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Hydrate inhibitor assessment with Multiflash

An engineering service company based in Europe appointed KBC to assess hydrate inhibition strategies within an oil flow assurance study in the North Sea.

The challenge

The reservoir fluid was contaminated with seawater and, therefore, carried a significant amount of dissolved salts. Amounts of inhibitor required in previous estimates had had significant negative economic impact, as well as a severe risk of scales and corrosion.

Solution

KBC conducted a full evaluation of the amount of inhibitor required to suppress the formation of hydrates at given operating conditions. Using Multiflash, which is capable of rigorously modeling the partitioning of polar components and mixed solvents in the presence of ions and electrolytes, KBC demonstrated that the required amount of inhibitor was significantly lower than that previously estimated with simpler modelling techniques.

Specifically, KBC showed that:

  • The inhibition effect of methanol was previously underestimated
  • The enhancing effect of salts in the inhibition process was grossly underestimated in previous estimates
  • At operating conditions, only one-quarter of the amount of methanol originally estimated was needed to suppress hydrates
  • Significant savings were achievable by sizing facilities correctly and estimating the correct amount of required inhibitor

The results

The customer achieved significant savings in terms of chemicals injection and capital investment in processing equipment.

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