Production statistics and significance in the global market

Daily, more than 90 million barrels of oil are produced in the world. In addition to providing fuel for cars, airplanes, and other transportation vehicles, crude oil is used to produce plastics, paints, and other petrochemical products. Millions of people in the world work in the oil and gas industry and the economy of many countries is dependent on exports and oil prices.

Today, the use of enhancing oil recovery (EOR) methods is implemented in many reservoirs and oil wells. Although crude oil extraction increases with these methods, on the other hand, it causes the formation of water-in-oil emulsion.

Definition and chemical composition

Compounds that cause emulsion instability are called demulsifiers. Another name for demulsifier is “emulsion breaker”. Since crude oil extraction is usually done with water, oil extraction is in the form of water-in-crude oil emulsions.

Importance in separating water and oil emulsions

The presence of water-in-oil emulsion and salt in crude oil cause many problems such as corrosion of pipes and pumps and failure of catalysts in the petrochemical industry. Also, the presence of water in crude oil reduces the quality of crude oil and increases the cost of transportation.

Outlining the relevance of demulsifiers in regional oil production

Almost half of the world’s oil is produced in the Middle East region. Oil extraction in this region is also associated with salt and water. Far export destinations (such as China and Europe) make the separation of water and oil by demulsifier inevitable to reduce the cost of transportation. In addition, it is necessary to separate water and salt from crude oil for large refineries and petrochemicals in the region.

Some other countries that are located near the Middle East region also have significant reservoirs. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan can be mentioned among these countries.

With approximately 30 billion barrels of crude oil reserves, Kazakhstan is known as the 12 largest oil country. Also, the largest oil reserves in the Caspian Sea belong to Kazakhstan. Crude oil production in Kazakhstan is about 1.7 million barrels per day, of which about 1.2 million barrels are exported to other parts of the world.

Another country near the Middle East region that has significant reserves of crude oil is Azerbaijan. The proven reserves of this country are about 7 billion barrels of crude oil. This country ranks 24 among crude oil producing countries with daily exports of nearly 800,000 barrels per day.

Chemical Composition of Demulsifiers

Demulsifiers are composed of different compounds, from small surfactants to large polymers. Of course, different crude oils need different demulsifiers.

Solvent is another component of demulsifier formulation. Conventionally, aromatic solvents such as xylene and toluene are used for demulsifier formulation.

Types: Synthetic, Natural, and Petrochemical-based demulsifiers

Almost all demulsifiers are synthetic and produced by chemical plant specialists. Of course, demulsifiers based on petrochemical products are sometimes used to reduce production costs. In recent years, due to the importance of environmental issues, special attention has been paid to environmentally friendly demulsifiers, but the economic efficiency of these demulsifiers is still a challenge.

How demulsifiers destabilize emulsions

The reason for the formation and stability of a stable emulsion of water in crude oil is the presence of natural surfactants such as asphaltene and resin in crude oil. These natural surfactants together with fine solid particles form a rigid film around the water droplets, which prevents the water droplets from joining each other and separating the water. Therefore, the most important role of the demulsifier is to destroy the film around the water droplets. Of course, it should be noted that different demulsifiers use different methods to destroy the film and the demulsification mechanism is not necessarily the same.

Factors influencing the efficiency of demulsification

In addition to the type of crude oil that can affect the choice of demulsifier, some other factors affect the performance of demulsifiers.

  • Temperature: One of the most important factors that has a direct effect on the efficiency of the demulsifier is temperature. Increasing the temperature helps water and crude oil to separate more easily.
  • Dosage: Another factor affecting the performance of demulsifier is the amount of concentration added to the emulsion. The lower the concentration of the demulsifier, the more economical it is.
  • Water percentage: Usually, the efficiency of demulsifier increases with the increase of water percentage. Of course, the percentage of water also affects the injection concentration of the demulsifier.

Factors Influencing Demulsifier Selection

To evaluate the best demulsifier for crude oil, first of all, two general points should be noted: 1- No demulsifier has the best performance for all oils, and the efficiency of the demulsifier may decrease with the change of oil. 2- One demulsifier is never used alone, but several demulsifiers are mixed together and make a formulation.

  • Type of oil: in a general category, oils can be divided into light, heavy and extra heavy oil. Although the components of all three oils are almost the same, the viscosity and percentage of each of these components are different.
  • Temperature: The temperature of different wells in the world is different from one another. Although a demulsifier must be able to perform properly at different temperatures, some demulsifiers are designed for low temperatures (low temperature demulsifiers), while others can only separate water and crude oil at high temperatures.
  • Cost: One of the most important factors in choosing demulsifiers is their price. The more a demulsifier can perform at lower concentrations, the more economical it is. Also, the cheaper the raw materials of the demulsifier and the easier its manufacturing method, the better.

Due to various factors that are effective in determining the optimal demulsifier, therefore, preparing the optimal demulsifier formulation is a permanent process.

In practice, the bottle test is a common method to evaluate the performance of different demulsifiers.

Climate and geographical factors affecting demulsifier performance

One of the factors that affect the performance of demulsifier is temperature. Naturally, different geographical areas where oil is extracted have different temperatures. For example, a demulsifier prepared for the hot temperature of Saudi Arabia cannot be a suitable demulsifier for separating oil and water in the winter of Kazakhstan.

Emulsions from offshore oil wells usually have a different percentage of water than onshore oil wells. This parameter can be decisive in determining the type of demulsifier and the concentration of demulsifier injection.

