Impact of WAX on Asphaltene Deposition under Jet Pump Operation as Revealed by Asphaltene Inhibitor Field Test

Yoshimoto, Tatsuya (INPEX) | Kurosawa, Masaharu (INPEX) | Fukuda, Jun (INPEX) | Yonebayashi, Hideharu (INPEX) | Murakami, Yuji (INPEX)



In a Japanese oil field, which applying jet pump (coiled tubing running, standard flow type, produced oil as power fluid containing asphaltenes and waxes) since 2014, unstable power fluid injection pressure has been observed since 2016 due to asphaltene deposition on jet pump nozzle area, which limited power fluid rate and therefore production rate. The objective of this study was to achieve high oil production rate by overcoming the pressure fluctuation due to asphaltene deposition problems.

Asphaltene inhibitors (AI) from various suppliers were tested to measure asphaltene deposition amount as a laboratory screening. The best AI candidate was implemented in a field trial test during which, asphaltene deposition amount in strainers were measured, production oil was collected to measure asphaltene deposition rate under stock tank condition, and operation data was monitored and analyzed. To confirm the new AI efficiency, these data were compared with the ones during the original AI before starting the field test.

This paper presents specific features which were found in the field test. Selected AI was efficient at dispersing asphaltenes. It achieved stable injection pressure and reduced asphaltene deposition amount in production oil sample. However, it became worse again within one month. The main reason was that the new AI worked as dispersant to delay asphaltene deposition so that asphaltenes finally accumulated under jet pump production system which is semi-closed loop. Asphaltene deposition amount on strainers increased during winter, especially shut down periods, because process temperature was close to ambient condition. This temperature-dependent observation means asphaltene deposition was highly influenced by wax deposition. A follow-up laboratory test revealed the asphaltene deposition amount decreased by adding paraffin inhibitor (PI). This field test result revealed the asphaltene and paraffin interaction in field scale.

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