Abstract

If only oil and gas wells produced problem free, then flow assurance strategies would become unnecessary. The reality is that problems such as inorganic and organic deposition in the formation, the near wellbore, and the tubulars complicate and add expense to the completion and production processes. In 2005, a technology was introduced by which chemical inhibitors were adsorbed onto a proppant-like substrate and placed in the formation during hydraulic fracture. Since then more than 15,000 wells have been fractured using this solid chemical technology. Upon production of hydrocarbon or water, the requisite inhibitor is released into the fluid stream to inhibit the deposition of contaminants such as scale, paraffin or asphaltenes. However, the strength of the solid substrate limits the amount of material added and the closure pressure applied. This paper discusses a new material that demonstrates no conductivity loss when added at up to 20% by weight to high-strength (bauxite) proppant and up to 16,000 psi closure stress. Furthermore, it maintains chemical adsorptivity similar to the earlier material. For deepwater wells, which are traditionally gravel-packed or frac-packed, the new material can provide multi-year inhibitor life to delay or eliminate future interventions. This represents a significant savings on projected expenditures as well as an ongoing flow assurance program that protects against scale deposition from the formation to the surface.

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