Cold Finger Benchmarking Study for Paraffin Inhibitor Selection
- Yun Peng (Shell International Exploration and Production Inc.) | Abhishek Golchha (Baker Hughes a GE Company) | George Broze (Shell International Exploration and Production Inc.)
- Document ID
- Offshore Technology Conference
- Offshore Technology Conference, 30 April - 3 May, Houston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Offshore Technology Conference
- 7.2 Risk Management and Decision-Making, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment, 7 Management and Information
- cold finger, benchmarking, wax mitigation, paraffin inhibitor, standardization
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Selection of effective paraffin inhibitors is critical for managing wax deposition risks in existing assets and for enabling potential CAPEX savings in new developments. Cold finger (CF) testing is a common method used for screening paraffin inhibitors (PI), but there are various kinds of in-house-developed and commercial CF equipment used throughout the industry. Additionally, there is no standard PI testing protocol. In some cases, there are inconsistent results between laboratories when evaluating PI performance.
To better understand the root causes of PI testing discrepancies and investigate the impact of key parameters on test results, a benchmarking study using both in-house and commercial CF equipment was conducted. Additionally, Shell (the Company) and BHGE (the Vendor) conducted a detailed joint exercise to understand and benchmark the commercial CF equipment used in both of their laboratories. Finally, the laboratory results were compared against field performance through a case study for a Gulf of Mexico operating asset.
PI performance was found to depend upon the particular oil as well as testing conditions, test procedures, and equipment. Good agreement in PI performance was observed between the two laboratories using the same testing conditions with the same CF equipment and equipment specifications, under similar procedures for a given crude oil. In this study, it was observed that shear and CF roughness can play a significant role on PI test results. Rougher CFs tend to make certain PIs less effective under low shear conditions. Hence, a PI chosen based on a specific set of conditions, equipment, and procedures might appreciably differ in its performance if any of the above parameters are changed. Therefore, selecting appropriate testing parameters is important to identify and qualify an effective PI suitable for a specific field application.
This work makes it possible to improve standardization between laboratories and helps to better understand the limitations, uncertainties, and suitability of CF tests for predicting PI performance in the field. It also provides insights on how to design tests and equipment to better represent PI field performance.
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