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A Fast Measurement of Asphaltene Onset Pressure
SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering  (IF2.25),  Pub Date : 2020-08-01, DOI: 10.2118/199900-pa
Sullivan, M., Smythe, E. J., Fukagawa, S., Harrison, C., Dumont, Hadrien, Borman, C.

A technique to quickly determine the asphaltene onset pressure (AOP) of a crude oil from low-volume, nonequilibrium measurements is presented. The pressure at which the optical signature indicative of asphaltene aggregation is first detected in recombined crude oils is found to decrease strongly with the rate of depressurization and can be well-described with a modified power law. This technique exploits this rate dependence and uses two separate decompressions at highly disparate depressurization rates to determine the AOP. Benchmarking with this technique was performed with recombined crude oils that were characterized with conventional pressure/ volume/temperature analysis. Using this technique, measurements enabling the determination of the AOP of a live crude oil can be obtained in minutes with a nominal uncertainty of 500 psi. This is a significant reduction in time compared with the multihour process used for conventional equilibrium-based measurements. Onset-time data from these studies are consistent with conventional aggregation theories, but there is insufficient range to differentiate between reaction-limited aggregation (RLA) and diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA).