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Scale and other tubing-wall coatings are a common problem in the oilpatch, and many chemical inhibitors and scraper jobs are sold to address the flow restriction caused by buildups. Crude oil’s chemical mix is at equilibrium in the reservoir, but is disturbed by production. Drops in pressure and temperature destabilize it, producing crystallization and corrosive reactions with the tubing. Reaction products nucleate to the tubing wall, forming scales.
However, there is always some new chemical, device or unusual technology from another industry being tested to overcome scale. Water treatment, boilers and desalination plants have similar scaling problems. Identifying a process called Kronenberg platelet formation, proponents of magnets say that strong magnetic flux can prevent scale.
Now, understand that magnets have been tried for scale reduction for many years with mixed results, and no one has scientific proof of how magnetism might affect flowing crude.
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Houston, TX - November 4-5
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