Hydrates & Flow Assurance

Natural_HydrateThe global demand for energy is expected to increase 50% by 2030, requiring the production of remote oil and gas fields in deep water. To succeed in meeting this demand we must deepen our understanding of how high-value fluids travel under these extreme conditions. Flow assurance entails the management and avoidance, when possible, of solid particles or deposits in pipelines, which can result in environmental, operational, and safety hazards. Gas hydrate is a chief flow assurance concern, as this ice-like solid forms through the contact of natural gas and water at high pressure. Hydrate blockages represent a global obstacle to the successful production of deep-water assets.

Our research in the Hydrates and Flow Assurance area aims to address two key questions:
1. How do we quantify the risk of a pipeline blockage in harsh environments?
2. What operational and chemical strategies can we develop to minimise this risk?

Hydrate_GrowthThe laboratory operates with a blend of experimental and computational investigation. Microscopic facilities focus on probing interfacial phenomena, such as detecting initial hydrate growth and the energy bound between hydrate and oil phases; this information is used to capture fundamental information about how hydrate-containing systems are organised. The laboratory also deploys macroscopic experiments to study how hydrate plugs form and melt; these data are used to (i) test hypotheses from microscopic experiments and (ii) produce industrially relevant heuristics and models to address the above questions. The laboratory uses computational investigations to test the behavior and sensitivities of these models; this information in turn guides the design and execution of future experiments.

Publications

Journal

Gas Hydrate Thermodynamic Inhibition with MDEA for Reduced MEG Circulation

M Akhfash, M Arjmandi, ZM Aman, JA Boxall, EF May
Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data In Press, –
Reference Link

2017
Journal

Reduction of Clathrate Hydrate Film Growth Rate by Naturally-Occurring Surface Active Components

SA Morrissy, AJ McKenzie, BF Graham, ML Johns, EF May, ZM Aman
Energy & Fuels In Press, –
Reference Link

2017
Journal

Microscale Detection of Hydrate Blockage Onset in High-Pressure Gas–Water Systems

M Akhfash, AM Aman, J Du, PF Pickering, ML Johns, CA Koh, EF May
Energy & Fuels In Press, –
Reference Link

2017
Journal

Gas Hydrate Plug Formation in Partially Dispersed Water-Oil Systems

M Akhfash, ZM Aman, SY Ahn, ML Johns, EF May
Chemical Engineering Science 140, 337–347
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Hydrate Plug Dissociation via Active Heating: Uniform Heating and a Simple Predictive Model

JA Boxall, SH Ng, ZM Aman, BWE Norris, TJ Hughes, K Ioannou, EF May
Energy & Fuels 30 (11), 9275–9284
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Rapid Assessments of Hydrate Blockage Risk in Oil-Continuous Flowlines

BWE Norris, LE Zerpa, CA Koh, ML Johns, EF May, ZM Aman
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 30, 284–294
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Interfacial Phenomena in Gas Hydrate Systems

ZM Aman, CA Koh
Chemical Society Reviews 45, 1678–1690
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Raman Spectroscopic Studies of Clathrate Hydrate Formation in the Presence of Hydrophobized Particles

H Li, P Stanwix, ZM Aman, ML Johns, EF May, L Wang
Journal of Physical Chemistry A 120 (3), 417–424
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Hydrate formation and deposition in a gas-dominant flowloop: Initial studies of the effect of velocity and subcooling

ZM Aman, M Di-Lorenzo, K Kozielski, CA Koh, P Warrier, ML Johns, EF May
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 35, 1490–1498
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Crystal growth phenomena of CH4 + C3H8 + CO2 ternary gas hydrate systems

ZT Ward, ML Johns, EF May, CA Koh, ZM Aman
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 35, 1426–1434
Reference Link

2016
Journal

The application of risk-based methods to multilateral well design

LJ Nguyen, PF Pickering, ZM Aman
The APPEA Journal 56 (1), 427–434
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Effect of Brine Salinity on the Stability of Hydrate-in-Oil Dispersions and Water-in-Oil Emulsions

ZM Aman, A Haber, NNA Ling, A Thornton, ML Johns, EF May
Energy & Fuels 29 (12), 7948–7955
Reference Link

