The Stepan Oilfield Solutions Center of Excellence in Houston, Texas, houses a team of application experts who focus on field-use formulations that help solve problems encountered in hydraulic fracturing and production fluids. Contact us today to access our case studies below and learn how surfactant science can make a difference in your operations.
Innovative Biodegradable Intermediates for Sweet Corrosion Inhibitors
The corrosion of carbon steel tubing, pipelines and process equipment during oil and gas production due to salt water saturated by corrosives gases, such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, can lead to substantial environmental and economic consequences. One of the proven and most widely used corrosion mitigation techniques is the addition of film-forming corrosion inhibitors into production streams. The products used offshore and released in the North Sea are currently controlled by the OSPAR Convention and are required to meet environmental criteria on three parameters: biodegradability, toxicity and bioaccumulation. Stepan’s new PETROSTEP® Green Corrosion Inhibitors (GCI) are excellent corrosion inhibitor intermediates for the production market. Stepan's patent-pending technology provides superior performance to help customers secure their asset's integrity. External testing on PETROSTEP GCI-1 also showed that it exhibits good biodegradability in marine water and its high molecular weight makes it a non-bioaccumulant.
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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Biofilm Mitigation
Microbial-induced problems in oil and gas incur high costs and cause severe environmental and safety concerns. Most of these problems are directly caused by surface-adhered bacteria colonies known as biofilms. This initial study measured the performance of biocides containing two types of quaternary ammonium compounds and blends with glutaraldehyde were evaluated against sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and acid producing bacteria (APB) in planktonkic and sessile forms.
Visualization of Flowback Aid Mechanisms Utilizing a Microfluidic Pore-Scale Device
Slickwater fracturing fluids are commonly used in oilfield to create fracture networks in tight rocks to promote oil and gas production. These fluids employ friction reducers to reduce friction pressure and allow faster injection and lower pumping pressure. However, polymer residue from friction reducers can reduce the permeability of tight rocks during flowback. To help understand the damage mechanisms of friction reducers and their remediation, this study looked at the dynamics of fluid behavior in unconventional resources by combining coreflood and microfluidics-based measurements. Through this combination, the researchers were able to gather quantitative results and visualization.
A Novel Method to Evaluate Ability of Surfactants in Slickwater Fluids to Minimize Formation Damage and Optimize Hydrocarbon Recovery after Hydraulic Fracturing
In recent years, use of slickwater fracturing fluids has emerged as a standard practice in fracturing U.S. shale reservoirs. Using less proppant and fewer components than traditional fracturing fluid systems, slickwater systems have greater fracture-conductivity than similar guar-based systems. With the adoption of this new technique, a key area of interest is in assessing the impact of surfactant additives on improving permeability and maximizing hydrocarbon recovery. This study examines the ability of surfactants to mitigate permeability impairment in a slickwater system.
Enhancing Friction Reducer Performance in High Salt Conditions
Friction reducers are an essential part of hydraulic fracturing, allowing pumps to push fluids at faster rates using less horsepower. The polyacrylamide friction reducers typically used in this application are sensitive to dissolved solids, which is particularly important as operators begin to use more produced water and freshwater sources become more expensive or unavailable. This study details a series of experiments using a friction flow loop to observe the effect of dissolved cations on friction reducer performance. A surfactant system was shown to be effective in preventing performance degradation in saline water and extending the salt tolerance of a friction reducer.