Production Chemistry

  • Programme type: Research
  • Study location: Edinburgh


The inevitable breakthrough of injected seawater into the production wells of a reservoir brings with it the serious problem of insoluble scale formation (eg barium sulphate). This scale results from the mixing of the sea and in-situ formation waters.


Research projects

The study of oilfield scale formation and its prevention has been a major research area for many years, attracting support from both industry and government. A team of researchers is carrying out experimental and theoretical work on the prediction, nature, and effects of such scale. In particular, software has been developed to assist operators in the design of near well scale inhibitor ‘squeeze’ treatments which attempt to prevent initial scale formation. This is being actively applied to wells in many oil regions around the world with excellent results. The underlying theory behind this predictive software is firmly based on experiments carried out by the Flow Assurance and Scale Team (FAST).

A project is also in progress on the topic of chemical water control in collaboration with Baker-Petrolite. This project is studying the basic processes involved in water control and the main aims are to develop understanding, products and software tools which will improve the field design of these treatments.

Entry requirements

Contact the Institute to discuss

Tuition fees

Fees for this programme can be found on the Tuition fees page.

Scholarships & bursaries

Additional scholarship information

Industrial sponsorship

Many of our past students have gained funding from industry sources, both those companies involved in oil exploration and production in their home countries or larger international companies that offer scholarship programs. For example:

  • Nigerian Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)
  • Bolahak, Kazakhstan
  • Commonwealth Scholarships
  • Chevening scholarships
  • BP
  • Chevron
  • Shell
  • ExxonMobil

There are also a number of Industrial sponsorships available every year to UK and EU students. All eligible applicants (generally EU/UK students) automatically have their CVs or applications sent to participating petroleum companies, who offer a limited number of sponsorships each year to our students, across all three programmes. The number of sponsorships offered will vary depending on the companies’ needs and situations, and the quality of the student applicants and are given our after an interview event that takes place during the summer before the course starts.