Crude Oil Emulsions: Occurrence and Chemical Destabilization

Recorded On: 04/28/2022

Water-in-crude oil emulsions are practically unavoidable during crude oil production and transportation. Mechanical energy imposed by pumps, elbows and pipe reductions facilitates dispersions of water (brine) in liquid hydrocarbons. The presence of natural emulsifiers (e.g., asphaltenes, acids, inorganic solids, waxes) significantly increases the stability of the formed emulsions and thus the associated problems, such as high viscosity, corrosion of pipes/equipment, and quality reduction of the produced crude oil.

Separation of crude oil emulsions (known as dehydration) involves mechanical and chemical methods, whose main goal is to destabilize the interfacial film that prevents/delays the coalescence of water droplets.  Many families of surfactants have been used as crude oil demulsifiers over the last century, with trial-and-error criteria as the basis of their selection. The application of the physicochemical formulation of Surfactant-Oil-Water (SOW) systems represents a systematic way to quantify the main variables involves in the breaking of water-in-crude oil emulsions and allows to reduce the uncertainty in selecting the proper demulsifier. The ideal situation for crude oil demulsification is attained when the demulsifier affinity for both oil and water is balanced. In this condition, known as optimum formulation, emulsion stability reaches a minimum and water can be separated in a relatively short period of time. This webinar provides a general overview of the main crude oil dehydration processes, with emphasis in the use of the optimum formulation concept as a tool to optimize the demulsifier selection.

This webinar is categorized under the Production and Operations technical discipline.

All content contained within this webinar is copyrighted by Dr. Jose Delgado and its use and/or reproduction outside the portal requires express permission from Dr. Jose Delgado.

Dr. Jose Delgado

Dr. Jose Delgado is a Research Associate Professor in the Center for Hydrate Research at Colorado School of Mines. He earned a BS and a MS in Chemical Engineering, and a PhD in Applied Sciences from the University of The Andes (Venezuela). He has been visiting scholar at the French Institute of Petroleum (France). Over the past 20 years, he has been involved in teaching and research on crude oil dehydration, emulsions, asphaltene interfacial properties, gas hydrates and flow assurance. His current research is focused on the role of crude oil natural surfactants on the gas hydrate anti-agglomeration.

Nikhil Joshi (Moderator)

Nikhil Joshi is the Director of Innovation and Technology at Talos Energy. In his current role, Nikhil is focused on energy transition and use of current O&G skillsets to be applied towards carbon capture and sequestration, hydrogen, geothermal and wind power generation, among others. He has written over 50 technical papers and presented at several events and enjoys bringing non-conventional technical and commercial solutions to non-trivial challenges.

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Crude Oil Emulsions: Occurrence and Chemical Destabilization
04/28/2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
04/28/2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
20 Questions
Live and Archive Viewing: 0.10 CEU/1 PDH credits and certificate available
Live and Archive Viewing: 0.10 CEU/1 PDH credits and certificate available