Pipeline cleaning solution: value-adding services in full flow

An environmentally friendly technique was used to deal with paraffin problems for an operator – and in the process it reduced costs and operational downtime.

The Challenge

Dealing with paraffin deposits – caused by the production of waxy crude oil – that were posing tubing obstruction issues.

In principle, removing paraffin from production lines, downhole pumps, flowlines and oil-bearing formations can pose multiple issues. It’s time-consuming, costly and potentially hazardous – it can entail manned entry into tanks or manual labour.

The Eastern European operator had been regularly having to use a combination of hot-oil treatments and mechanical scraping to eliminate the deposits and therefore restore optimal flow.

The Response

ChampionX’s intervention involved the injection of a water-dispersible wax cleaner/hot water mixture in individual wells.

The environmentally friendly cleaner product contains surface active agents with cleaning and wetting properties – it penetrates oil-based deposits and enhances dissolver efficacy. More than that, it can ‘creep up’ surfaces, removing oil and deposits.

For this work, the operator shut in wells for two hours following injection of the mix to allow the chemistry to dissolve the wax deposits. Visual inspections after that period revealed the effectiveness of the process: there was no wax on the sucker rods.

The Result

The process was demonstrated to be a more effective means of removing paraffin deposits: batch treatment with water-dispersible wax cleaner served to decrease lost production time by nearly 40%.

It proved to lower paraffin management costs, improve operating efficiency and significantly enhance project economics.

‘… a more effective means of removing paraffin deposits… served to decrease lost production time by nearly 40%’

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Contact: Marta Wachucik – [email protected]

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