Failure Analysis: In-Situ Combustion Injector Well Tubing Failure

Severe plugging of in-situ combustion injector wells was found within 15 months of their commissioning in an on-land oil field in western India. Laboratory investigations were made to establish the cause and identify remedial measures. The tubing sections in the vicinity of the combustion front were exposed to an aggravated oxidation environment followed by moisture and oxygen intrusion through corrosion product. This triggered conversion of magnetite into porous, nonprotective hematite. The corrosion inhibitor treatment in the wet phase was found to be ineffective. A large amount of loosely bound corrosion product accumulated at the bottom of the hole during air/water injection. This plugged the well. Suitable well completion for the operating conditions was designed to prevent future failures.

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