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Baker Hughes launches flow assurance solution

Oilfield Technology,

Baker Hughes has announced its commercial release of Sorb™ Ultra solid inhibitors. Delivered and mixed with the proppant as part of StimPlus™ stimulation treatment, Sorb Ultra inhibitors can minimise the risk of expensive interventions and lost production in offshore wells. The solid substrate on which the inhibitor is applied is engineered to help ensure reliable applications in deepwater environments, and can be customised to treat a range of downhole conditions including scale, paraffin and asphaltene deposition.

Downhole treatment

The treatment begins in the propped zone as soon as produced fluids contact the Sorb Ultra inhibitors. This process occurs before the produced fluids reach the near wellbore, where temperature or pressure changes commonly cause flow-assurance problems. The treatments have lasted longer than conventional liquid flow assurance chemistry, and, depending on the well production, can remain in production fluids at effective levels long after they are pumped. The inhibitors are applied as part of the well stimulation to obstruct deposition in the near-wellbore environment and formation. It can be run in new or existing wells, as part of a propped stimulation such as a gravel pack or frac pack, and is ideal for wells with closure-rates in excess of 8000 psi.

The Sorb Ultra solid inhibitors have been evaluated and qualified using the company’s SmartCare™ environmentally responsible chemical solutions. The SmartCare evaluation process was designed to ensure technical performance and environmental priorities are mutually achieved.

Impact on the cost of well intervention

The cost of a well intervention for a deepwater well can exceed several million dollars. By placing a long lasting inhibitor into the propped zone, the operator could realise an economic benefit far in excess of the cost of the application. By extending or possibly eliminating the need for a future intervention, the application of this technology can have a significant impact on well economics.

Gulf of Mexico operator

During a completion operation, an operator in the Gulf of Mexico identified barium scale deposition as a possible flow assurance issue. Baker Hughes proactively treated the well by mixing the inhibitor on the fly and injecting it into the frac pack along with the proppant. The well was put on production and immediately flowed both oil and water. After two months and two fluid sample tests, analysis of the residual scale inhibitor found in the produced water demonstrated that the scale inhibitor was still present and was still inhibiting scale in the formation.

Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn

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