Development of a Barium Sulphate Scale Inhibitor for Chalk Solid Loaded Conditions

Temple, Erin (Nalco Champion) | Jordan, Myles (Nalco Champion) | Williams, Helen (Nalco Champion) | Kjelstrup, Sigrid (Nalco Champion) | Kilibarda, Marija (AkerBP) | Johansen, Kolbjorn (AkerBP)



The impact of suspended solids and dynamic conditions on sulphate scale control is well-known. Previous work examined the effect of suspended solids, along with static and turbulent conditions, on one scale inhibitor (Vs-Co). This study has focused on the challenges experienced by an operator of a chalk reservoir field, with a significant amount of carbonate solids in the system, and a high sulphate scale risk due to high barium concentration, injection seawater breakthrough, and cool topside process conditions (20°C). The initial laboratory evaluation showed that the minimum inhibitor concentration (MIC) observed increased from 50ppm to 250ppm after 24 hours (>80% efficiency) under these conditions.

A further study investigated whether a reduction in MIC could be achieved with different chemistry. Various chemicals were screened in conventional static jar tests and in stirred tests to induce turbulence incorporating mixed solids. The results showed that many of the conventional scale inhibitor chemistries, working by nucleation inhibition and crystal growth retardation, could not cope with the severe scaling conditions and were less efficient than the incumbent. However, a "novel" scale inhibitor formulation was shown to work more effectively and resulted in a significantly lower MIC than the incumbent.

Under sulphate scaling conditions (80:20 FW:SW), VS-Co recorded an MIC of 250ppm which was reduced to ≤100ppm with the novel chemical. This resulted in the opportunity for the operator to reduce their chemical dose rate and logistical costs.

This novel chemical works by a combination of nucleation inhibition and crystal growth retardation. As a result of this inhibition mechanism, other operators experiencing similar harsh sulphate scaling conditions could achieve a lower treat rate in high suspended solid loaded systems.