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Paraffin Control

Problem: A small independent operator was concerned about excessive paraffin deposition in the well tubing, flowline and stock tank at a crude oil production site. The excessive paraffin deposition caused problems such as parted rods, ruptured flowlines and turndowns by the crude oil purchaser. Additionally, the operator had to perform solvent/hot oil treatments every ten days to keep the well producing.

Solution: The operator installed a magnetic fluid conditioner (MFC) on the rod-pump. The installation of the toll required a capital investment of $5,000. The operator had to pull tubing from the well about seven weeks after installation of the MFC. Minimal paraffin deposition was observed. Also, minimal paraffin deposition was observed in the flowlines upon regular inspection. The MFC was performing as intended. (Note: A MFC is designed to direct the produced fluids through a strong permanent magnetic field which alters the depositional properties of paraffin, asphaltines, and minerals in the fluid. The MFC increases the solubility of the crude oil and affects its cloud point, pour point, and viscosity. Recent research in MFC technology has shown that a MFC must be specifically designed for the well in which it is to be installed, taking into consideration factors such as pump dimensions and crude oil and produced water characteristics.)

Benefits: The formation of paraffin, asphaltines and scale was minimized. Therefore, the associated problems, such as parted rods, ruptured flowline, turndowns by crude oil purchaser, and solvent/hot oil treatments, were also minimized. The cleanup of soil contaminated by crude oil and produced water from flowline ruptures was minimized. The installation of the MFC proved to be very cost effective. The capital investment was recovered in about six months, and more efficient production and reduced well servicing have resulted in increased revenue.

Last Updated: 4/8/2016 9:35:46 AM