Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked tremendous hydrocarbon resources in unconventional reservoirs. Production from unconventional plays has become critical and been prioritized in many E&P companies’ portfolio. This paper presents the uncertainty, challenges, and findings in scale prediction and management in such unconventional production. A brief conceptual model is built and utilized to demonstrate the complexities, stages, and impacts in scale management for unconventional production. While a complete list of factors impacting unconventional scale management are reviewed, our two field case studies are focused on factors/aspects that differentiates unconventional fields from conventional fields in terms of scale management. In the first case study, the impact of field fluid residence time on scale inhibitor treatment is investigated and discussed. In the second case study, we conducted extensive field sampling and root cause analysis of the FeS scale formation in an unconventional field and discussed its potential impact and the recommended FeS scale management strategies. This paper demonstrates a comprehensive and integrated approach to appropriately assess and manage scale risk for unconventional horizontal well production, which can be of critical importance to improve reservoir and well performance and improve return on investment (ROI) in unconventional plays.

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