Calcite scaling is a major production challenge in many mature oil fields. One of the most effective manners to control calcite scaling losses is to predict the scaling behavior in the wells using thermodynamic models and then use prediction results to build an operational program to control scaling in the field using a combination of effective acid washes and scale inhibitor (SI) injection. This paper presents a case study from a mature oil field and details the operational facets of scale prediction and control program. It describes both operational challenges as well as cost optimization involved in program implementation in the field.
There are three major aspects which are discussed in this paper. First part deals with selection of right scale inhibition chemical for a field. It details laboratory experiment that was used to select the most appropriate chemical for the field. Also, this section describes the hardware infrastructure that should be in place to ensure effective implementation.
Next section deals with the trial of chemicals, selected from lab analysis, in actual field conditions. Impact of scale inhibitor in controlling scaling within the tubing and flowarm of the wells is discussed. Secondly, benchmarking of new scale inhibitor chemical performance against the existing chemical is also presented in this section. This formed the technical basis for change in existing scale inhibitor and going for full fledged implementation in the field.
Final part of the paper details field-wide implementation of scale inhibitor injection and chemical performance monitoring program. Critical parameters for chemical performance monitoring and field data on chemical dosage optimization using these critical parameters are presented. This section also presents several case studies showcasing impact of scale inhibitor injection on the well performance.
This scale management approach has not only helped in terms of reducing production losses but also assisted in improving safety performance. Field data, highlighting the impact of scale inhibitor in significantly reducing the scaling in the wells, is shared in this paper. Post implementation of this program, asset has been able to reduce its scaling related production losses significantly (~90% reduction in less than 2 years).
Once an oil field enters decline phase of its life cycle, reservoir pressure drops and water cut increases – conditions which favor high scaling behavior in the wells. Thus, scaling related losses presents a serious challenge in controlling production decline in a mature oil field. By adopting the operational practices shared in this paper, many mature oil field can benefit by reducing scaling related losses.