Asphaltenes—Problematic but Rich in Potential 

Asphaltenes: Problematic but Rich in Potential
Publication: Oilfield Review
Volume: 19
Issue: 2
Publication Date: 06/01/2007

When reservoir fluids undergo pressure, temperature and composition changes, asphaltenes can precipitate and deposit, obstructing pumps, tubulars, surface facilities and subsurface formations. In this article, we explain what asphaltenes are and how they behave in upstream production environments. Through examples from South America, the Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East, we review laboratory, modeling and field-intervention techniques that help oil companies prevent and treat asphaltene deposition. We also discuss the use of downhole fluid analysis of asphaltene concentration to better understand reservoir connectivity.