Polymer Gel Capture SynPOL Trial

SDI SynPOL was installed at a problematic AB well site for a 16 day trial. The well produced fluid consisting of 15°API oil with gel-polymer-water solution with intermittent slugging.


•Differential Pressure staying below 100psi
•Bringing the well online without causing issues at the plant

A 21007A SynPOL was installed on a wellsite in Alberta. Installation was completed and the well started up on October 3, 2019; the SynPOL was removed on October 19, 2019 for a total trial length of approximately 16.5 days. For the first two days of the trial, a filter composed of 200-micron plates was installed. Due to a higher than desired pressure differential as a result of significant gel production, the 200-micron filter was changed out for a 400-micron filter. Filters are capable of stopping particles 1/3 of the gap size so a 200-micron plate spacing will stop 67 micron particles and 400-micron plate spacing will stop 133-micron particles maximum pressure differential encountered were 1719 kPa (240 PSI) with the 200-micron (nominal gap 150-micron) configuration, and 725 kPa (105 PSI) with the 400-micron(nominal gap 300-micron). There were many uniquely challenging factors during trial, the primary of which was the produced fluid consisting of 15°API oil with a gel-polymer-water solution, with slugging present. Bringing the well back online also posed operational challenges due to the problems it caused when it was last flowing in May 2019. According to client feedback, there was no degradation seen in the bag filter performance at the battery, indicating that the SynPOL was successful at dealing with 100% the problematic gel being produced.

The SynPOL performed eefficiently and successfully throughout the trial. At every clean-out, substantial amounts of gel were removed from the SynPOL. Furthermore, despite the higher pressure differential, no damage on the filter elements was ever found. Both filter configurations installed, 200-micron and 400-micron, were successful at separating gel from the production stream. The 200-micron configuration experienced a peak pressure differential of 1719 kPa (249 PSI), while the 400-micron differential configuration only reached 725 kPa (105 PSI). Of initial concern during the trial was the well’s slugging behavior coupled with the very viscous produced fluid stream, composed of 15°API oil and a gel-polymer-water mixture. These factors lead to an increase in pressure differential but did not lead to any other SynPOL issues. Lastly, there was zero negative impact to bag filter performance at the client’s battery as a result of bringing the well back online. This was monitored through the clients SCADA. In the past, the well was shut-in due to the problems it caused to operations; zero decrease in bag filter performance indicates that the SynPOL was addressing the issues presented by the well previously. Overall, the trial was a success.

All of SDI’s line of filters are fully capable of being dumped on the y so the well does not have to be shut in to backflush or wash the filter. This option mitigates exposure to personnel. Our SynPOL filter was in sweet service and opened and inspected at each clean-out so samples could be taken and the client could visually see the SynPOL filter in action.

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