Metal sulfide scaling issue in the oil and gas production continue to present significant flow assurance challenge. Recently, a novel polymeric chemistry that can effectively control FeS scale deposition in oil and gas production system was reported. However, how to manage finely dispersed FeS particulates at surface disposal facilities and whether this polymer is capable of mitigating ZnS and PbS deposition is largely unknown. Therefore, this study continues to seek an efficient treatment option for metal sulfide scale management.
Static bottle tests and dynamic scale loop tests under anoxic conditions were conducted to understand the efficacy of the novel polymeric chemistry towards metal sulfide scaling control. To mimic various field conditions; individual metal sulfide (FeS, ZnS and PbS) as well as mixed scaling scenarios were simulated. Various coagulant and oxidant chemistries were tested to understand the impact of the upstream treatment on safe disposal of FeS nanoparticles at surface facilities.
This novel polymeric chemistry was found to be not only effective towards FeS scaling control, but also towards dispersion of ZnS and PbS as well. The primary mechanism of metal sulfide scale deposition control is identified to be crystal growth inhibition and crystal surface modification. Laboratory test results indicated no negative impact of new chemistry on the performance of other chemicals (coagulant, oxidizer etc.). In fact, an enhanced efficiency of iron sulfide oxidation was observed possibly due to the large surface area of finely dispersed particles. A field throughput study results indicated superior performance compared to that of various incumbent chemistries.
Based on the laboratory results, it is anticipated that this chemistry will provide a new treatment option for metal sulfide scaling/deposition control. Additionally, the new chemistry did not leave any negative footprint for safe disposal of metal sulfide particulate at surface. As opposed to the calcite/barite scale, nucleation inhibition of metal sulfide may not be desired as the dissolved sulfide may cause further corrosion/deposition downstream. Therefore, the value this paper brings to the management of metal sulfides is a systematic testing and evaluation approach which confirms dispersion rather than nucleation inhibition is effective control mechanism.