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Wax Deposition Profile Estimation in Production Pipeline Review

Chetan Mundhada, Anand Kulkarni, Somnath Nandi, Nikhil Barshettiwar


Wax deposition has been a major challenge in flow assurance of paraffinic crude oils. A major problem occurs because of a decrease in the bulk oil flowing and pipe wall temperatures. Wax deposits form when the temperature of the produced fluid falls below the wax appearance temperature or the cloud point temperature. Problems like pipeline plugging, increased pumping pressure and reduction in production rates are very common. Sophisticated mechanical and chemical techniques are available in order to prevent and clean the wax deposits in the pipeline. Proactive measures can limit the magnitude of damage. This paper gives an overview of various wax deposition mechanisms, mitigation options, paraffin dispersant usage, and wax deposition profile estimation using HYSYS. Further, a theoretical method is proposed to optimize the consumption of paraffin dispersant during the pipeline cleaning operations. Static wax deposition model of HYSYS was used to simulate the wax deposition in surface pipelines. The results revealed that the model with its tuning capability could be a practical tool in assessing the risk associated with wax deposition in the upstream production system.
Keywords: Wax deposition, HYSYS, Paraffin dispersant, Simulation

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