Halite deposition is most commonly observed in gas/gas condensate fields with low water cut, high TDS produced brines and high temperature. Halite is notoriously difficult to inhibit and there are limited studies focused on halite due to it being incredibly challenging to have an effective test methodology under laboratory conditions that reflect the field conditions. The mechanisms of halite inhibition are unclear.

In the published literature, static jar testing is primarily used to evaluate the performance of halite inhibitors. It is not representative of dynamic field conditions and provides limited information of halite inhibition. A new methanol driven dynamic test methodology has been developed alongside a novel jar test procedure, which together provides an effective methodology to evaluate halite inhibition under both static and dynamic conditions and provides an insight into the understanding of the mechanisms of halite inhibition.

Using these novel test methodologies, four short-listed inhibitor chemistries including environmentally acceptable inhibitors were assessed and categorised into two types based on the understanding of the mechanism.

  • ➤ Nucleation/growth inhibitors. Inhibitors reduce the nucleation/growth of halite crystals and give good performance under both static and dynamic test conditions.

  • ➤ Dispersion inhibitors. Inhibitor doesn't stop the nucleation/growth of halite crystals and gives poor performance under static conditions, but good performance under dynamic conditions due to dispersion effect.

Both types of halite inhibitors have been successfully deployed in the fields through continuous injection or batch treatment. Coreflood tests were carried out to confirm the potential risk of formation damage during downhole batch treatment. Other deployment methods have been discussed such as through methanol injection line as both inhibitors are fully methanol compatible.

This paper will give a comprehensive study of halite inhibition for challenged wells, including prediction, novel methodology, program of laboratory qualification, mechanism understanding and field deployment, coupled to the development of a chemical technology toolbox to design field halite applications. The value that a fuller understanding of halite control gives the industry is the ability to reduce/eliminate water wash application to control halite formation and so improve well operation time. If halite inhibition is considered at the capex phase of field development, provisions can be made for chemical injection facilities to maintain uninterrupted production.

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