EFFECT OF HYDRATE FORMATION/DISSOCIATION ON EMULSION STABILITY USING DSC AND VISUAL TECHNIQUES Lachance, Jason W.; Sloan, E. Dendy; Koh, Carolyn A.
The flow assurance industry is progressively moving away from avoidance of hydrate formation towards risk management. Risk management allows hydrates to form but prevents hydrates from agglomerating and forming a plug, or delays hydrate formation within the timescale of the residence time of the water in the hydrate-prone section of the flow line. A key factor in risk management for an oil-dominated system is the stability of the emulsified water with gas hydrate formation. It is shown using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) that gas hydrate formation and dissociation has a destabilizing effect on W/O emulsions, and can even lead to a free water phase through agglomeration and coalescence of dissociated hydrate particles. Gas hydrate formation/dissociation has been shown to cause rapid hydrate agglomeration and emulsion destabilization. High asphaltene content crude oils are shown to resist hydrate destabilization of the emulsion.
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