The Flow Assurance and Scale Team (FAST) is a group of over 25 academics, researchers, research students, technicians and support staff, based mainly at Heriot-Watt University and also at the University of Leeds.
FAST deliver research and consultancy, focusing primarily on the management of oilfield scale. Mineral scales such as barium sulphate (BaSO4) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) can form in oil production wells (and in the reservoir) and this can lead to some severe and expensive production problems. One of the best approaches to managing oilfield scale is to apply chemical scale inhibitors which are a range of chemicals (organic phosphonates and polymeric materials) which can prevent the scale from forming. These scale inhibitors are sometimes injected into the near-well formation of the producer well in a so-called “squeeze” treatment. They are retained in the formation after the producer well comes back on stream by two main mechanisms, adsorption and precipitation. These processes can be simulated in reactive transport models and the group have developed the main model used in the industry, SQUEEZE; this code has been used to design 10s of thousands of scale inhibitor “squeeze” treatment in many oilfields around the world.
All of our work is available to our sponsors on our FAST website where some general public information is also given.