Development of Scale Squeeze Enhancement Technology via Application of Metal Nanoparticles Coupled with Polymer Scale Inhibitors
- Paula Guraieb (Tomson Technologies) | Ross Tomson (Tomson Technologies) | Ian Littlehales (Nalco Champion, An Ecolab Companu)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on Oilfield Chemistry, 8-9 April, Galveston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Scale inhibitors, polymeric inhibitors, squeeze life extension
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Polymeric scale inhibitors used for scale squeeze treatments to control downhole inorganic scale don't perform well when pumped into the reservoir due to the poor adsorption properties on the rock surface. However polymeric inhibitors are more temperature stable than phosphonates and have higher tolerance to elevated cation compositions in the water. Therefore, a new chemistry composed of metal nanoparticles coupled with a polymeric scale inhibitor was developed to improve the squeeze life.
The use of nanoparticles in the oilfield has increased in recent years; this development shows how nanoparticles can be used to increased surface area and retention of scale inhibitor in the reservoir. Metal nanoparticles were selected because of their low environmental toxicity and low formation damage potential during injection and flowback.
A fast and efficient synthesis method was developed to create a novel chemistry that couples nanoparticles with polymeric inhibitors to produce a product that it was hoped would have excellent squeeze properties in multiple rock permeabilities and compositions.
Core flood experiments were conducted on intact core under onshore Permian conditions of temperature pressure and brine composition as well as conditions simulating an offshore conventional field (results will be reported separately). The experimental results will be presented to show the extended squeeze lifetime of the new product in comparison to a traditional polymeric scale inhibitor retained by adsorption and also will give insight into the mechanisms by which the nanoparticle/scale inhibitor enhances squeeze life, both by increased adsorption as well as prolonging release of scale inhibitor.
The product developed is able to significantly increase the squeeze life of polymeric scale inhibitors by up to 10x depending on the minimum inhibitor concentration required. The retention of the inhibitor into the rock is significantly increased, while the release is controlled at above minimum effective concentration for extended periods. The theoretic explanation for this is a metal-inhibitor bond, proprietary to the product that allows for continuous release of inhibitor into the solution, without release from the rock. Traditional squeeze returns have a Freundlich isotherm, this product also follows a similar return curve, however does not suffer from the high concentration release at the beginning of the treatment flowback.
These results show that nanoparticles can be used in the oilfield to enhance existing scale inhibitors as well as create new combination products that can improve performance. Use on nanoparticles in the oilfield is an evolving topic that has significant room to grow and expand into multiple areas of oilfield chemistry. This study showcases the application of nanoparticles to enhance performance of polymeric scale inhibitors for squeeze application while maintaining a cost effective product that is environmental responsible.
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