DWO 2015: Baker Hughes introduces high-performance asphaltene inhibitor

Offshore staff

GALVESTON, Texas Baker Hughes announced the commercial release of its low-dosage FATHOM XT SUBSEA525 inhibitor that helps control asphaltene deposition in deepwater wells, with the aim of improving flow assurance and reducing remediation costs by minimizing the risk of blockages in production lines and equipment.

During production, crude oils can deposit asphaltenes inside pumps and pipes, creating serious production issues such as plugged flowlines and clogged equipment, resulting in the need to stop operations and perform a costly remediation procedure to get production back online at acceptable levels. Many times, these procedures only offer temporary relief. To lessen the risk of asphaltene deposition and enhance flow, the FATHOM XT inhibitor can be applied at low treatment levels during initial production and throughout the life of the well. The low dosage rate simplifies supply logistics, reduces onsite storage and lowers handling risk.

“Today, improving production while minimizing operating costs is one of the most critical challenges facing our customers,” said Ruben DeVelasco, vice president, Upstream Chemicals at Baker Hughes. “We developed the new, low-dosage FATHOM XT inhibitor to help protect subsea pipelines and other equipment from asphaltene deposition, and umbilical lines and capillary tubing systems from plugging or failures, enhancing our customers’ production output with less remediation downtime than was previously possible.”

Baker Hughes tests and qualifies all FATHOM XT chemicals for materials compatibility and reliability using the company’s proprietary 16-test qualification protocol. The test protocol is based on the American Petroleum Institute’s specification standard 17TR6, Attributes of Production Chemicals in Subsea Production Systems. The FATHOM XT SUBSEA525 inhibitor is the first of a new line of asphaltene inhibitors. 

This new line of asphaltene inhibitors was developed using the company’s new laboratory evaluation method, the Analytical Centrifuge Stability Analysis for Asphaltenes or ACSAA method. This enables Baker Hughes to evaluate the stability of asphaltenes in various crude oils, and monitor the effectiveness of field treatments. Using these data, the company can more precisely develop fit-for-purpose inhibitors for specific crude types and well conditions.  


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