At the Statoil-operated Heidrun-field in the Norwegian Sea, naphthenate deposits were first observed during a maintenance shutdown in September 1996. Thereafter the problem increased, and by the end of 1997 it was recognised as a constant threat against continuous production. The present paper describes both the short-term measures taken to gain control of the problem in the early days, and the quest for a more elegant long-term solution. Statoil is continuously working to increase its fundamental understanding of the naphthenate problems and to improve the naphthenate inhibitors used at the Heidrun field.

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