This paper discusses the effects of Ca2+, Mg2+, and Fe2+ on inhibitor retention and release. Better understanding of phosphonate reactions during inhibitor squeeze treatments has direct implication on how to design and improve scale inhibitor squeeze treatments for optimum scale control. Putting various amounts of metal ions in the inhibitor pill adds another degree of freedom in squeeze design, especially in controlling return concentrations and squeeze life.
Phosphonate reactions during squeeze treatments involve a series of self-regulating reactions with calcite and other minerals. However, excess calcite does not improve the retention of phosphonate due to the surface poisoning effect of Ca2+. The squeeze can be designed so that maximum squeeze life is achieved by forming a low solubility phase in the formation. Addition of Ca2+, Mg2+, and Fe2+ in the pill solution at 0.1 to 1 molar ratios significantly improves the retention of phosphonate. Alternatively, these metal ions can be dissolved from the formation while an acidic inhibitor pill is in contact with the formation minerals. Both BHPMP and DTPMP returns were significantly extended by the addition of metal ions, e.g. Ca2+ and Fe2+. The addition of Mg2+ may increase the long-term return concentration, which is important for some wells where a higher inhibitor return concentration is needed.
The laboratory squeeze simulations were compared to two field return data obtained from squeeze treatments performed on two wells located in a sandstone reservoir in Saudi Arabia. The sandstone formation contains significant amounts of ironbearing minerals.