A Method for Predicting the Tendency of Oil Field Waters to Deposit Calcium Sulfate
- Henry A. Stiff Jr. (The Atlantic Refining Co.) | Lawrence E. Davis (The Atlantic Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1952
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 25 - 28
- 1952. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.3.4 Scale
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A graphic method was developed which can be used to predict the tendency of oil field waters to precipitate calcium sulfate under a variety of conditions. Application of this method is made to the prediction of sulfate scale formation in heater treaters, boilers, oil wells, cooling systems and water injection wells.
A solution may be said to be in equilibrium with respect to a given salt when the concentration of that salt is equal to its solubility. If for any reason the concentration of the salt is increased or its solubility decreased, the equilibrium is upset and precipitation of the salt takes place. Thus, if the concentration of a salt in a particular solution is known and its solubility can be calculated for a given set of conditions, the tendency of this salt to form a precipitate under these conditions can be predicted. Based on these principles a method has been developed for determining the tendency of oil field waters to form calcium sulfate precipitates under various conditions.
The Solubility Diagram
Calcium sulfate precipitation most frequently occurs when two waters are mixed; one containing calcium ions, and the other sulfate ions. As one of these waters is added to the other a point may be reached where the concentration of calcium sulfate is greater than its solubility, thus causing the formation of a precipitate. The solubility diagram is a graphic device for determining the location of such points, thereby making possible a prediction of the tendency of such a system to deposit sulfate scale. A similar diagram can be used to solve many other problems involving the precipitation of calcium sulfate.
Fig. 1 shows a solubility diagram representing the mixing of two waters. Water "A" contains a high concentration of sodium, magnesium, and sulfate ions together with a small amount of calcium. Water "B" contains a high concentration of calcium ions together with sodium, magnesium and a small amount of sulfate ions.
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