Previous studies have shown that different parameters such as reservoir conditions (e.g., pressure, temperature, and brine chemistry) and wellbore hydraulics influence the scaling tendency of minerals on the surfaces of completion tools in conventional resources. Although different studies have investigated the suitable conditions for the precipitation of scaling minerals, there is still a lack of understanding about the composition of the scaling materials deposited on the surfaces of completion tools in thermal wells. In this study, we presented a laboratory workflow combined with a predictive toolbox to evaluate the scaling tendency of minerals for different downhole conditions in thermal wells. First, the scaling indexes (SIs) of minerals are calculated for five water samples produced from thermal wells located in the Athabasca and Cold Lake areas in Canada using the Pitzer theory. Then, different characterization methods, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and colorimetric and dry combustion analyses, have been applied to characterize the mineral composition of scale deposits collected from the surfaces of the completion tools. The results of the SI calculations showed that the scaling tendency of calcite/aragonite and Fe-based corrosion products is positive, suggesting that these minerals can likely deposit on the surfaces of completion tools. The characterization results confirmed the results of the Scaling Index calculations. The SEM/EDS and ICP-MS characterizations showed that carbonates, Mg-based silicates and Fe-based corrosion products are the main scaling components. The results of dry combustion analysis showed that the concentration of organic matter in the scale deposits is not negligible. The workflow presented in this study provides valuable insight to the industry to evaluate the possibility of scaling issues under different downhole conditions.
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