The impact of field measurements and data-handling procedures on carbonate- And sulfide-scale prediction

Giulia Ness, K. S. Sorbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Carbonate and sulfide scales are directly coupled together and differ from other inorganic scales because they are intimately linked to the in-situ concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which influence the local pH and availability of reactive species. The CO2 in aqueous solutions has the most significant effect on the system pH, on the solution content of bicarbonate ion (HCO3), and on the final alkalinity. However, the presence of H2S in the system also has a direct and important effect on the total-system alkalinity. When calcium carbonate deposition occurs in a depressurized aqueous fluid, the amount of scale (CaCO3) that forms depends on the initial (prescaling) solution alkalinity. Thus, the occurrence and severity of carbonate scale are linked to both the solution carbonate system (CO2/HCO3/CO32–) and the sulfide system (H2S/HS/S2–). In previous publications, we have described a rigorous work flow (step-by-step procedure) to accurately predict carbonate- and sulfide-scaling profiles from reservoir to separator using commonly available field data (Verri et al. 2017a). Although, with perfect data, the work flow is rigorous [i.e., it will correctly predict the types and amounts of scale that can occur in some carbonate systems (e.g., CaCO3, FeCO3, FeS)], the numerical results produced are, of course, subject to errors of different types. In this paper, we identify and describe three key categories of data and procedures that must be correctly gathered and used to obtain accurate carbonate- and sulfide-scale predictions: These relate to field measurements, data-handling procedures, choice of software, model equations, and parameters. Moreover, in this work, the impact of unreliable field measurements on the final carbonate and sulfide scaling profiles is estimated, with a specific focus on gas- and water-chemistry errors. By varying important parameters such as Ca2þ concentration and gas-phase CO2 and H2S, it is possible to assess the impact that errors in these measurements have on the final scale-prediction profiles. Because of the closely coupled nature of the carbonate and sulfide systems, it is essential to consider “groups” of variables that change together.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-372
Number of pages12
JournalSPE Production and Operations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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