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Study on clogging injection lines by chemicals in the wellbore

Grant number: 21/05833-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Cooperation agreement: Equinor (former Statoil)
Principal researcher:Antonio Carlos Bannwart
Grantee:Neffer Arvey Gomez Gomez
Home Institution: Centro de Estudos do Petróleo (CEPETRO). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/15736-3 - Engineering Research Centre in Reservoir and Production Management, AP.PCPE

Abstract

The objective of this research project is to assess the risks and understand the causes of theformation of precipitates in lines of injection of emulsion breakers in producing wells. Such aphenomenon can cause the clogging lines and injection valves of this type of fluid. During theinjection process, the fluids are subject to great variations in pressure and temperature, which cancause some changes in the physical properties of the emulsion breakers, such as phase change,which in turn can promote the formation of particulate solids that deposit along the line andvalves, causing malfunction and even failure of the injection systems. This work is within thescope of the research line on Artificial Elevation and Flow Guarantee of EPIC (FAPESP /EQUINOR / UNICAMP) and the theme was presented by Equinor as a problem that is alreadyoccurring in the Pelegrino field, with the injection of emulsion breakers .The papers in the literature on the precipitation and blocking of chemicals in the injectionlines are concentrated on the scale inhibiting chemicals, where there are reports on the blockingof the lines, valves and accelerated corrosion of the injection systems, however, the studies thatreports such problems with the use of emulsion breakers are scarce. There are some hypothesespresented for the case of incrustation inhibitors, which can be verified if it will occur for emulsionbreakers, such as: change in the phase balance of the emulsion breaker, due to variations inpressure and temperature gradients along the injection umbilical; chemical incompatibility withanother added chemical; chemical incompatibility with some valve sealing material; valveopening mechanism itself, which works by pressure differential between the well and the injectionsystem; use of inadequate filters in the injection lines; and even the formation of particulates inthe chemical during its storage (aging effect). To test these hypotheses, some methods havealready been proposed in the literature such as filtration, product stability test, distillation test toevaluate the formed vapors, always in order to test the chemicals in more representative fieldconditions, within the injection lines. The aforementioned hypotheses also show that there is noholistic view of the problem, since it involves everything from the chemical composition of usedcommercial products (which are not known about formulations), to the mechanics of the injectionsystem itself, making the problem even more challenging.With this guidance, the present proposal is integrated with the other research works that areunder development within EPIC, such as master's dissertations, doctoral and postdoctoral thesesin the area of emulsions. The postdoc will initially raise, based on the literature review, the mainhypotheses that may be causing the failure of the valve by the injected chemicals, and devisingand planning experiments to validate these hypotheses, and from there propose answers to avoidthe failures injection system. With this it is expected that this work will contribute to reduce theoperational costs and maintenance requirements of the pumping system, since with the continuousinjection of chemicals, the pumping system will work in a stable manner. (AU)

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