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November 14, 2018

Barium Sulfate Scale Removal Made Easy

Barium Sulfate Scale Removal Made Easy
Formation of sulfate scales such as barium sulfate, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and strontium sulfate are among the most serious and persistent problems in oilfield operations.  When a sulfate scale forms it can quickly become costly and can even lead to complete abandonment of a well. This article will examine the issues at hand and the solution to sulfate scale removal.

First, let’s examine why sulfate scales are a problem and how they form:

Why Are Sulfate Scales an Issue?

In short, sulfate scales cause dramatic and costly oilfield production decline.  

As a scale deposits around the well-bore, the porous formation media becomes inundated with sulfate scale and is rendered impermeable.  In order to remedy the situation, many operations turn to such drastic measures as re-drilling plugged oil wells, replacing down-hole equipment, or even abandoning the operation altogether.

How Do Sulfate Scales Form in the Oilfield?

During water injection treatments intended to enhance productivity, sulfate scales can form.  The following factors lead to this formation:
  • Seawater injected downhole contains a high concentration of sulfate ions whereas the formation water may contain high concentrations of barium, calcium or strontium.  The principal cause of the sulfate scale formation is an insoluble product created upon mixing of these incompatible water sources. Barium sulfate scale is the most common product of incompatible water mixing.
  • During water injection, some scales will form due to temperature or pressure change.
    • At the surface of the injection, the temperature is much lower in comparison to the high-pressure, high-temperature environment downhole.  Some salts, such as calcium sulfate, have a lower solubility at higher temperatures. Thus, as a saturated injection water raises in temperature while dropping into the reservoir, it can deposit a scale along its path.

Why is Barium Sulfate Scale Difficult to Remove?

Many scales have high solubility with mineral acids, such as HCl, and/or chelating agents.  Sulfate scales, however, have low solubility in both mineral acids and chelating agents. As such, the volume of a standard chelating agent needed to solubilize barium sulfate is too great to be economical. Additionally, traditional acid descaling procedures can corrode components and aren't effective at removing sulfate scales.

How To Remove Barium Sulfate Scale

NuGenTec has developed the revolutionary, patent-pending NuFlo® DeScale 433, which quickly removes sulfate scales, including barium sulfate scale, calcium sulfate scale, strontium sulfate scale, and magnesium sulfate scale.

NuFlo® DeScale 433 has been proven more effective at dilution than competing solutions have in concentrate, which minimizes downtime for descaling and uses less volume of descaler required for any operation. NuFlo® DeScale 433 has also proven effective in dissolving sulfate scales that are coated and/or interspersed with common organic deposits such as paraffins and asphaltenes. Formulated with a proprietary dissolving chemistry with both polar and nonpolar solubility properties and a synergistic blend of chelating agents, dispersants, and wetting agents, NuFlo® DeScale 433 provides the fastest and most efficient performance of any scale removal solution on the market.

NuGenTec: Redefining Chemistry

If you are seeking healthier, more environmentally responsible, and less costly alternatives for your industrial processes, contact NuGenTec today.
Click here for more info NuFlo® DeScale 433, including test results on sulfate scales.  

PRESS RELEASE: NuGenTec’s NuFlo® DeScale 433 is World’s First Product to Dissolve Barium Sulfate Scale in Oil & Gas Pipelines, Flowlines, Formations & Tubulars