Started in the late 1800s in the US, water being relatively inexpensive, readily available in large volumes and also being very effective at significantly increasing oil recovery, waterflooding has been the most common secondary recovery method applied throughout the world, contributing to pressure maintenance in the reservoir and displacing the oil phase. While there are several parameters that influence the performance of a waterflood, water quality is one of the most important factors as it may cause scaling in injection wells as well as some formation damage through chemical phenomena such as, cation exchange in the reservoir, resulting in decreased the recoveries.
As waterfloods continue over decades, prevention of scale formation becomes a more significant factor that needs to be properly treated. Precipitation of inorganic scale is a major issue in injecting brines with a high concentration of divalent ions. Scaling tendency of water is highly correlated with the hardness of injection water.
Following corrosion, insoluble iron precipitates can cause damage in injection wells since precipitates can lead to severe reductions in well injectivity. Water needs to be treated in a proper way, if the water contains high concentrations of calcium, magnesium or iron. In most waterflood applications, seawater needs to be used and this phenomenon is also an issue when injecting seawater into formations that contain brines with high salinity.
In this study, we provide a comprehensive analysis of this common problem by investigating the significance of parameters affecting the severity of scale formation through utilizing a seawater scale buildup model that will be simulated using a commercial simulator along with an in-depth review of previous studies.