Turbulent flow, especially around chokes, downhole safety valves and inflow control devices, favors scale deposition potentially leading to severe loss of production. Recently, scale formation under turbulent conditions has been studied and progressed, focused on the bulk precipitation (SPE164070) and a small bore valve loop test (SPE 155428). However, bulk precipitation is not fully representative the surface deposition in the fields and the Reynolds number of modified loop is unknown. The relationship between a measured Reynolds number and surface deposition up until this study has not been addressed.

A newly developed test methodology with rotating cylinder has been applied to generate high shear rate and evaluate surface deposition with Reynolds numbers up to ~41000. The relationship between Reynolds number and surface deposition is addressed. Using this highly representable test method for BaSO4 scale deposition, several different generic types of inhibitor chemistries, including polymers and phosphonates, were assessed under different levels of turbulence to evaluate their performance on surface deposition.

The results showed it is not always true that higher turbulence results in higher dose of inhibitor being required to control scale. It is inhibitor chemistry and mechanisms dependent. The scale inhibitorscan be classified as three types when evaluating the trend of mass deposition versus Reynolds number and the morphology of the crystals deposited on the metal surface.

  • ➢ Type 1: Crytal growth inhibitors. The mass of surface deposition increases with the increase of turbulence, along with smaller crystals.

  • ➢ Type 2: Dispersion and crystal growth inhibitor. The higher the turbulence, the less mass deposition, along with smaller crystals.

  • ➢ Type 3: Dispersion scale inhibitors. The higher the turbulence, the less mass deposition. The size of the crystals has no major change.

This paper gives a comprehensive study of the effect of flow condition on the scale surface deposition and inhibition mechanisms. In addition, it details how this methodology and new environmentally acceptable inhibitor chemistry can be coupled to develop a chemical technology toolbox that also includes techniques for advanced scale inhibitor analysis and improved scale inhibitor retention, to design optimum scale squeeze packages for the harsh scaling conditions associated with turbulent flow conditions.

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