The formation of asphaltenes, wax and calcium naphthenate deposits are recognised as major flow assurance issues in many fields, and will continue to grow in importance as the volume of more challenging crudes produced increases. Likewise, the formation of stable emulsions is problematic for many of our clients, as it leads to poor oil/water quality and in some cases fouling of topsides equipment with heavy sludges. Scaled Solutions have developed novel equipment and testing methods to provide insight into the conditions under which organic deposits form, and to help mitigate against them. We have the knowledge and experience to deliver a comprehensive testing programme that meets your needs.

Innovative Testing for Asphaltenes, Waxes, Naphthenates & Emulsions

Asphaltenes: In addition to standard asphaltene dispersancy tests (ADT), we have also developed a flow rig for representative testing, up to 200 °C and up to 5000 psi.

We also offer supportive testing including SARA analysis, determination of asphaltene content, asphaltene onset by titration and hydrocarbon composition by GC.

Wax: Scaled Solutions has developed a bespoke flow loop that enables assessment of wax deposition characteristics under conditions selected to represent those prevailing in the field. Tests are conducted at representative temperatures (-30 to +100 °C) and pressures (up to 5000 psi / 350 barg). We also offer supportive testing including determination of wax content, pour point and wax appearance temperature (WAT) / wax disappearance temperature (WDT) by cross-polarised microscopy.

Our asphaltenes and wax testing can be carried out using live crude samples or “re-livened” dead crude. For the latter we can calculate the amount of each component lost from the oil upon depressurisation and add this to the dead oil to reconstitute the expected field composition.

Naphthenates: The mechanisms and parameters that determine whether naphthenates will form under field conditions are still poorly understood, and much effort is being spent on understanding these better. At Scaled Solutions, we have designed dynamic naphthenate flow rigs that have been used to investigate the formation and inhibition of calcium naphthenate deposits in the laboratory under conditions closely resembling those found in the field. These test rigs complement the somewhat limited conventional bottle tests, the results of which often do not represent the operators’ reality. Our dynamic flow rigs have been validated in field studies and are routinely used to assist in new field risk assessments and the determination of field treatment designs. Tests are conducted at representative temperatures (up to 100 °C) and pressures (up to 10 barg) and can include the presence of CO2, known to be critical to accurately simulating field conditions. We also offer supportive testing including Total Acid Number (TAN), C80 tetraacid analysis (ARN), water-in-oil (Karl Fischer), oil-in-water (Infracal), total salt in crude and SEM/EDX (to identify deposits).

We also offer modelling using PVTsim Nova and Scalechem to support laboratory testing for asphaltenes, waxes, naphthenates and emulsions, allowing us to correlate laboratory test results with expected field behaviour.

To discuss testing options, please get in touch.