Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Chemical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology



Asphaltene-induced formation damage is one of the complicated processes of permeability damage in porous media, particularly in the near-wellbore area. Asphaltene particles precipitate out of the bulk fluid phase during production as a consequence of pressure drop, which may reduce permeability owing to both deposition of asphaltene nanoparticles on porous media surfaces and plugging of pore throats by larger asphaltene agglomerates. Asphaltene precipitation and deposition in production tubes and surface facilities are well-documented concerns, and many solutions for managing them are available. However, the effects of asphaltene in the reservoir, particularly in the near-wellbore zone, are little known. In this study, using an artificial porous medium, experimental data on pressure drop due to changes in parameters such as flow rate, type of precipitant n-alkane solvent (N-heptane alkane solvent and n-decane are used), and percentage of precipitant were obtained. Next, the amount of permeability reduction due to asphaltene deposition in a porous medium has been calculated. To identify the dominant mechanism in reducing clogging, experimental data was fitted with the proposed quasi-experimental models at different time intervals. One of the study's accomplishments was determining the major mechanism of permeability reduction (in vitro) using a reasonably basic model with the least dependent parameters and a decent approximation. According to the findings, pore throat plugging becomes the dominant mechanism of permeability reduction, although filtration cake formation and surface deposition may exist during the tests.


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