moreover, this study aimed to verify the results and the conclusions that were achieved in a previous similar work by repeating some of the methods they used with different crude oil sample.
Conducting this experimental study led to the conclusions that ultrasonic waves have the ability to break down asphaltenes conglomerates and, hence, reduce asphaltenes content in crude oil samples and that there is an optimum time for sonication at which highest asphaltenes particles disintegration is achieved. Moreover, it was concluded that the crude oil viscosity is influenced by its asphaltenes content.