2015
Journal

Adhesion force interactions between cyclopentane hydrate and physically and chemically modified surfaces

ZM Aman, ED Sloan, AK Sum, CA Koh
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 16, 25121–25128
Reference Link

2015
Journal

Development of a Tool to Assess Hydrate-Plug-Formation Risk in Oil-Dominant Pipelines

ZM Aman, LE Zerpa, CA Koh, AK Sum
SPE Journal 20, 884–892
Reference Link

2015
Journal

Hydrate plug formation risk with varying watercut and inhibitor concentrations

YH Sohn, J Kim, K Shin, D Chang, Y Seo, ZM Aman, EF May
Chemical Engineering Science 126, 711–718
Reference Link

2015
Journal

Hydrate Shell Growth Measured Using NMR

A Haber, M Akhfash, CK Loh, ZM Aman, EO Fridjonsson, EF May, ML Johns
Langmuir 31, 8786–8794
Reference Link

2015
Journal

Micromechanical Cohesive Force Measurements Between Precipitated Asphaltene Solids and Cyclopentane Hydrates

SA Morrissy, VW Lim, EF May, ML Johns, ZM Aman, BF Graham
Energy & Fuels 29, 6277–6285
Reference Link

2015
Journal

Hydrate Formation in Gas-Dominant Systems Using a Single-Pass Flowloop

M Di Lorenzo, ZM Aman, GS Soto, ML Johns, KA Kozielski, EF May
Energy & Fuels 28, 3043–3052
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Effect of Kinetic Hydrate Inhibitor Polyvinylcaprolactam on Cyclopentane Hydrate Cohesion Forces and Growth

R Wu, ZM Aman, EF May, KA Kozielski, PG Hartley, N Maeda, AK Sum
Energy & Fuels 28, 3632–3637
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Corrosion Inhibitor Interaction at Hydrate-Oil Interfaces from Differential Scanning Calorimetry Measurements

ZM Aman, K Pfeiffer, SJ Vogt, ML Johns, EF May
Colloids and Surfaces A 448, 81–87
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Quantitative kinetic inhibitor comparisons and memory effect measurements from hydrate formation probability distributions

EF May, R Wu, MA Kelland, ZM Aman, KA Kozielski, PG Hartley, N Maeda
Chemical Engineering Science 107, 1–12
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Underinhibited Hydrate Formation and Transport Investigated Using a Single-Pass Gas-Dominant Flowloop

M Di Lorenzo, ZM Aman, K Kozielski, BWE Norris, ML Johns, EF May
Energy & Fuels 28, 7274–7284
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Methane hydrate bed formation in a visual autoclave: cold restart and Reynolds number dependence

ZM Aman, M Akhfash, ML Johns, EF May
Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 60, 409–417
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Hydrate Formation and Particle Distributions in Gas–Water Systems

M Akhfash, JA Boxall, ZM Aman, ML Johns, EF May
Chemical Engineering Science 104, 177–188
Reference Link

2013
Journal

Probability Distributions of Gas Hydrate Formation

R Wu, KA Kozielski, PG Hartley, EF May, J Boxall, N Maeda
AIChE Journal 59, 2640–2646

2013
Journal

Measurements of Cohesion Hysteresis between Cyclopentane Hydrates in Liquid Cyclopentane

N Maeda, ZM Aman, KA Kozielski, CA Koh, ED Sloan, AK Sum
Energy & Fuels 27, 5168–5174
Reference Link

2013
Journal

Methane–Propane Mixed Gas Hydrate Film Growth on the Surface of Water and Luvicap EG Solutions

R Wu, KA Kozielski, PG Hartley, EF May, J Boxall, N Maeda
Energy & Fuels 27, 2548–2554
Reference Link

2013
Journal

Measurement and Modeling of Hydrate Composition during Formation of Clathrate Hydrate from Gas Mixtures

TJ Hughes, KN Marsh
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 50, 694–700
Reference Link

2011
Journal

Methane Semi-Clathrate Hydrate Phase Equilibria with Tetraisopentylammonium Fluoride

TJ Hughes, KN Marsh
Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 56, 4597–4603
Reference Link

2011