This work presents a numerical assessment of chemical inhibitor injection to mitigate wax deposition in unconventional wells. The goal of this study is to simulate the deposition of wax under several operational conditions and later optimize the chemical inhibitor injection position, using two different types of numerical simulations. A transient one-dimensional multiphase flow simulator - ALFAsim, with a dedicated wax model, was used to predict flow conditions such pressure, temperature, holdup and flow pattern profiles, as well the position and rates that wax accumulates. The results from the 1D simulation were then used as boundary conditions in a 3D CFD simulator, which aimed to assess how long it would take to a satisfactory homogenization of the inhibitor with the flow and what would be the minimum depth for the injector should be installed.
In this work, a 1D multiphase flow simulator with wax deposition model was used to identify on which operational conditions (flow rates and environmental temperatures) an unconventional well would start to present wax deposition on its tubing walls. After defining the susceptible region where the paraffin could deposit, it was important to verify if the inhibitor would be well homogenized with the stream when reaching this region. For that, a 3D CFD simulation was performed, using information obtained directly from the 1D simulator as boundary conditions. The CFD model was capable to show the mixing evolution of the inhibitor with the stream and it was possible to determine the minimum distance where the injector should be placed to guarantee such homogeneity. A real well was selected to provide comparisons between field observations and simulated data, in order to validate the model assumptions and accuracy.