A new method for detection of polymer-based scale inhibitors is presented. This method is based on traditional chromatographic technique (HPLC) combined with a novel detection system.

Real samples were obtained from several commercial squeeze programs performed on various North Sea fields. The scale inhibitor concentrations were obtained using the novel analytical method and compared to current commercial techniques. The obtained data demonstrate that the novel HPLC method can generate reliable data where the current commercial techniques fail.

This new method will have implications on the overall interpretation of the scale inhibitor return profiles, including:

  • i)

    what will be the correct parameters to use for the determination of squeeze lifetime?

  • ii)

    what will be the actual protected water volume above calculated MIC?

  • iii)

    at what concentration should a re-squeeze be performed?

  • iv)

    what are the overall economic implications of the treatment?

The HPLC technique is, however, still under development. Further work planned for the technique includes obtaining better resolution for similarly sized polymers thus opening the door to the individual analysis of scale inhibiting polymers from co-mingled well fluids and an improvement in the sample preparation techniques.

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