Discussed is a process for preventing clathrate hydrate masses from detrimentally impeding the possible flow of a fluid susceptible to clathrate hydrate formation. The process is particularly useful in the natural gas and petroleum production, transportation and processing industry where gas hydrate formation can cause serious problems. Additives preferably contain one or more five member, six member and/or seven member cyclic chemical groupings. Additives include polymers having lactam rings. Additives can also contain polyelectrolytes that are believed to improve conformance of polymer additives through steric hinderance and/or charge repulsion. Also, polymers having an amide on which a C.sub.1 -C.sub.4 group is attached to the nitrogen and/or the carbonyl carbon of the amide may be used alone, or in combination with ring-containing polymers for enhanced effectiveness. Polymers having at least some repeating units representative of polymerizing at least one of an oxazoline, an N-substituted acrylamide and an N-vinyl alkyl amide are preferred.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG21-92MC29248 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.