Core Lab welcomes Guardian Global Technologies as part of the Core Lab Team! Click here to learn about Guardian and their complementary next generation Production Enhancement technologies.

Reservoir Fluids

Flow Assurance

There are many naturally occurring substances within hydrocarbon systems that can hinder the transport of fluids from reservoir to final destination. Flow assurance programs encompass multiple disciplines and tests designed to identify and mitigate these obstacles and ensure economic and uninterrupted flow of hydrocarbons. Solids such as asphaltenes, waxes, hydrates and inorganic scale, can all cause blockages and transportation problems. Early detection is essential to a productive reservoir.



The flocculation and deposition of asphaltenes in the reservoir, wellbore and surface facilities is a major concern to oil companies as it may reduce oil production as well as result in increased downtime and costs for remedial treatment. An understanding of the conditions at which asphaltenes will flocculate can help Oil Companies operate their reservoir and facilities more effectively. Asphaltene flocculation can be caused by ...

  • Pressure reduction in the reservoir or production facilities
  • Injection of gas/solvent associated with Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) or pressure maintenance
  • Gas lift
  • Commingling of fluids at surface

Core Lab's equipment allows for a variety of imaging experiments including isothermal depressurization experiments, titration experiments, particle size distributions and solids onset determinations. Visual as well as Near-Infrared (NIR) detection systems add to the accuracy of onset determination.



Stock tank oil determination of wax appearance temperature (WAT) and wax dissolution temperature can be determined through the use of cross polar microscopy (CPM) or Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC). Live fluid WAT can be determined using Near-Infrared (NIR) system or PFI equipment. High temperature gas chromatography is used to identify the paraffin distribution in a reservoir fluid, which together with the WAT, is used to tune deposition models.


Hydrates are the crystalline cage-like hydrogen bonded solid lattice of water containing trapped molecules of hydrocarbon gas. Hydrates are important in the oil and natural gas industries because many processes involve treating streams where water and hydrocarbons are in contact. If the conditions of temperature and pressure are right, a stable hydrate phase may form. These hydrates can block pipe and other process equipment, reducing operational life, cutting revenue and represent a serious safety hazard.

Inorganic Scale

Inorganic Scale

Inorganic scale results from chemical reactions induced by thermodynamic changes, fluid mixing or corrosion. Inorganic scale can be crystalline or amorphous depending on the source. Almost all scale requires the presence of water to form. Inorganic scale forms when the ionic balance of the host water is disturbed. Changes to water chemistry are usually the result of changing P&T conditions, blending incompatible waters or corrosion (interaction with metals).

Geochemical software is available that can predict the thermodynamic onset conditions for scale based on water chemistry or blended water compositions. These predictions depend largely on the solubility values calculated from ionic concentrations in the water and often ignore the change in chemistry from flashing the solution gas. In practical application, laboratory tests are recommended to refine and prove the models.

By your continued use of our website you agree to Core Lab's usage of cookies. More Information