This paper presents a quantitative study of scale inhibitor thermal stability with regard to their potential application in high temperature wells. Systematic experiments have been conducted to investigate: (1) the influence of thermal aging on phosphonate and polymeric inhibitors at 200 °C, (2) the time (minutes to days) and temperature (up to 200 °C) dependence of inhibitor thermal degradation, (3) the impact of stainless steel and iron on the degradation of inhibitors at high temperatures, (4) the difference in aging tests with inhibitors in solution and that adsorbed on core materials, and (5) the effectiveness of a chelating agent to prevent the catalytic degradation of scale inhibitor by metal ions. The results enable a more accurate understanding of thermal degradation and provide a comprehensive guidance on the selection and placement of scale inhibitors for high temperature oil and gas production.

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