Investigation of BaSO4 solubility in complex conditions

An experimental investigation of BaSO4 solubility in relevant conditions of the North Sea reservoirs, coupled with thermodynamic modelling of complex electrolyte solutions.

Flow assurance is a major challenge in the oil and gas and geothermal energy industry. The precipitation of BaSO4 decreases the capacity of the installed pipelines and prevents the production of the desired fluids. The consequence is a loss of immediate income but also a possible loss of production for up to 50% of the reservoir.


In order to tackle this problem, a more advanced understanding or BaSO4 solubility is needed. The current literature data and thermodynamic model could provide a reasonably accurate knowledge of BaSO4 solubility in simple electrolyte solutions and low temperature and pressure conditions. However, the accuracy and quantity of data at more harsh conditions are rather limited.


In this project, we aim at constructing a reliable method to measure BaSO4 solubility at high temperature and pressure conditions in the electrolyte environments similar to the production facilities. We also aim at further improve our Extended UNIQUAC model to provide better prediction of BaSO4 solubility for such scenarios.


Kaj Thomsen
DTU Chemical Engineering