Introduction

Asphaltene problems are increasing on a wide scale in the petroleum industry. The deposition of these materials has been increasingly noted in production wells of CO2 floods and in miscible drive floods, after acid stimulations in asphaltic crude oil formations, and as pressures in older fields near the depletion point.

Many reservoirs produce without evidence of asphaltenes until the oil stability is disturbed. After the initial problems with asphaltenes, even those caused by a single use, catalytic behaving stimulus such as an acid job, many wells continue to exhibit problems long after operations return to normal.

Numerous remedies to remove asphaltic deposits and stabilization methods to control the deposition have been tried with varying amounts of success. This paper presents a review of the mechanisms that contribute to asphaltene precipitation and laboratory and field results of a class of solvent/stabilizer chemicals that has shown very good performance in removing asphaltic deposits, restoring production, and in preventing some upsets for extended periods of time.

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