Enhanced recovery

Study Explores Effect of Solids on Topside Operations in an EOR Context

The authors of this paper study the effect of solids particles on oil/water separators and on produced-water treatment.

Presence of solid particles at the O/W interface in a test involving sand and clay.
Fig. 1—Presence of solid particles at the O/W interface in a test involving sand and clay.
Source: SPE 216848.

The presence of solids in hydrocarbon treatment and separation equipment downstream of the choke can have a significant effect on process operability, assets risks, and flow assurance, therefore affecting operational economics. In the complete paper, the effect of solid particles on oil/water (O/W) separators (i.e., emulsion stability) and on produced-water treatment has been studied.

Materials Selection and Characterization

In this study, six different solids were chosen, three representing reservoir solids (sand, illite, and kaolinite) and three for scale and corrosion solids [calcium carbonate (CaCO3), barium sulfate (BaSO4), and iron sulfide (FeS)]. All solids used were characterized in terms of composition and size; for modified solids, their wettability also was measured. The sand sample was fully water-wet, while the wettability of the CaCO3 and the BaSO4 could not be measured. For the rest of the particles, contact angles lower than 90° showed water-wet properties.

A crude oil from offshore Brazil was used.

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