Enhance the efficiency and reliability of your hydrocarbon streams.

Ready to secure the uninterrupted flow of hydrocarbons in your oil and gas operations?

Take control of your asphaltene-related challenges with SPL. From comprehensive testing and risk assessment to tailored chemical solutions and ongoing monitoring, our SME’s are poised to optimize your flow assurance strategy.

Asphaltene Overview

Asphaltenes represent a highly polar component of crude oil, insoluble in n-alkanes and soluble in aromatic solvents. The interactions between asphaltene-water, asphaltene-clay, or asphaltene-asphaltene molecules can cause severe flow assurance issues in an oil field, leading to pore-throat blockages within the reservoir and the plugging of production and transportation flowlines. By testing ahead of time, operators can better manage these challenges and ensure the economic and uninterrupted flow of hydrocarbons.

We understand the challenges that can exist with determining asphaltene deposition risk for a well or process system, as well as the ambiguity that can exist between different risk assessment tools and testing methods. Our experience with troubleshooting field asphaltene operations not only covers asphaltene deposition challenges but also diagnosing the presence of persistent, and sometimes complex, emulsions and sludges that can form after flocculation.

Service Offerings:

  • Testing and Analysis: This involves the use of specialized equipment and techniques to measure the properties of native crude, evaluate asphaltene stability, and assess the performance of asphaltene dispersants
  • Risk Assessment and Modeling: SPL uses scenario modeling to project the formation of asphaltene deposits and other flow assurance issues under various operating conditions, helping operators anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions
  • Chemical Solutions: Best-in-class, independent chemistry evaluation and dose rate optimization for asphaltene dispersants that have been formulated to mitigate the risks associated with asphaltene deposition and other flow assurance challenges
  • Remediation and Optimization: In the event of asphaltene deposition, companies may design and implement solvent soak and continuous asphaltene inhibitor injection treatments to manage the issue downhole in the production tubing and flowlines, SPL can assist in evaluating the efficacy of these products in an independent assessment
  • Flowback and Production Monitoring: Monitoring the performance of asphaltene dispersants and the overall asphaltene dispersion process is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of the flow assurance program and SPL engineers have the field experience to work with your engineers and experts to risk assess these applications.

HP Rheometer Asphaltene Deposition Testing

This method is designed to provide unparalleled insights into the behavior of crude oil under realistic shear conditions. Our testing methodology, conducted within a high-pressure (5,800 psi), high-temperature (350°F) rheometer, allows us to induce asphaltene deposition using hydrocarbon gas.

Key Features Include:

Realistic Shear Conditions: We simulate field shear conditions using a variety of different geometry types within our high-pressure, high-temperature rheometer.

Gravimetric Performance Measurement: Performance is precisely measured gravimetrically, providing detailed data on the total flocculated asphaltene and the asphaltene deposited on the impeller.

Versatility with Crude Oil and Produced Water: Our test accommodates the testing of crude oil alone or in the presence of produced water, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of asphaltene behavior.

Minimal Sample Volume Requirement: Small volumes of oil are required for each test, minimizing the impact on your resources while maximizing the accuracy of results.

Suitability Assessment for Production Chemicals: Determine the suitability of production chemicals with confidence, using our Asphaltene Deposition Test as a robust evaluation tool.

Dose Rate Optimization: Leverage the test results for dose rate optimization, fine-tuning your chemical applications to mitigate the risks associated with asphaltene deposition.

ASIST: ASphaltene InStability Trend

  • The Asphaltene Instability Trend (ASIST) is a method used to predict the stability of asphaltenes in petroleum fluids. It was derived from first principles of London dispersions and is based on the extrapolation of onset conditions from base data to reservoir conditions.
  • This method combines reservoir PVT data with stock tank oil refractive index measurements to determine asphaltene onset conditions by modeling the microscopical appearance of unstable asphaltene flocs using a series of liquid precipitants (n-alkanes) and routine PVT data. 
  • This test is advantaged by requiring a low oil volume and testing is performed with dead oil rather than live oil samples therefore mixing of oils / zones is easier.

Asphaltene Dispersancy Test (ADT)

The Asphaltene Dispersancy Test (ADT) is a widely used method in the oil and gas industry to screen and evaluate asphaltene dispersants. It is used to compare the asphaltene content of crude oils and evaluate the ability of asphaltene dispersants to disperse asphaltenes within these oils. The ADT method employs n-alkane (C5, C7, or C9) as a solvent, which is non-polar and promotes the precipitation and agglomeration of polar asphaltene molecules. In a typical ADT, crude oil is mixed with toluene at a ratio of 1:1 for 2 hours, and the amount of asphaltene dispersed is compared to a benchmark dispersant. However, the ADT method has been criticized for not accurately predicting the performance of dispersants under more realistic conditions of temperature, pressure, and shear.

Ensure smooth operations from reservoir to point of sale

Partner with SPL for asphaltene expertise you can trust.

Corporate Headquarters

24 Waterway Ave. Ste. 375

The Woodlands, TX 77356