The application of chemical scale inhibitors (SI) in a squeeze treatment is one of the most commonly used techniques to prevent downhole scale formation. This paper presents a sensitivity analysis of the treatment design parameters, to assist with the automated optimization of squeeze treatments in single wells in an offshore field.

Two wells were studied with different constraints on total SI neat volume (VSI) and total injected volume (VT) including main pill and overflush volumes, followed by a field case squeeze optimization to demonstrate the sensitivity to lifetime and the cost function per treated volume of water. A purpose-designed squeeze software model was used to simulate the squeeze treatments and perform the sensitivity analysis. In the course of this optimization procedure, a "Pareto Front" is calculated which represents cases that cannot in principle be improved upon. An analysis of these results also shows that this Pareto Front can be generated by a semi-analytical method, as shown for the first time in this paper.

It was demonstrated at fixed values of VSI and VT (resulting in almost a fixed total cost for squeeze), the squeeze lifetime can be improved by increasing the scale inhibitor concentration in the main treatment slug; however, the increase in squeeze lifetime is greatly reduced at very high concentrations. Four generic scale inhibitors were used with different adsorption isotherms to validate these calculations. In cases where either VSI or VT is fixed, it is shown that the squeeze life does not monotonically increase by the other parameter and the cost function can be used to determine the optimum design.

Well squeeze optimization was performed and these recommendations were applied in the field. It was shown that a well-executed sensitivity study can prevent misleading results that miss the global optimum. A lesson learned was that the optimal designs entail injecting as much of the inhibitor as possible as early in the squeeze design as possible - provided formation damage effects are avoided. Also, our semi-analytical construction of the Pareto Front greatly helps to simplify and streamline the overall squeeze optimization process.

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