Problems associated with Pipeline flow capacity reduction due to the presence of Scales, Asphaltenes and Parrafins have always been present and are well documented. Solutions to these problems are not however as well understood or discussed and, more often than not, complete replacement of the affected section is imminent because of the limited solutions available to the operator. Completely changing a section of Pipeline can have significant costs associated with it. Indeed, material & labor costs, environmental impact due to Pipeline construction and loss of flowing capacity represent the key reasons to avoid this type of operation if at all possible and give reason for ongoing investigations into possible alternatives.
This paper outlines a solution that was implemented several times in Ecuador whereby Coiled Tubing employing rotating & jetting technology was used to completely restore Pipeline flow capability without the need to replace any section of the affected tubular.
This solution involved the use of proprietary rotating/jetting technology introduced into the Pipeline at strategic locations, defined by computer simulations, to affect a successful cleanout operation. Selecting an efficient cleaning fluid was also very important for the success of these operations as there were significant economical and environmental limitations that had to be overcome.
Details about this solution, including defining the operational limitations of the Coiled Tubing material due to restrictions, orientation and curvature as well as fluid selection and other design limitations and considerations are included in this paper.