A chemically advanced, safe, controlled delivery system, utilising invert emulsion technology, with the aqueous phase containing scale inhibitor in solution, has been developed and manufactured for evaluation in a North Sea field trial. Benefits arising from the implementation of this new technology include rapid oil returns in an immediate post-squeeze era, reduction of deferred or lost oil costs, the potential to improve contact between inhibitor and in-situ adsorption sites and the ability to formulate packages for sensitive formations and low water cut wells.

It is important for squeeze operations, that the emulsion can be injected safely downhole and encouraged to "break" during shut-in, allowing the aqueous inhibitor to be released and contact the pore structure, promoting effective retention. The "broken" oil phase maintains continuity between pore spaces and promotes rapid oil productivity to return, post-squeeze, as a result of relative permeability effects. The product will provide a safe application route for scale control in wells with pressure support limitations, drawdown restrictions and water sensitive formations.

This paper reviews the team approach undertaken by chemical process plant, service company, oil company consortia and research and technology service providers to facilitate the first field trial of this novel, scale squeeze process.

Extensive experimental evaluations and plant scale-up trials have been undertaken to develop a suitable chemical for field use. Emulsion manufacture requirements, phase volume considerations, destabilisation routes and rheological characteristics are discussed. Laboratory and offshore compatibility trials with appropriate field fluids are reported, together with core-flood investigations, these experiments reveal equivalent inhibitor returns to normal squeeze treatments, but post-squeeze oil production for the emulsion system shows inherent benefits.

A well with a sulphate scaling problem and history of deferred oil production post-squeeze has been selected for a field trial of this new technology. The field treatment is discussed and preliminary post-squeeze results evaluated.

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