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INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR COMPLEX OPERATIONS

Paraffin Management

If left to develop unchecked, wax-like substances can be a threat to crude oil productivity, day-to-day operational activity, and ultimately, revenue and reputation. 

With thousands of different preventative chemistries on the market, it is critical to marry the right chemical solution with the right crude oil. For more than a century, ChampionX has been a pioneer and leader in this field and boasts a trusted and robust methodology that can quickly and easily mitigate paraffin fouling. 

By imitating real-life field conditions using innovative technologies in the laboratory, we ensure our tailormade products are reliable, practical, and economical. Most importantly, our chemical solutions keep operations running smoothly, enhance production, and meet the needs of an effective paraffin management program. 

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Technical assurance and innovation

Selecting the right product and how it’s applied is neither simple nor straightforward. It’s a challenge which ChampionX excels at solving with a methodical and mindful approach:

Detailed survey
Detailed survey

Detailed survey

Identifying the potential for wax problems is essential as deposits can occur at any time or at any location when fluids are at or below the wax appearance temperature (WAT). Diverse factors affecting the well, the system, and storage and transportation, are carefully considered in comparison with fluid characteristics.
Complete analysis
Complete analysis

Complete analysis

To predict the severity and location of wax problems, ChampionX performs a wide range of established tests in the laboratory and during field trials. These methods evaluate the very nature of the problem and how crude oil composition, temperature, and pressure can impact the success of different products.
Reliable selection and application
Reliable selection and application

Reliable selection and application

Conventional methodologies such as pour point screening and solvency testing are employed alongside ChampionX’s own novel techniques to ensure the most appropriate product is selected, tested, and implemented.

Pioneering products

Type of productDescriptionApplication uses and advantages
Dispersion-based paraffin inhibitorsHigh-active dispersed polymersUseful for low-temperature applications where standard, solution-based products would need to be very dilute. Reduced transportation costs and associated environmental benefit.
Paraffin inhibitors/wax crystal modifiersPolymeric paraffin inhibitors formulated in organic solventLong shelf-life products that remain homogenous under most storage conditions. Available in a wide selection of polymer types suitable for mitigating most paraffin issues.
Pour point depressants (PPDs)Polymeric paraffin inhibitors in solutionTreat pour point issues in waxy crude oils where cooling crude oil in a pipeline would result in solidification of the entire contents of the line. Chemistries used in PPDs are the same as for standard paraffin inhibitors / wax crystal modifiers.
Paraffin dissolvers (solvent based)Traditional dissolvers for organic depositsParticularly effective as batch treatments. May be incorporated into pigging programmes or used with debris pick-up gels.
Paraffin dissolvers (surfactant based)Surfactant dissolvers for application in waterGenerally applied as a 20% solution in water. Improved environmental profile compared with solvents. Will rapidly separate into aqueous phase and organic paraffin/ surfactant layer at end of treatment.

Variations

Type of productDescriptionApplication uses and advantages
Combination paraffin dispersant / corrosion inhibitorsCombination productsParticularly useful in situations where the water cut is high and there are limited injection points. The corrosion inhibitor components give a boost to the wax dispersion observed.
SurFlo Plus / SurFlo EnhancedProducts certified for umbilical useRigorous testing ensures these products will not block umbilicals.

Cracking the paraffin conundrum

To determine the most appropriate paraffin control chemistries, the oil and gas industry mainly relies on cold finger testing and wax flow loop analysis, but each have their own acute limitations. To overcome the constraints, ChampionX has developed two novel test methods to evaluate and expand on the performance of other types of paraffin chemistries: 

Para-Window

A recent innovative test method exclusive to ChampionX, Para-Window uses an optical probe to test at a more realistic temperature gradient (5ºC) to capture the true potential of paraffin fouling. As a more focused and articulate methodology, an array of paraffin chemistries, from paraffin crystal modifiers and paraffin dispersants to solvents, can be quantified and quickly utilized to guard against costly, and often damaging, deposition problems. 

Para-Window provides an increased level of testing sensitivity compared to the industry-standard cold finger test method, which results in better replication of field conditions and therefore, more accurate chemistry selection. 

Dynamic Paraffin Deposition Cell

ChampionX’s patented DPDC test method has been developed to include both water and oil in specially designed cells on a horizontal shaker bath. This creates a dynamic mixing condition inside the test cells to closely simulate the conditions in production systems. This allows DPDC to assess the effect of paraffin chemistries, such as crystal modifiers and dispersants, on paraffin deposition in the presence of water, resulting in the accurate replication of field conditions. 

Case Studies

From umbilicals to pipelines to gas lift wells, see where we’ve successfully mitigated paraffin issues around the world.

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