Water, produced and used in a variety of industries and processes, contains dissolved minerals that if not treated or removed will form hard scales and deposits. They can plug wells, rock formations, drilling and flow control equipment in the oil and natural gas market, as well as foul and plug heat transfer equipment, pumps and valves in the industrial and cleaning markets leading to severe losses in production, efficiencies, downtime and costly equipment replacements.
Of special interest is the use of significant amounts of fresh water in various parts of the country to control and minimize the effects of high salinity brines in shale oilfields. This is done to protect wells, pumps and shale formations from becoming scaled-up with salt (halite), costing operators millions of dollars annually in fresh water use, disposal and deferred oil production revenues. High salinity brines also are associated with high levels of iron and iron sulfide deposits becoming an even bigger threat to disrupt oilfield operations.
One of the largest operational expenses in the Bakken shale oilfields and elsewhere is the cost of using fresh water to dilute the high salinity brines in order to control and prevent the precipitation of sodium chloride (halite). The formation of hard halite deposits plug wells leading to catastrophic well failure resulting in lost production, downtime and expensive replacement and repair costs. Millions are spent annually by industry to transport, store, pump and dispose of fresh water not to mention the loss of 10 – 20% in oil production revenues.
Until now, there has been no satisfactory way of treating or preventing this scaling problem other than to pump thousands of barrels of fresh water downhole. Current halite inhibitor use has also been unsatisfactory with the majority being poisonous, carcinogenic, harmful to the environment and dangerous to handle. Although they show performance downhole, it is not sustained in surface equipment such as lines, treaters and separators.
Patented Water-Tek® Bio-D Series copolymer products have proven to safely inhibit and control halite scales while guaranteeing at least a 50% reduction in fresh water use. In addition to reducing disposal costs by 20 – 30 % and improving oil production revenues by 10 -20%, they eliminate the need for other mineral scale inhibitors. GGP copolymer products are biodegradable, non-poisonous, non-toxic, non-hazardous and completely safe.
One of the biggest challenges in oil production is to maximize the flow of oil by minimizing any scaling effects due to the precipitation of minerals in brines associated with most conventional and shale oilfield wells. Once minerals precipitate, they form hard scale deposits that restrict fluid flow leading to catastrophic well failure resulting in lost production, downtime and expensive replacement and repair costs.
Most commercial scale inhibitors used today are phosphonates, acrylic and/or maleic acid polymers, copolymers and terpolymers. None of these traditional inhibitors are biodegradable or environmentally friendly. Most scale inhibitors are only effective on certain types of scales resulting in ultra-high dosages or multiple inhibitor products being used, all leading to increased operation costs.
Scale-Tek® Bio-D Series Aspartyl™ copolymer products are the first multi-functional polymers proven to safely inhibit a variety of mineral scales such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, barium sulfate, strontium sulfate, calcium oxalate and many other scales. These eco-friendly copolymer products are cost effective over a broad range of oilfield conditions and applications.
Patented Iron-Tek® Bio-D Series copolymer products were specifically designed to prevent the interference of iron in oil and gas production operations. They inhibit and disperse iron sulfide along with other mineral scales and are cost effective over a broad range of oilfield conditions and applications. Once iron minerals precipitate, they form hard scale deposits that restrict fluid flow leading to catastrophic well failure resulting in lost production, downtime and expensive replacement and repair costs
GGP developed this family of patented Aspartyl™ eco-friendly copolymer products to prevent iron, either natural or from corrosion processes, that is dissolved in high salinity waters from precipitating and forming hard iron carbonate or sulfide deposits and scales in pipes, pumps and treaters during oil and gas production operations. GGP’s copolymers are environmentally friendly, readily biodegradability and significantly reduce the environmental footprint. They benefit operators with sustained lower operation costs through consistent oil production rates and reduced maintenance and downtime costs.
Minimizing the environmental impact of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is one of the biggest challenges facing the process. A consequence of using fresh water or treated produced water as a fracking fluid is that minerals in the formation dissolve creating a high-solids brine flow-back. Because of localized high temperatures and pressures from the process, the dissolved minerals eventually precipitate, forming hard deposits and scales. This leads to plugged wells, pipes, pumps and impairing the formation itself. The use of conventional chemicals such as scale, corrosion inhibitors, etc. are seen as environmental contaminates and contribute to the expanding footprint and consumer mistrust.
Traditional, non-biodegradable and toxic scale inhibitors have been used in the fracking process raising concerns of contamination of wetlands, waterways, aquifers and spills prompt popular demands to minimize or discontinue the fracking process altogether. GGP’s new catalyzed Aspartyl™ copolymer program prevents and controls all forms of mineral scales thereby becoming the first eco-friendly products introduced that have a decided advantage in reducing fracking’s environmental footprint. In addition, GGP’s copolymer products adsorb into the formation creating slow-release scale protection after the well has been completed and during initial production.
Frack-Tek® Bio-D Series copolymer products are multi-functional and gel-pack compatible and approved. They have proven to safely inhibit a variety of mineral carbonate and sulfate scales including halite and iron sulfide. Scale-Tek® Bio-D Series Aspartyl™ copolymer products when injected into the flow-back, not only reduce scaling tendencies but reduce the need for additional scale inhibitors in either disposal or reconditioning processes.
The global water industry is estimated at $483 billion and growing several percentage points a year, according to Global Water Intelligence. One-fifth of the world’s population lacks access to clean water, and by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in areas where water is scarce.
The versatility of GGP’s proprietary Aspartyl™ copolymer technology in both mineral scale control and dispersion allows for its use in various industrial water treatment, detergent and cleaner applications. Water is highly regarded by industry as an indispensable processing aid as well as being used as an ingredient to make millions of products.
When dissolved minerals in water are not properly treated, any kind of stress put on water such as an increase in temperature, pressure or concentration will cause these minerals to catastrophically precipitate and form hard deposits and scale on the surfaces of most processing equipment.
Particulates such as dirt and precipitated minerals will agglomerate and settle on surfaces as a scale or, in the case of detergents, re-attach to any surface being cleaned. Scale-Tek® Bio-D Series copolymer products are a safe and eco-friendly, responsible replacement for non-biodegradable, toxic and hazardous chemicals and polymers currently used in these applications. Dosage rates and performance are comparable and competitively priced for this expanding market.
Oil spills and leaks occur on bodies of water of all types, including those containing fresh, brackish, or salt (sea) water. Recovery of oil may also be required on beaches and coastal lands. In yet other situations, it may be required to recover oil from a source, such as the side of a vessel. The unwanted material may be any hydrocarbon material, such as crude oil, residual fuel oils, and distilled products such as gasoline, kerosene-type jet fuel, diesel fuel and heating oil.
Various techniques and materials have been used as absorbents in helping to minimize, contain or control contamination resulting from hydrocarbon fuel, oil, and chemical spills. Current available products for spill control include clay, kaolin, silica, silica sand, polypropylene, sodium polyacrylate/polyacrylamide, vermiculite, gypsum, limestone, metal oxides, asphalt, fiberglass, diatomaceous earth, and other materials. Such materials, while showing some function, suffer from many drawbacks: many such products contain silica, which poses a hazard to humans, or are not biodegradable, which is a factor that can limit the options for disposal of the used absorbent material.
GGP offers patented Oil-Tek® Bio-D Series polymer products that are an eco-friendly solution that not only mitigate the spill but offer a sound and safe recovery process for hydrocarbon capture.