Dynamic scaling evaluation in gravel packs using low-sulphate seawater

R. Shields, H. Bourne, O. Vazquez, K. Sorbie, M. Singleton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    In fields where it is unattractive to control barite scaling through chemical intervention (e.g. scale inhibitor squeeze treatments), one option is to substitute the injection of seawater with low-sulphate seawater (LSSW) for pressure maintenance. Injecting LSSW minimises the operational risk of barite deposition on injection water breakthrough. The specification for the LSSW sulphate ion concentration dictates the design of the Sulphate Removal Plant (SRP) required and may influence the field development strategy. There is the possibility that barite deposition can occur within gravel packs designed to minimise sand production. It is in these that the potential for scaling was investigated. Dynamic scaling runs were performed in laboratory scale gravel packs using a mixture of a Formation Water (FW) and LSSW. The initial design involved varying the total flow rates and mixing ratio of the brines in order to produce a 'safe envelope' (Ba2+/SO42- composition) that could be used in the field. The experimental procedure was developed to examine the steady-state effluent profiles and to use these to derive the rate constant, k, for barite deposition. This could then be used in a computer model to predict scaling quantities and timescales. Under 'true' LSSW conditions (20ppm sulphate) the steady-state effluent results proved difficult to interpret due to the limits of accuracy. The sulphate levels were then varied in order to increase the level of accuracy, with the hypothesis that, for a given set of conditions (temperature and pressure), the rate "constant" should remain the same for any Saturation Ratio (SR). Upon closer inspection of the derived rate constants, it was discovered that they were not constant but were directly proportional to the SR for the different input concentrations. Plotting the rate constants against SR showed a linear relationship between the two variables. This was confirmed by using sulphate and barium levels that were unrelated to the previous series of tests. The experimental procedure and the resulting model being developed from the work reported in this paper will assist in designing operational procedures to minimise rate related scaling in gravel packs in fields where squeezing is undesirable. Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control 2010
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventSPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control - Lafayette, United States
    Duration: 10 Feb 201012 Feb 2010


    ConferenceSPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


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