Development of More Environmentally Friendly Demulsifiers

Zhou, Hui (CESI Chemical) | Dismuke, Keith I. (CESI Chemical) | Lett, Nathan L. (CESI Chemical) | Penny, Glenn S. (CESI Chemical)


Formation damage caused by water-in-crude oil emulsions can have a big impact on oil production. Chemical treatment is often applied by injecting surfactants known as demulsifiers to break the water-in-crude oil emulsions. Common demulsifiers used in the oilfield industry often contain chemicals that are deemed environmentally unacceptable. With the increasingly stringent environmental and safety measures for oilfield chemicals, there is a significant drive to develop more
environmentally friendly formulations for oilfield applications that are as efficient as existing chemicals. In this work, more environmentally friendly demulsifiers have been developed by systematically upgrading existing components in a conventional demulsifier with more environmentally acceptable components. The environmental impact of existing and upgraded formulations was evaluated using industry developed product rating systems. Demulsification tests were then
carried out to assess the performance of the newly developed formulations on several problematic oils.