Emulsions are commonly present in the petroleum industry and its characteristics have a large impact on the design and operation of subsea and surface facilities. Each type of emulsion (O/W, W/O or multiple) has its particularities in terms of stability, rheology and morphology.
Some fields impose an addition challenge: presence of heavy and extra heavy oils. Such oils can be extremely viscous and may create very stable emulsions. Understanding the emulsion characteristics, presence of free water, influence of chemical additives and operational conditions is fundamental to ensure transportability and separation efficiency.