Natural gas hydrate formation is a costly and challenging problem for the oil and gas industry. In recent years, two new families of chemical additives have been commercially developed to prevent hydrate plugging problems in production lines. This approach is commonly known as low-dose inhibition, and the two families are kinetic inhibitors and anti-agglomerants. Evolution of these new products is proceeding at a rapid pace, in order to meet goals of covering a greater range of operating conditions and finding an economically and environmentally attractive alternative to thermodynamic inhibition.
Successful deployment of low-dose inhibitors depends on an appropriate selection of inhibitors and a complete understanding of the system. Based on a synthesis of available literature on application of low-dose inhibitors to hydrocarbon processing equipment and handling facilities, this paper describes a methodology for designing a deployment strategy. This guide provides a systematic approach to aid production engineers in deploying low-dose inhibitors in existing facilities and new developments. An easy-to-follow flow chart is given.
The information provided in this article was compiled from published data, and experience provided by several companies in the oil and gas industry.