interactions between several ﬂow assurance risk factors wereinvestigated. It was demonstrated that failure to address oneparticular ﬂow assurance problem can spawn other new produc-tion hazards. Results also showed that failure to consider theseinteractions can result in misleading laboratory performance datathat can in turn lead to costly design decisions.
The experiments were performed on state of the art ChampionTechnologies Hydrate Rocking Cell (CTHRC) apparatus.
Itcontains pressure cells made of sapphire tubes, each of whichcontains a stainless steel ball inside. For each hydrate test, the cellsare charged with appropriate sample liquids prior to being placedon a rack. The rack is then immersed in a water bath, whose functionis to control the cell temperature. Once the cells are immersed inthe temperature bath they can be charged with a test gas to thedesired pressures. The rack is then rocked up and down so that theball in the cell moves back and forth to induce mixing betweendifferent ﬂuid phases. Figure 1 shows a schematic of the RockingCell device.Unlike most of other rocking cells, CTHRC utilizes sensors tomonitor the ball movements within the cells, with one sensor placednear each end of the cell, a top sensor and a bottom sensor. Thetimes for the ball to travel from one end of the tube to the topsensor and the bottom sensor are automatically recorded to aterminal computer. Other recorded parameters are bath temperatureand individual cell pressures. A certain period of time is allowedfor the ball to travel under gravity from one end to the other. If thesensor at the receiving end does not detect the ball during this periodbecause of either very high ﬂuid viscosity or the formation of solidagglomerates, it is considered a “failure”, indicating a potential ﬂowassurance issue. Besides the ball travel time, another criterion for judging a test as “Pass” or “Fail” is by visually inspecting whethersolid agglomerates are present since the entire internal cell volumeallows visual observation. This double conﬁrmation drasticallyreduces the possibility of misinterpreting the results.The following interactions were investigated in this work:hydrate/asphaltene, hydrate/wax, hydrate/scale, and hydrate/naph-thenic acids. The detailed experimental parameters and procedurefor each interaction study are described below. All of the hydrateinhibitor dosages in this paper were based on the volume of waterunless speciﬁed otherwise. Each test was run in at least duplicatesfor conﬁrmation.
The goal of this experimentwas to evaluate whether asphaltene precipitation could compromisethe hydrate blockage prevention program. The ﬂuid and chemicalsamples used for the tests were crude sample Oil-A (6.3%asphaltenes), synthetic brine Brine-A (3.5 wt % salinity), antiag-glomerant hydrate inhibitor AAHI-1, and asphaltene inhibitor AI-1. The test matrix is presented in Table 1.The Rocking Cell test procedure (Procedure #1) was as follows:1. Rock at 2000 psi (Green Canyon gas
) and 75
F for 2 h toallow the system to equilibrate.2. Cool from 75
F to 40
F in 3 h while rocking.3. Continue rocking at 40
F for 7 h.4. Stop rocking and shut in for 12 h at 40
F.5. Resume rocking for another 3
5 h to simulate cold start-up.
The goal of this experiment was toevaluate whether the potential interaction between wax depositionand hydrate formation could put the ﬂow assurance program at risk.The tested ﬂuid and chemical samples were crude sample Oil-B(11.2 wt % C 16
parafﬁn, WAT 70
F), synthetic brine Brine-B(3.25 wt % salinity), an antiagglomerant hydrate inhibitor AAHI-2, and a parafﬁn inhibitor PI-1. The coldﬁnger parafﬁn depositiontest was ﬁrst conducted to ﬁnd the minimum effective dosage(MED) of PI-1 on Oil-B. Hydrate tests conducted on the RockingCell were summarized in Table 2.The Rocking Cell test procedure (Procedure #2) was as follows:1. Rock at 2000 psi (Green Canyon gas) and 80
F for 2 h toallow the system to equilibrate.2. Cool from 80
F to 40
F in 4 h while rocking.3. Continue rocking at 40
F for 12 h.4. Stop rocking and shut in for 24 h at 40
F.5. Resume rocking for another 2
4 h to simulate cold start-up.
Rocking Cell testing for hydrate/ scale interaction was conducted with a scaling Brine-C (3.9 wt %salinity), a crude sample Oil-C, and an antiagglomerant hydrateinhibitor AAHI-3. Hydrate Procedure #1 was followed with thesame test gas, except that the system was pressurized to 3200 psiinstead of 2000 psi. Another brine sample, Brine-D, was preparedwith the scaling anions replaced with certain amount of chlorideso that the total ionic strength stayed the same and the hydratephase diagram remained unchanged. Brine D was used to performthe same test under the same conditions to evaluate the effect of scale formation on hydrate plugging. All the tests are summarizedin Table 3.
Hydrate/Naphthenic Acid Interaction.
Naphthenic acids areknown to interact with the calcium in the produced water to formcalcium naphthenates, which can cause emulsion and depositionproblems. The goal of this study was to investigate the interactionof naphthenic acids with the AAHI hydrate management program,since both of them have certain surface active features.
(8) Gao, S.; Chapman, W. G.; House, W.
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.
Champion Technologies Hydrate Rocking Cell apparatus.
Table 1. Summary of the Hydrate/Asphaltene Interaction Testswith Oil-A and Brine-A
test # water cut, % AAHI-1, % AI-1, ppm
, psi results1 30 0 0 2000 fail2 30 2 200 2000 pass3 30 2 0 2000 fail4 0
0 2000 pass
The oil sample was dosed with AAHI so that it had the same AAHIconcentration as the oil phase in the tests with the water phase.
Table 2. Summary of the Hydrate/Wax Interaction Tests withOil-B and Brine-B
test # water cut, % AAHI-2, % PI-1, ppm
, psi results5 60 0 0 2000 fail6 60 2 0 2000 fail7 60 2 200 2000 pass8 60 2 0 ambient pass
Table 3. Summary of the Hydrate/Scale Interaction Tests withOil-C and Brine-C and Brine-D
test # water cut, % AAHI-3, % brine
, psi results9 30 3.0 Brine-C 3200 fail10 30 3.0 Brine-D 3200 pass11 30 3.0 Brine-C ambient pass
Gas Hydrate and Flow Assurance Element Interaction Energy & Fuels, Vol. 22, No. 5, 2008