Celebrating Oil Innovation
Sustainable Shale EOR Chemistry
Use of shale enhanced oil recovery chemistry are known for being beneficial to enhance clean-up after stimulation treatments and in particular hydraulic fracturing. The majority of applications involve the use of aqueous solutions of surfactant chemistry added into the slurry however microemulsions have also been available for some years although there has at times been some controversy about their exact mechanism of performance and benefit to the application. The surfactant backbone used for the HOSTAFRAC family of shale EOR products is based upon 100% sustainably sourced components. The hydrophilic head is based upon sugar recovered from agricultural waste, and the lipophilic tail is based upon sustainably sourced coconut oil. The products are readily biodegradable do not have a propensity to bioaccumulate and have a favorable toxicity profile. Finally, the products have been specially formulated to be BTEX (benzene toluene ethylbenzene and xylene) and VOC (volatile organic compound)-free.
The HOSTAFRAC range has been developed to address the many different scenarios encountered during hydraulic fracturing including gas-well and oil-well specific challenges. In particular, the suitability of the product to many different oil types (BAPI, asphaltenes, paraffin, emulsion tendency) is a key differentiating feature. Additionally, the non-emulsifying nature of these products allows for trouble-free pumping and flowback. The development of a new class of microemulsion products made up from the renewable and environmentally friendly components has made a massive step-change towards the state of the art of this class of shale EOR chemistry. The application of this technology to the field has been successful and without upset. The value that HOSTAFRAC delivers in performance is second-to-none, but the differentiating benefit is the contribution this chemistry makes to the sustainability and environmental profile of the industry.
Halite Control for Reduction of Fresh Water Consumption
The growing scarcity, and rising cost, of freshwater, has challenged the oil industry to find new, innovative, chemical solutions to control halite buildup. Clariant Oil Services developed the SCALETREAT HL product line to address this evolving industry challenge. Application of SCALETREAT HL reduces freshwater consumption between 74% and 95%. Our product also eliminates the need for a supplemental scale inhibitor as it is effective against halite and many types of carbonate and sulfate levels. Additionally, treatment rates of SCALETREAT HL are 50% less than those of traditional halite inhibitors.
The most common strategy to control halite is fresh water addition upstream of deposition to dilute the problem. While chemical inhibitors for halite control have existed for some years, they usually required high concentrations of environmentally undesirable products. New production in the US, such as in the Bakken and the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, has resulted in more production of saline fluids. The Bakken region has already had a profound impact. Application of SCALETREAT HL at 80ppm was able to reduce water consumption to 10% of that of the incumbent strategy with a return of investment of nearly 1,000%.
Non-triazine Hydrogen Sulfide Scavenging
SCAVINATOR, a water-soluble scavenger that removes sulfides from gases and liquids, was developed to control hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Unlike triazine, SCAVINATOR has minimal pH impact, which reduces associated mineral scaling. What separates SCAVINATOR is the speed at which it scavenges H2S, and its ability to control solid reaction products post-scavenging. Our non-triazine scavenger contains a patented catalyst component which yields kinetics equivalent to triazine. Although buildup is inevitable while using scavenger chemistry, SCAVINATOR contains a solids-suppressant which prevents buildup without effecting scavenger efficiency.
SCAVINATOR’s performance is field proven and has begun several extended trials and applications conducted with large producers in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas by both direct injection and contact tower applications. On average, the contact tower application's loading capacity of triazine is 0.75 lbs. of H2S per gallon of product. SCAVINATOR has provided on average 0.85 lbs. of H2S per gallon, an almost 15% increase. Furthermore, it is often common to observe a less than theoretical loading capacity in contact tower applications because of operational challenges associated with highly-loaded scavenger. During the continuous injection applications, SCAVINATOR achieved an astounding 1.25 lbs. of H2S per gallon, which is identical to the theoretical loading, which shows the efficacy of solids control within SCAVINATOR. This technology is suited for gas and multiphase H2S scavenging. While the field trials were successful, the safety benefits of SCAVINATOR are also exceptional. The lack of substantial deposition encountered with this new chemistry allows for more sustainable operations with less downtime required to address the detrimental effects of mineral scaling. The increased gas breakthrough times, loading capacity, and efficiency of SCAVINATOR also showcase the commercial, technical, safety, and environmental benefits provided by this chemistry. The introduction of SCAVINATOR to the industry is revolutionizing H2S scavenging and providing a more cost-effective, higher performing, trouble-free alternative to triazine scavengers.
Iron Sulfide Scale Control Technology
Iron sulfide (FeS) scale prevention and control is a continuing challenge facing the oil industry whether it be during production, hydrocarbon transportation or refinery processing. FeS scale represents a range of iron-sulfur mineral scale types or ‘polymorphs’ that typically tend to be oil-wet and can contribute significantly to depositional fouling issues in both water and oil production phases. Iron sulfide scale is tackled in the industry via acidizing/milling to remove FeS deposits, or to use additives to minimize the availability of FeS precursors hydrogen sulfide (H2S) or ionic iron and hence suppress its development.
Clariant sulfides scale control technology is novel and unique. The active components are a class of proprietary sophisticated polymeric sulfide scale control agents that effectively inhibit the growth of FeS and maintain existing preformed sulfide scale embryonic nuclei in solution. This technology is very high performance, and besides FeS inhibition it can also engage in dissolving existing FeS deposits even when present at low concentration. The many successful applications further prove the potential of this technology to provide a new era of oilfield scale control.