Regaining Oil Production by Overcoming Emulsion Problems After Artificial Lift Installation
- Takaaki Uetani (INPEX Corporation) | Naoto Furuichi (INPEX Corporation) | Hirokazu Yorozu (INPEX Corporation) | Kazuyo Sasaya (INPEX Corporation) | Takehiro Shibuya (INPEX Corporation) | Narihito Kiminami (INPEX Corporation) | Hideharu Yonebayashi (INPEX Corporation)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- May 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 300 - 312
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- emulsion, jet pump, demulsifier
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 180 since 2007
- Show more detail
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An oil well, referred to in this paper as Well B, experienced a serious emulsion problem soon after the introduction of artificial lift by use of a hydraulic jet pump. This forced the operator to reduce the production rate to meet sales-oil specifications. During its natural-flow-production period, this well experienced relatively emulsion-free operation. Consequently, the operator continued to use the same demulsifier after the jet-pump production began.
This paper presents results of a number of field trials that took place over a period of 1.5 years to control emulsions and to improve oil production. Initially, the operator raised the separator temperature, but this was not effective. Next, the operator injected xylene into the formation. Although this was reasonably successful, the effect was short term. It became necessary to open the separator-dump valve to drain the emulsions, and reduce the basic sediment and water (BS&W). This expensive operation was only undertaken to maintain production. The operator then explored changing the demulsifier-dosage rate and changing the location of the demulsifier-injection port, but neither measure was effective. Finally, a series of bottle tests was conducted to find a better demulsifier to replace the original chemical, which was no longer effective. Soon after injection of the new demulsifier, the emulsions disappeared, and the operator regained the production rate.
On the basis of the field observations and the preliminary laboratory investigations, it is determined that the emulsions that affected Well B over a period of 1.5 years were most likely caused by the introduction of artificial lift augmented by the continued use of the original demulsifier chemical, the increased production rate, and the presence of asphaltene and clay particles. An important lesson learned from this project was that emulsion-treatment programs should be reviewed periodically, especially when operating conditions change.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||13|
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