Problems related to inorganic scale precipitation are common in oil fields across Russia. The predominantly calcium carbonate scale rapidly precipitates from the produced water and causes reduction in reservoir permeability, restricts fluid flow in tubing and perforation, fails electric submersible and rod pumps, and plugs surface equipment. Local industry offers a number of inhibitors to prevent scale deposition. Although regular and planned injection of inhibitors into producing and injector wells is the most common method of scale precipitation prevention, no successful attempt to enhance scale prevention in conjunction with a stimulation treatment has been documented.

This paper describes the first application of a combined scale inhibitor and hydraulic fracturing treatment in Western Siberia. It allowed the operator to place significant amount of scale inhibitor within the propped fracture and into the adjacent formation. The case history delineates the detailed sampling and pretreatment analysis of several oil fields with high-water-cut wells. In some of the fields, as many as 26% of the production wells experience scale-related problems. Up to 33% of electrical submersible pumps (ESP) failures are related to inorganic scales. Further, the candidate selection process provided ground for detailed lab testing to optimize the inhibitor type and volumes required for the first scale-inhibited hydraulic fracturing application in the Novogodnee field.

The pilot project wells that were hydraulically fractured with the addition of scale inhibitor yielded a threefold increase in productivity and similar initial fluid production rates. The scale-inhibited wells did though provide sustained rates over a 3-month monitoring period compared to rapid decline in production on the non-inhibited wells. At the same time, the wells treated with scale inhibitor have provided not only sustained production but also a fourfold reduction in operating cost, confirming the success of the pilot project.

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