Current Market Trends and Demand Analysis

More than 90 million barrels of oil are produced in the world every day. Most of the oil extracted from oil reservoirs is accompanied by water, therefore demulsifier must be injected into them

With the growing trend of energy demand in the world, the demand for crude oil extraction has also increased. And this means that the need for products related to oil wells, including demulsifiers, has also expanded day by day. So that the size of the demulsifier market (in general) is expected to grow to about 2.8 billion dollars (in 2028).

The biggest consumers of demulsifiers are the biggest producers of crude oil, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Africa, Azerbaijan and America.  Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes Company, Halliburton Company, Clariant AG, and Ecolab Inc. companies can also be mentioned as the biggest demulsifier companies.

Features of an effective demulsifier:

A chemical demulsifier is a complex formula including solvent, main active ingredient, and additives. A suitable demulsifier is expected to have the following properties.

  • It does not need high temperature for good performance.
  • Able to separate a high percentage of water from crude oil emulsion.
  • The separated water should be clean and the interface between water and oil should be clear
  • It has an acceptable performance in relatively low concentrations.
  • Separation time should be quick.

It should be noted that the crude oil of different wells has different physical and chemical properties, so the performance of the demulsifier in different wells is not the same.

Revers demulsifier (reverse emulsion breakers)

So far, more has been discussed about water-in-oil emulsions, but in this section, we want to pay more attention to oil-in-water emulsions. As the name of this emulsion suggests, this emulsion consists of the dispersion of oil droplets inside the continuous phase of water. Unfortunately, oil-in-water emulsion can also have environmental hazards or cause the death of aquatic life. Therefore, in addition to water-in-oil demulsifiers, demulsifiers based on oil-in-water emulsions should also be designed.

Revers demulsifiers are usually water-based and are so-called water-based. Therefore, it is important that these materials do not cause secondary pollution after separating water and oil. Another feature of revers emulsion breakers is that it can remove heavy metals in water

Fields of application of demulsifier

It can be claimed that the most common use of demulsifiers is related to wells and oil reservoirs. However, the application of demulsifiers (due to the diversity of their structure) is not limited only to oil wells. Below are some of the most common uses for demulsifiers.

  • Crude oil production
  • well drilling
  • Sludge oil treatment
  • Power plants that are built based on oil
  • Lubricant Manufacturing
  • Crude oil refineries

Aqueous demulsifier

One of the newest types of demulsifier formulations is water-based formulation. In addition to being less toxic than similar formulations, the use of this formulation is more economical. Non-flammability is another advantage of using water-based demulsifier.

In oil-in-water emulsions, the use of a water-based demulsifier makes it easier to mix the demulsifier with the emulsion. Therefore, to remove oil-in-water emulsions, using water-based demulsifiers is a priority.

Low temperature Demulsifier

Although many oil wells work at a temperature higher than the ambient temperature, oil extraction from some oil wells is done at ambient temperature. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare a demulsifier with high performance at room temperature. In addition, if the demulsifier can perform properly at ambient temperature, then its performance will be improved in wells with higher temperature.

Environmental importance of demulsifier

Both types of crude oil demulsifier and reverse emulsion breaker are effective in reducing environmental damage.

Since the water separated from the water-in-oil emulsion is usually left in the sea, its clarity and quality are very important. Also, environmental effects can be minimized by using environmentally friendly demulsifiers.

the destabilization of oil-in-water emulsion can prevent the death of aquatic animals and the destruction of the environment.

Where to buy demulsifier?

Various companies in the world produce demulsifiers from East Asian countries such as China to the United States. But considering the long distance and the cost of transportation, it seems that it is better for the oil-rich countries of West Asia and Central Asia to purchase demulsifiers from companies in neighboring countries. In addition, the companies in the countries of these regions have a better understanding of the nature of crude oil in these regions and the conditions of its extraction.

Buying demulsifier from Chemical Tasfyeh company has the following advantages:

* Due to the fact that this company is located in the Middle East region (Islamic Republic of Iran), therefore, by purchasing from this company, the cost of transportation will be reduced.

*Knowledge of the different characteristics of Middle Eastern oil types

* Has different packages for oil industries (such as well drilling and anti-corrosion packages).

* Demulsifier formulation for water-in-oil emulsion and oil-in-water emulsion (reverse demulsifier).

One of the reasons for choosing this company to buy demulsifier can be its presence in international markets. In addition to selling its products to domestic markets, it can export various product different countries such as Iraq, Kazakhstan, and etc.

Why Chemical Tasfyeh company?

Chemical Tasfyeh company has been able to produce a variety of products for the oil and gas industry by employing experts in various fields such as chemistry, materials engineering, polymer. The experts of this company, having a well-equipped and high-quality laboratory, manufacture various products for the oil and gas industry.

The purchase of this company’s products by countries such as Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan and Iraq show the quality of this product at the level of international standards.

In addition to producing different types of demulsifiers, the chemical company produces other products widely used in the oil industry. Some of these products will be mentioned below.

  • H2S scavenger

Gases with more than 4 ppm H2S are called sour gas. In addition to safety problems, the presence of H2S reduces the export price of gas. Therefore, the removal of H2S scavenger is an inevitable necessity. The Chemical Tasfyeh company has been able to solve this problem of the industry by producing a quality product of H2S scavenger

  • Anti-corrosion (Corrosion inhibitor)

Another very important product in the industry (not only the oil industry) is anti-corrosion materials. The use of this product not only reduces costs and the wear and tear of parts and devices, but also disrupts the production of industries without the use of these materials.

  • Antiscalant

Deposition of minerals, including compounds containing calcium, on devices can destroy devices and impose additional costs. In addition, these compounds may act as an insulator and interfere with heat transfer. The antiscalant produced by this company can delay the deposition of various minerals, including calcium and barium salts, and prevent damage to the equipment.

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