Scott Caird, Sr. RD&E Group Leader – Production Maximisation
Scott Caird is driven by the practical side of things more than the theoretical. Growing up on the Isle of Bute on the west coast of Scotland, his love of chemistry began at an early age, inspired by teachers who made science and chemistry interesting. And while he left the island to go to university, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, the Granite City, Aberdeen, seemed just far enough for him to explore new fields without being tempted to return home too often.
In 2006, after a decade of work honing his field and analytic skills, Scott joined ChampionX, which offered him a chance to specialize in emulsions. Ever the pragmatist, he tackled the issue of emulsion viscosity because it can cause significant losses in production—a major problem for clients across the globe. His approach as senior group leader is a careful one, adjusting different factors to address the unstable flow conditions and slugging that emulsions can create in a complex matrix of decision points, which now drives increasingly toward downhole chemical injection.
“I think of emulsion viscosity as a bit like a code you have to crack,” he said recently. “Essentially, you need to break that emulsion by finding the optimal formulation of intermediates you've got in your chemical kit.”
One solution, emulsion viscosity reducers (EVRs), have not been commonly applied because of inherent risks, such as actually initiating slugging and reducing production even further if you don't select the right chemistry.
Scott and his team capitalize on decades of field experience to analyze individual well performance and a proprietary model to determine suitability for EVR intervention. Once those elements are confirmed, the team estimates which wells will have the greatest improvement from an EVR and works closely with customers to develop the best approach, specific to the field conditions.
It’s this kind of practical application that drew Scott to join ChampionX more than a decade ago. Having the opportunity to learn new best practices and new methods so he could develop a better understanding of the chemistry being used is what builds his mastery in deciphering production challenges.
Did you know? Scott planned to study physical education at university, but he lost points in his interview for the competitive major because he couldn’t dance. Chemistry was his second choice.
There are so many opportunities to go and test more widely here at ChampionX,” Scott said. “We’re a bigger company with a greater footprint, so we’re able to share information from a wide variety of different locations on products that are working well, test methods, equipment results, opportunities, and challenges we’re facing.” Scott Caird