Scale inhibitor squeeze treatments are used to prevent scale deposition in production wells. A treatment consists of injecting a scale inhibitor slug at a concentration between 5 and 15%, referred to as the main treatment, followed by an overflush, which will push the chemical slug deeper into the reservoir. During injection, the stages might undergo some degree of mixing in the tubing. This paper addresses the impact such mixing would have on the squeeze lifetime. A consequence of mixing between main treatment and overflush stages in the well tubing would be that although the same overall mass of scale inhibitor was injected, it would be distributed over a larger volume of water and therefore be exposed to the rock formation at a lower concentration than planned in the design. The degree of mixing in the tubing depends on a number of factors, such as tubing length and diameter, and the pumping rate. The phenomenon is described by the longitudinal dispersion coefficient, which may be calculated.
The resulting calculation may be defined as the spreading of a solute along the longitudinal axis, which leads to the spread of an initial high concentration slug with a low spatial variance to a final stage of low concentration with high spatial variance. The main objective of the paper is to study the effect of the degree of mixing of the main and overflush stages on the squeeze treatment lifetime. The net effect of full mixing would be that instead of there being two different stages at very different scale inhibitor concentration, a single stage at a lower concentration might be exposed to the rock formation. Two mixing profiles were considered, a short and long tubing; where the total injected volume is greater than and less than the total tubing volume, respectively. A number of levels of mixing were considered and compared to the base case, where no mixing was allowed. The results showed that squeeze lifetime is not significantly reduced if mixing occurs in a short tubing interval, whereas it can be reduced by up to 20% in a longer tubing interval.