Characterisation of carbonaceous deposition in oil exposed surfaces at the nanoscale
© 2016 IEEE. Carbonaceous deposits in oil exposed surfaces are responsible for compromising performance and reducing profitability across the hydrocarbons value chain. In particular, in upstream operation, fouling between the well and the production facility has been found to reduce flow, availability and reliability resulting in lost production. Thus, a better understanding of the processes leading to the deposition of these complex and heavy organic compounds is required, since it is unclear whether they primarily aggregate in the liquid phase or at the liquid-solid interface. In an effort to understand the mechanisms behind deposition, this study uses different modalities of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to characterise relevant metallic, oil exposed surfaces with deposits already on them. More specifically, in this post-mortem analysis, surfaces exposed to oil with and without the presence of an inhibitor are imaged in an effort to pinpoint the effect of the inhibitor on deposition.