This paper investigates the application of halite inhibitors and the mechanisms associated with salt formation and inhibition. Several new chemistries (two inorganic compounds and one organic nitrogen-based product) have been identified which provide improved halite inhibition. Their inhibition performance was studied and compared with commercially available inhibitors.

Salt deposition in high salinity brines can cause blockages to production and process systems requiring remedial action, often on short notice. Current commercial halite inhibitors are only effective at high concentrations (250 – 5,000 ppm). Therefore, a more efficient salt inhibitor would need to reduce both treatment level and production downtime.

The inhibition performance of three new chemicals and two commercial products were evaluated under static conditions along with performance assessment after aging. Both sea salt and pharmaceutical-grade sodium chloride were used in the tests. All three new chemicals showed improved inhibition efficiency over the two commercially available products. The retention property for one of the three new chemicals was evaluated using two different core materials. The test results showed a satisfactory amount of adsorption under favourable pH conditions. Core floods using field core materials were conducted to evaluate the chemical squeeze packages. No formation damage was observed, both oil and brine permeabilities have recovered following the chemical treatments.

A lower dosage (10–50 ppm) was required for the new chemical as compared with conventional treatment levels. The lower treatment level provides the potential to reduce cost, treatment intervals and production downtime. Moreover, there is the opportunity for the new product to be batch squeezed into the reservoir, providing prolonged protection against salt deposition.

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