Addressing Integrity Issues in Downhole Equipment by Corrosion Inhibition in Sweet Geothermal Brines
- Helmuth Sarmiento Klapper (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Peter Schorling (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Bjoern Lause (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Wai Mok (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Wart van Zonneveld (Floricultura) | Aad Castricum (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Matthias Moeller (Baker Hughes, a GE Company)
- Document ID
- NACE International
- CORROSION 2019, 24-28 March, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. NACE International
- Rotating Cylinder Electrode, CO2, Rotating Cage, Corrosion Inhibition, Geothermal
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- 50 since 2007
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Geothermal resources have been successfully used in the Netherlands for heating greenhouses in horticultural industry. Due to the high chloride content and the presence of carbon dioxide in some of the geothermal fluids, in combination with the intrinsic elevated temperatures of the application, these operating environments post a considerable challenge for the integrity of fluid handling and processing equipment in geothermal plants. Damage by corrosion in downhole equipment reported by geothermal operators in the Netherlands confirmed the need for a corrosion strategy to mitigate the impact of the aggressiveness of the geothermal fluid under the current operational conditions. To address this a corrosion inhibition strategy was developed to minimize the corrosion risk. A laboratory test program was formulated to characterize the capabilities of corrosion inhibitors using different testing approaches under simulated elevated temperature and high shear stress conditions typically experienced in geothermal plants. Based on the positive outcome of these tests a corrosion inhibitor was successfully implemented in the field. This paper documents the corrosion damage observed in downhole equipment before the use of corrosion inhibition, the obtained laboratory test results as well as the experiences from monitoring the field performance of the corrosion inhibitor in this demanding geothermal application.
Because temperature controls the rate of plant growth by accelerating the associated chemical processes, the temperature of the environment, in the horticultural industry typically of the greenhouse, has to be accurately controlled in a narrow temperature range.1 Geothermal energy is a feasible and reliable alternative to conventional fossil fuel energy sources and it has been used worldwide in the horticultural industry.
In the Netherlands the use of geothermal energy is in its early stages of development with 12 realised projects of which 11 are used in the horticultural industry. Sedimentary layers, which contain warm water and potential good flow properties for a geothermal doublet (100 – 300 m3/h) are present at the subsurface in the Netherlands, which is relatively well known due to the extensive seismic exploration and drilling for oil and gas (O&G) production.2 Similar to other applications, in the horticultural industry, the heat from the produced warm water is transferred to a heating network using a heat exchanger. The heating network provides the greenhouses with heat and the cooled reservoir water is reinjected into the same reservoir using one or more injection wells. The Dutch government has estimated in 2011 the technical/economical producible potential of geothermal energy at 4 km deep being 85,000 PJ. Considering that the demand for low enthalpy heat, as the one used in heating districts and greenhouses, is around 400 PJ/year, the potential of geothermal energy is clearly sufficient to cover the demand for heat in the agriculture industry for upcoming years in the Netherlands.2 This is supported by the fact that the heat obtained at 1.5 km deep can theoretically be directly used for heating the greenhouses.1 Nevertheless, the majority of the geothermal wells until now are used for horticultural applications in the Netherlands and have a depth between 2.3 to 3 km to cover the demand.
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