Scale control and inhibition is very important for maintaining flow assurance of oil production. Several specialty chemicals are used to delay, reduce or prevent scale deposition and, in particular, polymers and phosphonate-based chemicals have been used extensively. The accurate and precise topside measurement of scale inhibitors plays an important role in assessing the efficiency of scale squeeze and continuous-chemical injection treatments. At present, numerous techniques exist for scale inhibitor (SI) analysis but each method has its own limitation and often these methods give results of either total chemical content or elemental analysis without details of chemical speciation. Furthermore, most techniques often lack the ability for on-site analysis on fresh produced water samples, which yields the potential for quick and more accurate and precise information due to minimal sample degradation.Nanotechnology-based Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) developed as the next-generation method to fill the gap in speciation of phosphonates and to determine low concentrations of different scale inhibitor chemicals in produced brines in a timely and cost-effective manner.Particular focus is placed upon the individual and mixed analysis of a novel phosphonate and Deta Phosphonate (DETPMP) respectively. Development of this method with handheld instrumentation provides better detection and quantification of scale inhibitors in the field and reduces time and cost compared to sending samples to off-site laboratories for data collection.

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