Reducing Scale Buildup in Waterflood Operations

Careful attention to scale inhibition during the first wave of water injection can reduce your headaches for the long term. Waterflood is a major secondary recovery option for maximizing field production and ultimate oil recovery. Scaling however, is a problematic issue, hindering secondary recovery by forming blockages that can plug vital waterflood components.

Scale has a large tendency to form immediately around the water injector completions due to the mixing of injected brine and formation brine. This is especially true during initial water injection and startup, before the formation water is fully swept away from the completion.

Scale that forms at the injector causes more concern than reservoir scale formation, because at the injector large volumes of processed seawater are being forced through a relatively small, fixed space. Hence, the presence of deposited scales at the injector is more detrimental to the system than scale dropout in the larger reservoir.