What Can We Learn from Analysis of Field Asphaltenes Deposits? Enhancing Product Development Through Knowledge-Based Field-to-Lab-to-Field Approach

Da Silva de Aguiar, Janaina Izabel (Clariant) | Pimentel Porto Mazzeo, Cláudia (Clariant) | Garan, Ron (Clariant) | Punase, Abhishek (Clariant) | Razavi, Syed (Clariant) | Mahmoudkhani, Amir (Clariant)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Recent studies revealed that solids from lab-generated deposits often exhibit compositional differences from those of field deposits, pointing to a more complex fouling process in field operations. The objective of this work was to understand and apply knowledge from field deposit characteristics in order to design and conduct laboratory experiments which yield solid deposits with comparable compositional fingerprints. This approach allows a more objective and reliable product development and recommendation strategy to be adopted for increased success in the field applications. First, oil and deposit samples from an offshore field was characterized. Second, samples of the asphaltenes extracted from oil (AEO) and from the deposit (AED) were characterized based on solubility using an Accelerated Solubility Test (AST). A customized Asphaltene Dynamic Deposition Loop (ADDL) was used in this study to simulate the precipitation and deposition of asphaltenes from the crude oil. Crude oil used in the tests was from the same well where the deposits were collected. ADDL tests were conducted at high temperature and pressure and the composition of the collected deposit from this test was compared with the deposits from the field. At last, Light Scattering Technique (LST) was applied to screen asphaltene inhibitors (AI). Four candidate chemistries were tested on LST. To confirm the efficiency, the high performer was tested on ADDL under dynamic conditions. Deposits collected from the ADDL were characterized and results showed a high degree of similarity to the field deposit. AI1 was evaluated by ADDL and it decreased the deposition in the filters by 60% and 84% at 1000 ppm. This product was selected to be tested in the field and a plant trial is ongoing.