Carbonate or sulphate scaling is usually mitigated by using chemical inhibitors that alter the growth mode of the scale mineral, but with halite scaling the apparent absence of a suitable inhibitor has meant that periodic removal with low-salinity water has been favoured. We report laboratory testing and the first field application of a chemical inhibitor for halite scaling. The inhibitor was field-tested in the Leman gas field (North Sea), where halite scaling occurs in gas-compression equipment due to evaporation of water from brine droplets carried over from the gas-water separator. The scale reduces the efficiency of both compressor and cooler, necessitating regular costly cleaning of the internals. After a recent system clean out, the cheap, non-toxic halite inhibitor was dosed continuously for 3 months into the production stream downstream of the gas-water separator. Whilst halite deposition was not completely suppressed, an increase in compressor efficiency was observed for all compression stages compared with recent non-inhibited data. A significant improvement in gas-cooler efficiency and a reduced tendency to block gas-flow meters, were also observed. This indicates that the inhibitor has considerable potential for cost-effective control of halite scaling, possibly as an alternative to periodic removal or in combination with it.

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