The need for understanding the nature of asphaltenes and asphalts and their role in the production and processing of crude oit is well recognized around the world as manifested by the current activities in the Petroleum Industry towards the exploration, drilling, production and processing of heavier oils (higher in asphaltene content). Asphaltene deposition during production and processing of oil ranks as one of the costliest technical problems the Petroleum Industry faces today. In the present report a thermodynamic-colloidal model has been developed capable of predicting the onset of flocculation of colloidal asphaltenes in oil mixtures due to either changes in composition (i.e.: solvent addition) or electrical phenomena (i.e.: streaming potential generation due to flow of asphaltenes containing oil in conduits or porous media). For oil mixtures from which flocculation is caused simply by flow, the model can make predictions as to the velocity ranges where colloidal asphaltene flocculation can be avoided. This could have a significant impact on allowed reservoir drawdown rates, well spacing, and tubing design.

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