Scale problems in production


Wells producing water are likely to develop deposits of inorganic scales. Scales can and do coat perforations, casing, production tubulars, valves, pumps, and downhole completion equipment, such as safety equipment and gas lift mandrels. If allowed to proceed, this scaling will limit production, eventually requiring abandonment of the well. Technology is available for removing scale from tubing, flowline, valving, and surface equipment, restoring at least some of the lost production level. Technology also exists for preventing the occurrence or reoccurrence of the scale, at least on a temporary basis. "Temporary" is generally 3 to 12 months per treatment with conventional inhibitor "squeeze" technology, increasing to 24 or 48 months with combined fracture/inhibition methods. As brine, oil, and/or gas proceed from the formation to the surface, pressure and temperature change and certain dissolved salts can precipitate. Many of these scaling processes can and do occur simultaneously. Scales tend to be mixtures.[1]