The practice of scale squeeze treatments to oil/gas production wells to prevent inorganic scale formation has been applied for over 30 years and during that period different mechanisms to retain the inhibitor chemical have been evaluated. Many of these studies have focused on sandstone reservoir with less extensive studies carried out on carbonate substrates.

This paper details work carried out using ‘squeeze life enhancer’ chemicals within the Preflush and Overflush stages utilising a co-polymer containing a quaternary amine group to evaluate this chemicals effect on phosphonate scale inhibitor retention process. Phosphonate scale inhibitors are known to provide excellent squeeze lifetimes in carbonate reservoirs due to their strong interaction with the negatively charged formation using hydrogen ion bonding at low pH or calcium ion bridging at higher pH however with the aid of an enhancer chemical it was hoped to help the retention/release process and so provide further improved squeeze lifetimes. The location of the enhancer chemical within the squeeze process was the focus of the study. Enhancing adsorption of the scale inhibitor is not objective of this application study rather ensuring that the retained chemical is released into the flowing brine during production which is a challenge in carbonate reservoirs.

Laboratory work will be presented which evaluates the effect of using a polyaspartate enhancer within either the preflush or overflush stages to extend the lifetime of a commonly applied phosphonate scale inhibitor. These tests have been carried out using pack floods at 85°C with synthetic Middle East produced water and the details of the extension in treatment life observed are correlated to the inhibitor type tested and the sequence of application of the polymer enhancer utilised.

The study shows how the different functional groups within the scale inhibitor interact with the carbonate mineral surface and polymer enhancer to extend treatment lifetimes and so potentially reducing the frequency of squeeze treatments and therefore total cost of operations and it is order of application of these chemicals to the rock surface that prove to be critical to the extension observed.

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