Reliance on low sulphate seawater as sole protection against sulphate scale may be discomforting to some operators when such expensive subsea wells are at stake. Normal methods such as bullheading squeeze chemicals are nearly impossible to implement due to the long and sometimes multiple flow lines connecting injection wells. Subsea intervention to place squeeze inhibitors is prohibitively expensive due to the requirement of utilizing a service boat over the well for many days.1  Calculations of scaling index from formation and injected seawater mixtures are routinely based upon the thermodynamics of the mixed brines. Although some mixing does occur in the interwell distance, the most vigorous mixing occurs in the vicinity of the production wellbore where water from multiple layers and streamlines impinge. These near wellbore mixtures have short residence times before being produced therefore reaction kinetics must be considered, and it is not clear how low the sulphate concentration in injected water needs to be to delay scaling downhole. This work offers a fresh look at this scaling problem by examining the kinetics of the mixed brines. Using data from existing field projects that currently inject desulphated seawater, the induction times required for non-scaling fluid transit up production wellbores are chosen, and the sulphate concentrations necessary to provide these induction times are computed from a software program.2  The software algorithms are based on a broad, robust database of barite kinetics that span large variations in sulphate and barium concentrations, temperatures and salinities.3  This protocol is compared to scaling index results computed from a thermodynamic approach at both bottomhole and wellhead conditions. A tandem role in which inhibitors can be utilized in conjunction with low sulphate seawater is described.

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