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Optimization of Hydrate Management in Deepwater Gas Well Testing Operations

[+] Author Affiliations
Shangfei Song, Bohui Shi, Weichao Yu, Jing Gong

China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing, China

Wang Li

PetroChina Southwest Pipeline Company, Chengdu, China

Paper No. IPC2018-78269, pp. V002T08A001; 11 pages
  • 2018 12th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 2: Pipeline Safety Management Systems; Project Management, Design, Construction, and Environmental Issues; Strain Based Design; Risk and Reliability; Northern Offshore and Production Pipelines
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5187-6
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Low temperature and high pressure conditions in deep water wells and sub-sea pipelines favour the formation of gas clathrate hydrates which is very undesirable during oil and gas industries operation. The management of hydrate formation and plugging risk is essential for the flow assurance in the oil and gas production. This study aims to show how the hydrate management in the deepwater gas well testing operations in the South China Sea can be optimized. As a result of the low temperature and the high pressure in the vertical 3860 meter-tubing, hydrate would form in the tubing during well testing operations. To prevent the formation or plugging of hydrate, three hydrate management strategies are investigated including thermodynamic inhibitor injection, hydrate slurry flow technology and thermodynamic inhibitor integrated with kinetic hydrate inhibitor. The first method, injecting considerable amount of thermodynamic inhibitor (Mono Ethylene Glycol, MEG) is also the most commonly used method to prevent hydrate formation. Thermodynamic hydrate inhibitor tracking is utilized to obtain the distribution of MEG along the pipeline. Optimal dosage of MEG is calculated through further analysis. The second method, hydrate slurry flow technology is applied to the gas well. Low dosage hydrate inhibitor of antiagglomerate is added into the flow system to prevent the aggregation of hydrate particles after hydrate formation. Pressure Drop Ratio (PDR) is defined to denote the hydrate blockage risk margin. The third method is a recently proposed hydrate risk management strategy which prevents the hydrate formation by addition of Poly-N-VinylCaprolactam (PVCap) as a kinetic hydrate inhibitor (KHI). The delayed effect of PVCap on the hydrate formation induction time ensures that hydrates do not form in the pipe. This method is effective in reducing the injection amount of inhibitor. The problems of the three hydrate management strategies which should be paid attention to in industrial application are analyzed. This work promotes the understanding of hydrate management strategy and provides guidance for hydrate management optimization in oil and gas industry.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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