Produced water from the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin is notably high in total dissolved solids, which leads to many well maintenance issues related to halite scaling (salt precipitation). Fresh water is widely used to prevent halite scaling; however, initial treatment programs tend to "overtreat" the problem and leads to high operation and maintenance costs. An effort to improve halite scale management has been explored, which includes identification of wells that need fresh water injection; optimization of the fresh water volumes; minimizing deferred oil production; and preventing other scales associated with the presence of fresh water in the wellbore. Several methodologies have been applied to characterize halite scaling and achieve optimization of fresh water treatments. A scaling prediction model was developed and validated with literature data and field data. The model calculates saturation ratios and optimal fresh water volume, which provides critical inputs for treatment recommendations. Field tests have been conducted to dynamically characterize produced fluids. Results have influenced new methods for treatment and fresh water injection techniques. Halite scale inhibitors have also been examined in laboratory and field tests. This work resulted in optimizing both fresh water and chemical treatment programs to minimize halite scaling. Significant cost savings have been achieved from reduced fresh water usage, thereby lowered produced water disposal.

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