US 9,810,040 B2
Methods for inhibiting scale formation in a hydrocarbon well
Timothy I. Morrow, Humble, TX (US); and Geetha Mahadevan, The Woodlands, TX (US)
Assigned to ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, Spring, TX (US)
Filed by Timothy I. Morrow, Humble, TX (US); and Geetha Mahadevan, The Woodlands, TX (US)
Filed on Sep. 25, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/865,042.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/180,833, filed on Jun. 17, 2015.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/096,252, filed on Dec. 23, 2014.
Prior Publication US 2016/0177672 A1, Jun. 23, 2016
Int. Cl. E21B 37/06 (2006.01); C09K 8/528 (2006.01)
CPC E21B 37/06 (2013.01) [C09K 8/528 (2013.01); C09K 2208/32 (2013.01)] 20 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method of inhibiting scale formation in a hydrocarbon well that extends within a subterranean formation, the method comprising:
locating a selective-release scale inhibitor within a portion of the subterranean formation, wherein the selective-release scale inhibitor is configured to be at least substantially insoluble in hydrocarbons;
producing a reservoir fluid from the subterranean formation via the hydrocarbon well; and
facilitating a change in environmental conditions present within the portion of the subterranean formation from initial environmental conditions, in which the selective-release scale inhibitor is at least substantially insoluble in water, to subsequent environmental conditions, in which the selective-release scale inhibitor is soluble in water, wherein the facilitating includes initiating dissolution of the selective-release scale inhibitor responsive to fluid contact between the selective-release scale inhibitor and water at the subsequent environmental conditions;
wherein the selective-release scale inhibitor is a first selective-release scale inhibitor, and further wherein the method includes locating a second selective-release scale inhibitor within the portion of the subterranean formation, wherein dissolution of the second selective-release scale inhibitor in water suppresses dissolution of the first selective-release scale inhibitor within water.