Gas lift production is well known for its sensitivity to high viscosity fluids that can be produced when oil and water form emulsions downhole. Gas lifting can produce emulsions which are stabilized with naturally occurring components such as asphaltenes, paraffins, inorganic scales and sands. These factors; sensitivity to high viscosity fluids and the potential for the generation of emulsions, makes gas lifted wells ideal candidates for the injection of friction reducers. Friction reducers can also be formulated with different chemical additives to address other potential problems, such as scale, corrosion, hydrogen sulfide and hydrates. The injection of a single chemical product containing a mixture of different types of additives is known as a multifunctional product. The injection of one single multifunctional product into the gas lift gas can solve the logistical issues of multiple tanks, multiple injection pumps while solving problems downhole and in the flow line.
This paper will concentrate on the development and application of multifunctional products that contain friction reducers as the primary additive. This paper reviews the conditions that can cause downhole emulsions, the laboratory techniques used in the product selection and the laboratory procedures to investigate compatibility issues. Case histories of successful applications off-shore Brazil.