Schlumberger

Technical Paper: The Importance of Asphaltene Deposition Measurements in the Design and Operation of Subsea Pipelines

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 124956
Presentation Date: 2009
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Abstract

Shell Exploration & Production Company has been operating fields producing asphaltenic fluids in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) for several years and had previously been unable to accurately predict the extent and location of asphaltene deposition. As a result, wellbores and subsea flowlines have, in some cases, been plugged whereas, in other cases, it is likely that inhibitor injections have been unnecessarily employed. In this study, a flow-through high-pressure deposition cell was used to measure the deposition rate of asphaltenes from a problematic field in the GOM under realistic conditions of pressure, temperature and composition. The impacts of shear (corresponding to the production rate in the field), residence time of the fluid in the cell, pressure, and chemical injection on the asphaltene deposition rate were investigated. Finally, the importance of these measurements for field production is discussed.

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