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Flow Assurance (FA) -- Overview

The energy industry now has a focus on finding and producing oil and gas from reservoirs located in deep water. The recent finds in the Gulf of Mexico in over 3,000' of water (and as deep as 10,000' feet of water -- 2 miles depth !!) will be a significant help to the U.S. in its goal to achieve energy independence.

(the successful transportation of produced fluids in pipelines in long pipelines (many miles) in a harsh environment) is a major hurdle for technical and economic success in such deep water projects. In particular, the challenge here is to move the produced oil, gas, and water from wells located at the bottom of the sea floor to platforms located in more shallow water. The fluids are subjected to cold ocean temperatures and large pressure changes that may cause them to be unstable and thereby create problems.

Significant FA concerns include:

Wax DepositionViscous EmulsionsInorganic Scale DepositionPipe Corrosion

    Wax Deposition              Viscous Emulsions        Inorganic Scale Deposition      Pipe Corrosion


Project 1: Prevention of wax deposition -- sponsored by ChevronTexaco
Project 2: Prevention of viscous oil-water emulsions -- sponsored by ChevronTexaco
Project 3: Advanced molecular dynamic calculations to develop improved inorganic scale dissolvers and corrosion inhibitors --- sponsored by ChevronTexaco.