Geophysical monitoring of upstream FeS formation

Project: Research

Project Details


Iron sulfide scale is a known problem that can significantly impact oil and gas production. Current monitoring methods cannot detect, and monitor, the problem until it is too late to correct this problem. Spectral induced polarization (SIP), an established mining exploration geophysical method, recently has been widely adopted for near surface environmental investigations. The unique properties, mainly sensitivity to interfacial properties, that enabled SIP to become a major environmental tool, are also ideal for FeS scale characterization and quantification. Indeed, preliminary research on FeS monitoring for sediment remediation strongly suggests that SIP is very sensitive to FeS deposition and transformations. It is only logical to extend the SIP applications in FeS characterization for oil and gas production. The SIP method is the perfect tool to characterize, monitor, and quantify FeS since it is known to be sensitive to the surface properties of materials, with emphasis on metallic targets. Since FeS scale is essentially the formation of a new metallic mineral phase, it only makes sense to use SIP to characterize and monitor such processes. SIP spectral signal contain information on the target (FeS in our case) physical characteristics (e.g. grain size, geometry, roughness, morphology) as well as total volume and distribution within the area of interest. Proper SIP data processing, and interpretation allows for the deconvolution of the recorded signal to extract such information. The proposed project will explore the SIP - FeS links in multiple scale and approaches. The first step is the theoretical study of the relationship, using multiphysics models (e.g. comsol). Theoretical understanding of the SIP advantages, and limitations, in regards to FeS scale will allow us to optimize the laboratory testing, the 2nd crucial step. Column laboratory experiments will enable us to define accuracy and resolution limits, and establish the quantitative relationships that can transform SIP signals to FeS properties. We will explore the impact on SIP of different concentrations of FeS in a variety of host media, along with different FeS phases (e.g. crystalline vs amorphous). Furthermore, the proper measuring and processing protocols will be defined. The final objective is to develop a comprehensive protocol that will allow to use the SIP method in common field settings (e.g. boreholes) to minimize the impact of FeS scale due to early detection and characterization.
Effective start/end date1/10/2130/09/22


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