A More Effective Solution to Treat Paraffinic Crude Oil Wells
- T. Phan (An Ecolab Company) | M. Faust (An Ecolab Company) | V. Balsamo (An Ecolab Company) | Nalco Champion (An Ecolab Company)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on Oilfield Chemistry, 8-9 April, Galveston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3 Production and Well Operations, 4.1 Processing Systems and Design, 4 Facilities Design, Construction and Operation, 3 Production and Well Operations
- paraffinic oil, rod pump efficiency, flowability, paraffin inhibitor, paraffin deposit
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Production from highly paraffinic crude oil wells poses unique technical challenges such as poor flowability and paraffin deposition on the production tubing. Paraffin deposition increases the lift load on the pump, reduces pump efficiency, and eventually plugs the pump. To restore the productivity of these wells a common solution is to inject hot oil or hot water at 160°F–200°F to clean the deposits. This process imposes higher operating cost and lost production due to well downtime.
Paraffin inhibitor (PI) and pour point depressant (PPD) have been used to treat paraffinic fluids but are not effective for wells with high water cuts. These wells when treated with PI/PPD still require high cost maintenance such as the hot oil/water jobs and/or well workover. This paper presents a more effective treatment using tailored chemical mixtures to form a water dispersion with the paraffinic oil, thus to increase oil flowability and reduce deposition. A novel test method has been developed to evaluate effectiveness of treatment chemicals on various paraffinic oils based on flowability and cleanliness. The test method has been validated with field trial data from three different wells in the Uinta Basin, Utah and Julesburg Basin, Colorado.
The results of the field trials showed a significant increase in pumping efficiency and crude oil production. Need for hot water application was also reduced or eliminated for the treated wells. Improved oil and produced water quality were also observed. These results demonstrated that the water dispersion-based treatment is a more effective treatment for high paraffin wells with high water cuts.
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