HYDRAFACT

TECHNICAL SERVICES

Experimental Services

Hydrafact is a leading provider of gas hydrate, flow assurance and PVT consulting and technical services involving the transportation of oil, gas and multiphase hydrocarbon products from reservoir to refinery. Our experimental services (including an H2S lab) are a core part of the work we do to establish a proper understanding of fluid properties at operating conditions. As a result, our experimental capabilities are the cornerstone of our offering, allowing us to simulate real pipeline conditions and use the results to provide clear operational recommendations for our clients.

Modelling Services

Hydrafact has extensive experience in thermodynamic modelling and can perform a comprehensive series of calculations using our in-house software HydraFLASH. The company's modelling experience covers a wide range of flow assurance related challenges from early assessment of potential problems to designing the best remediation strategy. At Hydrafact we can accurately model the phase behaviour for systems containing gas, oil, water and condensate mixtures in the presence of salts and organic inhibitors with or without gas hydrates.

Blockage Dissociation

The worst case flow assurance scenario requires care and knowledge of the hazards. Hydrafact provides expert technical advice on the best strategy to remove blockages safely and quickly. Over the years, we have helped numerous clients avoid and deal with hydrate blockages. Sometimes all it takes a quick call to avoid a serious problem. From locating the plug, to safe and speedy removal, we are always on hand to provide expert technical advice on dealing with hydrate blockages, ensuring you are back up and producing in the shortest time possible.

Technical Expertise

Gas hydrate technical studies we offer include:

Hydrate measurements for multicomponent systems containing

  • Gas (natural gas, CO2...) and liquid hydrocarbons (oil, gas condensate...)
  • Condensed water and formation brines
  • Organic inhibitors (alcohols, glycols...)
  • Drilling muds and completion fluids
  • Wax (e.g. solids co-precipitation studies) and inhibitors
  • Corrosion inhibitors
  • Hydraulic fluids
  • Process/product gases/liquids and chemicals

Phase compositional analyses

  • Amount and composition of hydrates
  • Aqueous and hydrocarbon phase compositions
  • Inhibitor (e.g. methanol) loss to the vapour phase
  • Water content of natural gases
  • Simulation of various production scenarios (e.g. subsea separation)

Low Dosage Hydrate Inhibitor (LDHI) performance and screening

  • Kinetic inhibitor (KHI) induction times
  • Hydrate formation and dissociation rates
  • Simulation of various operating scenarios (e.g. shut-in, start-up)
  • Compatibility of other production chemicals (e.g. corrosion inhibitors)

Anti-Agglomerant performance and Cold Flow/Hydraflow studies

  • Viscosity of hydrate/water/oil slurries
  • Effect of water cut, salt, natural inhibitors
  • Simulation of various operating scenarios

Flow loop studies

  • LDHI assessment
  • AA performance
  • Cold Flow/Hydraflow development
  • Hydrate monitoring and early warning systems

Hydrate blockage removal and other studies

  • Removal of hydrate blockages in wells and flowlines
  • Hydrate formation, prevention and plug removal during shut-down and start-up
  • Hydrate formation/prevention in chokes and control valves
  • Hydrate formation risks in HIPPS impulse lines

Wax deposition in pipelines and risers is an on going challenge for operators, and can have a significant effect on oil production efficiency. Build-up in pipelines can cause increased pressure drops, resulting in reduced throughput and thus reduced revenue. In more extreme cases, pipelines/processing facilities can plug, halting production and leading to potentially huge losses in earnings.

As a result of increasing understanding of the problems of wax deposition, there are now successful preventative solutions, including chemical treatments and hot oiling. As well as this, Hydrafact have developed a number of reliable in-house methods for studies of heavy hydrocarbon solids deposition in crude oils, including novel QCM and cold finger techniques.

Wax technical services we offer include:

  • Wax appearance and disappearance temperatures (WAT/WDT)
  • Wax formation/dissolution rates
  • High pressure studies
  • Wax inhibitor performance assessment

Asphaltene deposition can present a major flow assurance challenge. Deposition can occur in various parts of the production system including well tubing, surface flow lines and even near the wellbore. The conditions of asphaltene deposition are controlled by factors such as pressure, temperature, composition and flow regime. Asphaltene deposition and fouling of flowlines/facilities can greatly reduce productivity and increase operational costs through the requirement for frequent chemical treatment and removal of deposits.

