Abstract

Destabilization of asphaltenes within crude systems often occurs inside production tubing, but aging reservoirs, especially those flooded with supercritical CO2, can suffer asphaltene precipitation within the reservoir. Conventional asphaltene treatment programs entail inhibitor chemicals dosed into produced fluids via a capillary injector, which insufficiently guards against asphaltene deposition occurring within the reservoir. Such deposits, either far within the reservoir or near the wellbore, alter reservoir characteristics, production economics, and potentially the lifespan of the well. This paper presents a novel asphaltene inhibitor molecularly tailored to adsorb to formation surfaces upon application and then slowly desorb and remain in produced fluids to mitigate the flocculation of asphaltenes. Coreflood test results indicate the new asphaltene inhibitor for ‘squeeze’ applications resides within field core samples for approximately twice as long as the benchmark asphaltene inhibitor. Importantly, the new asphaltene inhibitor squeeze chemistry maintains equal inhibition performance compared to incumbent asphaltene inhibitors.

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