The formation of scale deposits upon tubing, casing, perforations, and even on the formation face itself, can severely constrict fluid flow and reduce the production rate of oil and gas wells. In addition to lost production, a considerable portion of the workover budget is expended in efforts to remove these deposits and prevent their recurrence. As a consequence, scale prevention has been and continues to be a common exercise and is successfully applied in many areas.
Although the principles behind scale formation and prevention are generally well understood, there are many new forms of scale prevention and new scale inhibitor application technologies. Some people consider scale prevention a mature subject matter area with "nothing new under the sun," but in fact there are many new developments, some of which will be highlighted in this presentation.
This presentation will review the major elements that normally comprise any effort aimed at the successful control of scale deposition, starting with scale identification, followed by scale prediction, inhibition, and removal. Several case histories will illustrate the application of these scale control techniques in oil production facilities. Scale formation can be a show stopper, but if properly managed, scale can be prevented economically.