Understanding Inorganic Scaling – Mechanisms, Control and Management

Disciplines: Production and Operations | Projects, Facilities, and Construction

Course Description

This course is an introduction to inorganic scaling. It includes an overview of the different types of inorganic oilfield scales encountered during production, and the various methods used to control them. Field examples will illustrate the importance of an effective scale management strategy.


  • Why scale forms and how to treat it, including both chemical and engineering solutions
  • Conventional acid soluble scales (carbonates) and non-acid soluble scales (sulphates) as well as other less common scales such as sulphides
  • The chemistry of scale inhibition as well as the benefits and limitations of different chemical inhibitors
  • The squeeze process, the mechanisms involved, and the various chemical and reservoir factors that control the treatment lifetime, as well other chemical deployment methods such as continuous injection, etc.

Learning Objectives:

  • Scale removal, including both mechanical and chemical methods
  • The influence of initial field design and varying production conditions on the control of inorganic scales
  • The use of modelling tools such as scale prediction software, reservoir simulators and near well-bore treatment models
  • A technical, economic, and risk-based analysis process for estimating total field scale management costs for new field developments

Throughout the course extensive reference is made to real field case studies and other published works to illustrate the importance of the various aspects covered.

Learning Level


Course Length

1-2 Days

Why Attend

The course is intended for new or practicing production engineers and production chemists involved in scale control and mitigation in oilfield operations.

Who Attends

Scaling is one of the most persistent flow assurance issues in the oilfield. Anyone involved on the production side of the business should have a basic understanding of the problems of inorganic scale.

Special Requirements

No formal training is required other than a practical interest in oilfield scale.


.08 to 1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-2-day course.

Additional Resources

This course has a supplemental book located in our SPE Bookstore entitled Formation, Removal, and Inhibition of Inorganic Scale in the Oilfield Environment. Please check out this valuable resource!

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page. Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will. Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.



Gordon M. Graham is the managing director of Scaled Solutions Ltd., an independent laboratory in Livingston, UK. Until September 2002, he was a research fellow at Heriot-Watt University, where he was responsible for the management and technical direction of the large, multisponsored flow assurance and scale research team.

Graham served as chairman of the 2003, 2005, and 2006 SPE International Oilfield Scale events and the 2004, 2005, and 2006 SPE International Oilfield Corrosion events. He also served on the programme committee for the biennial SPE International Oilfield Chemistry Symposium from 2001 through 2013 and the upcoming event in 2015, chaired the 17th International Tekna International Oilfield Chemistry Symposium in 2006 and continues to serve on the committee for this event. He also serves regularly both as committee member or chairman on other production chemistry-related SPE workshops, including the biennial SPE workshop on Oilfield Scale (2007, 2009, 2011), the SPE Scale and Asphaltene/Flow Assurance workshop in Abu Dhabi (2009, 2010, 2013) as well as several other international events.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Stirling, UK, and a doctorate in petroleum engineering from Heriot-Watt University, UK. He has delivered a training course in inorganic scaling for SPE since 2003 and also regularly provides extended courses to various international oil and gas operators. Graham is considered an expert in oilfield scaling and is the author or co-author on more than 100 publications on the subject.

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Disciplines: Projects, Facilities, and Construction