- Andrey Semenov (Total E&P Russia)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- November 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 371 - 375
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers
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- 1,478 since 2007
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In the case of altering the pressure/volume/temperature properties of oil, change of the aggregate state of oil is one of the main issues in oil processing. When oil lifts to the surface, the most advantageous energy state of high-weight components becomes the state in which a portion of the molecules becomes solid. Phase-behavior diagrams could be plotted using a typical compositional simulator, but even if one knows the phase behavior, one still will not be able to understand the wax deposition in the tubing or pipeline and will not forecast this process performance.
As some authors have mentioned, the resin and asphaltene concentrations in the oil affect the wax-deposition velocity. Because of the high complexity of the crystallization mechanism, the high-weight molecules are not taken into consideration in a phase-behavior simulator. Thus, with the intent of qualitatively characterizing the oil tendency to the aggregate, the oil from different reservoirs has been compared.
Because of the temperature gradient between rock (permafrost) and oil, there is a probability of wax deposition in the tubing. The deposition-growth model makes different diffusion assumptions. The equilibrium model and the film-mass-transfer model (as well as solidification and separation) have been applied. Using these models, the wax-growth velocity and tubing-drift diameter have been forecast.
As a result of the harsh northern environment, there is a serious risk of oil solidification in the surface pipeline in the case of a pump stopping. On the basis of the laboratory measurements and with the help of a stepwise approximation, the oil-viscosity dependence on temperature has been derived. By solving the heat-transfer equation (between oil in the pipeline and the environment) and using nodal analysis, the maximum safety time in case of an accident in the pipeline has been determined.
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