Comparison of Experimental Techniques for Evaluation of Chemistries against Asphaltene Aggregation and Deposition: New Application of High-Pressure and High-Temperature Quartz Crystal Microbalance

Edris Joonaki*, Rod Burgass, Aliakbar Hassanpouryouzband, Bahman Tohidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Asphaltene precipitation and deposition caused by temperature variation, pressure depletion, and oil composition changes can result in formation damage, oil production reduction, and increased operating costs. Use of chemical additives is probably the most effective option for preventing or reducing asphaltene problems. Selection of inhibitors for asphaltene deposition is commonly based on simple tests conducted on stabilized crude oil samples at ambient conditions. The results obtained from the current testing techniques in the laboratories are sometimes in disagreement with the outcome at field conditions. Therefore, the current techniques that are employed to select the most appropriate asphaltene inhibitor based on their efficiency should be revisited to provide a better methodology for choosing the most suitable strategy for inhibitor/solvent injection. This research study addresses this asphaltene challenge using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM)-based technique, with emphasis on selection of chemical additives for remediation/prevention strategies to handle gas-induced asphaltene deposition problems. The proposed technique can work at high-pressure conditions, simulating the effect of pressure and dissolved gas on asphaltene phase behavior and deposition tendencies with and without inhibitors. It can also assess the deposition rate onto the quartz crystal surface as a result of asphaltene deposition under real reservoir conditions. In this study, the ability of different asphaltene inhibitors to shift asphaltene onset points and reduce the amount of deposited asphaltenes in dead crude oils is investigated. A comparison between the results of the QCM technique at high pressure and high temperature and dead crude oil testing at ambient conditions is presented. The results of this work indicate that the change in the temperature, pressure, and presence of gas could alter the ranking of chemistries for mitigating asphaltene challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2712-2721
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018

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