Areas of Expertise:
The FAST Group has over 13 group years at approximately its current size and over 60 person years of experience dealing with oilfield scale and related flow assurance matters. The Team carries out its extensive research in high facility laboratories with numerous pieces of analytical and highly specialized, custom-built, pieces of equipment. The FAST Group enjoy widespread contact with the oilfield industry through contact with project Sponsors and independent specialist, meeting at events such as Steering Group Meetings, international conferences and in personal discussions. The FAST Group report their research in a wide variety of technical journals such as SPE, NIF, IChemE and Journal of Crystal Growth and produce approx 15-20 technical papers annually. The FAST Group offer training to sponsors through short courses, or research projects that can culminate in MPhil or PhD qualifications.
The research project combines fundamental studies and field applied research but the foundations of such complex research topics begin with a routine scale inhibitor evaluation. This allows an inhibitor, or range of inhibitors, to be fully tested via basic procedures in order to rank the inhibitors by their performance against different types of scale (typically barium sulphate and calcium carbonate). This can allow a reduced number of scale inhibitors to proceed onto further and more interesting areas of research. Scale inhibitor evaluation tests usually comprise of:
Compatibility tests - to ensure that scale inhibitors at varying concentrations are compatible with the formation water / seawater in which they are to be used.
Static BaSO4 inhibition efficiency tests - tests performance of scale inhibitors in bottle tests against the formation of barium sulphate scale.
Dynamic BaSO4 / CaCO3 "tube blocking" inhibition efficiency tests - tests the performance of scale inhibitors in a dynamic system, where higher temperatures and pressures can be applied than in static tests.
Corefloods - examines the scale inhibitors interaction with a rock substrate.
The tests detailed in parts 2-4 allow the mechanisms of the scale inhibitors to be examined. Static and dynamic inhibition efficiency tests look at the mechanisms by which the inhibitors operate to inhibit scale formation, while corefloods examine adsorption and desorption mechanisms.