Asphaltene technical services we offer include:

  • Asphaltene content determination (ASTM D 6560)
  • Asphaltene deposition at high pressure conditions

Hydrafact has acquired extensive experience relating to phase behaviour and properties of CO2- Rich systems in the presence or absence of water and oil. Our experimental facilities include:

  • Chilled Mirror for determining dew point and dehydration requirements to avoid water condensation, ice and/or hydrate formation
  • Microview Compact Hygrometer for measuring the amount of water in CO2-rich systems
  • Tuneable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) for determining the amount of water in gas phase
  • Test facilities, including low temperature bath (-80°C) and Anton Paar densitometer, for bubble point and density measurements for CO2-rich systems (e.g., effect of impurities)
  • Anton Paar Rheometer and capillary tube for viscosity measurements
  • Pendant drop and capillary rise for interfacial tension measurements
  • Slim tube facilities for Minimum Miscibility Pressure (MMP) measurements
  • High pressure glass micro model and visual cells for simulating CO2 injection in depleted reservoirs or saline aquifers

In addition, our comprehensive thermodynamic model HydraFLASH has been tuning and validated using literature and in-house data for predicting phase behaviour and properties of CO2-rich systems.

Recent CO2 Projects

  • Risk of Hydrate Formation in Low Water Content CO2 and Rich CO2 Systems
  • Water Content Measurements of Different Gas Mixtures With Varying Carbon Dioxide Content in Equilibrium with Hydrates, Phases 1 and 2
  • Experimental and Modelling Study of Vapour Liquid Hydrate Equilibria of Carbon Dioxide Hydrates
  • Wytch Farm Slim Tube Displacement and PVT Tests
  • Water Content of CO2-Rich Fluids in Equilibrium with Hydrates
  • Equilibrium Experiments and Modelling of CO2 With CH4 and Low H2O Concentrations
  • Risk of Water Condensation and Hydrate Formation in Pipeline Transportation of CO2-Rich Systems
  • Bubble Point and Density Measurements For a CO2/H2 Binary Mixture, 5 Mole% H2
  • Bubble Point and Density Measurements For a CO2/N2 Binary Mixture, 5 Mole% N2
  • Salt Deposition Due to Injection of CO2 into a Highly Saturated Saline Aquifer
  • Measurement and Modelling of CO2 Frost Points in the CO2-Methane Systems
  • Role of CO2 Hydrates in Subsurface Storage of CO2
  • Monitoring CO2 Diffusion in Subsea Sediments
  • IFT Measurement in CO2-Oil Systems
  • CO2 Hydrate Formation in Subsea Sediments

The precipitation of salt (e.g. NaCl, KCl) is a serious problem and can block the flow path of hydrocarbons. Salt scaling is particularly severe in wells with high saline (>200 g/l) formation brines which may be near saturation with respect to sodium chloride. The phenomena occurs more frequently in gas wells than in oil wells, and can be caused by low pressures, decreasing temperatures and/or the addition of organic hydrate inhibitors.

Salts readily adhere to surfaces, particularly rough surfaces, and are capable of forming very dense plugs, severely restricting flow and thus production efficiency.

Salt deposition technical services we offer include:

  • Measurement of salt solubility at surface and reservoir conditions, including the effects of organic inhibitors
  • Assessment of salt inhibitors (e.g. crystal grow modifiers) on deposition conditions and surface adherence

Advanced...

Hydrafact has advanced experimental facilities that span a wide range of PT conditions, from very low (-80°C) to very high temperatures (400°C), and from vacuum to ultra-high pressures ( 30,000 psia / 2 kbar).

Hydrafact has combined the laboratory facilities of the Centre for Gas Hydrate Research (CGHR) and Centre for Flow Assurance Research (C-FAR) with our own providing access to some of the most advanced laboratory equipment worldwide.

The majority of our set-ups are custom built in-house based on designs developed through many years of R&D experience and a full scope of our capabilities can be viewed in the following brochure: Hydrafact Facilities

Laboratory...

  • H2S Laboratory
  • Autoclave cells
  • Rocking cells
  • Windowed / visual cells
  • Capillary sampling cells
  • QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance) cells
  • Resistivity/conductivity and ultrasonic cells
  • Gas water equilibrium cell and water content measurement
  • Advanced cells for simulating flow through chokes and Joule-Thomson effect
  • 40 m flow loop
  • High-pressure micromodels

Facilities...

  • Combined gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM)
  • Sediment ultrasonic cells
  • Porous media cells
  • Micromodels
  • VLE Ebulliometer
  • Differential Thermal Analysis
  • High pressure Rheometer
  • Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectrometer