Schlumberger

RealView Live-Fluid Organic Solids Deposition Analysis

Overview Library

Measure wax and asphaltene deposition from live reservoir fluids at field conditions

Schlumberger RealView live-fluid organic solids deposition analysis for live solids deposition studies use a new lab-scale apparatus that bypasses the limitations of conventional deposition measurement techniques by mimicking the process of wax and asphaltene deposition from live reservoir fluids under realistic production and transportation conditions. RealView analysis allows independent variation of test parameters to quantify the effects of pressure, temperature, composition, surface type, flow regime, and shear on the deposition behavior of waxes and asphaltenes.

System capabilities

Unlike conventional flow loops, RealView analysis measures live oil deposition in turbulent flow, with temperature control from 39 to 302 degF [4 to 150 degC] and high-pressure adaptability to 15,000 psi [103 MPa]. The cell is suitable for testing sour fluids and requires a sample volume of only 150 cm3 per test run.

Laboratory apparatus

RealView analysis comprises a test cell, a control system, and a circulation system, all of which are housed on a control bench. The test cell consists of a cylindrical vessel with an axially centered heat source. The outer wall of the vessel is stationary, and the inner wall, or spindle, rotates to create a turbulent or laminar flow regime in the annular space.

Deposits are collected for quantification and qualification using high-temperature gas chromatography for waxes and saturate, aromatics, resins, and asphaltene analysis for asphaltenes. Deposit mass is then used to calculate a deposition rate based on the cell surface area and test run time.

The deposition rate can be used to scale up to the field, or Schlumberger can provide OLGA dynamic multiphase flow simulator results for wax buildup over time using the improved input coefficients based on live oil deposition data from RealView analysis. The cell has demonstrated a repeatability level of ±15% in extensive testing and offers the only direct laboratory measurement of organic solids deposition tendency that can be translated to the field.

Deposition studies

In a typical deposition study using RealView analysis, the operator sets the test apparatus at the anticipated production conditions where solids will be present, then selects the number of test points and operating conditions for which deposition data are needed to

  • improve scaling to the field
  • study the effects of various system designs (the amount of insulation)
  • study the effects of production operations, including chemical selection and the introduction of gas lift.

Studies performed on asphaltenic oils are primarily run at isothermal conditions, whereas wax deposition studies are performed maintaining a differential temperature between the fluid within the chamber and the outer wall. After an estimate of the deposition rate is made, a sample can be taken to characterize the chemical composition of the deposit.

Powerful information for planning

RealView analysis allows

  • study of wax and asphaltene deposition along a production path under turbulent flow
  • sensitivity studies of a single deposition parameter
  • determination of deposition rate by quantifying amounts deposited per run
  • examination of the composition of wax and asphaltene deposits
  • measurement of data that can be scaled to pipeline
  • generation of data that can be input to OLGA simulator to model wax buildup over time for system design.

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