Traditional hydrate inhibitors such as methanol and glycols have been in use for many years, but at today's oil pricesjhe demand for cheaper methods of inhibition will be required. The development of alternative, cost-effective and environmentally acceptable hydrate inhibitors is a technological challenge for the oil and gas production industry. These new hydrate inhibitors can lead to very substantial cost savings, not only for the reduced cost of the new inhibitor but also in the size of the injection, pumping and storage facilities. Thus it is possible to redesign production facilities on a smaller scale. A few chemicals have been tested in field trials already with mixed success. Certainly, there is room for more active and cheaper inhibitors. We will review the relative merits of the two main types of hydrate inhibitor, "kinetic inhibitors" and "anti-agglomerators" regarding their applicability, and discuss how test results obtained in the laboratory compare to real field trials. We will also describe new techniques for comparing the effectiveness and activity of new hydrate inhibitors and present laboratory results on various chemicals. Patented examples will also be mentioned. Finally, a comparison of model systems with real fluids with regards to hydrate formation and inhibition will be given.

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