scale inhibitor | Energy Glossary

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scale inhibitor

1. n. [Well Completions]

A chemical treatment used to control or prevent scale deposition in the production conduit or completion system. Scale-inhibitor chemicals may be continuously injected through a downhole injection point in the completion, or periodic squeeze treatments may be undertaken to place the inhibitor in the reservoir matrix for subsequent commingling with produced fluids. Some scale-inhibitor systems integrate scale inhibitors and fracture treatments into one step, which guarantees that the entire well is treated with scale inhibitor. In this type of treatment, a high-efficiency scale inhibitor is pumped into the matrix surrounding the fracture face during leakoff. It adsorbs to the matrix during pumping until the fracture begins to produce water. As water passes through the inhibitor-adsorbed zone, it dissolves sufficient inhibitor to prevent scale deposition. The inhibitor is better placed than in a conventional scale-inhibitor squeeze, which reduces the retreatment cost and improves production.

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See: scale removal