Abstract

In many oil producing areas, paraffin deposition on downhole tubulars can present serious production problems. There are currently many methods available problems. There are currently many methods available with which to try and solve or lessen the severity of these problems. Although it seems no one solution has a very large area or number of wells with which it remains efficient. A new patented process now has the ability to treat wells in many different areas and formations, and yield excellent results. This apparently universal application-can save long periods of trial-and-error testing in an attempt to find a solution to each well's specific paraffin problem.

Introduction

The mechanics of paraffin deposition have been studied and explained for many years now. The fact that it is known how paraffin is deposited has not been enough to allow producers to adequately solve that problem in some areas. Parted rods, plugged tubing and lost production are a few of the major effects of paraffin deposition.

In an attempt to combat these problems, mechanical removal, heat and chemical treatments have surfaced as the most practical.' The majority of these methods does very little in preventing redeposition of paraffin from future production. So well maintenance paraffin from future production. So well maintenance becomes a cycle of treatment and production, timed so that neither interferes significantly with the other. During the life of the well, some treatments become less effective and need to be modified replaced to maintain suitable well performance.

The benefits of a simple, widely applicable, paraffin inhibition treatment are obvious. Less time paraffin inhibition treatment are obvious. Less time would be spent in arriving at the method of well maintenance. Treatment and workover intervals could be greatly extended. Well production would be constant without interruptions. In general, a well could be treated once and unattended until time for another treatment after an extended producing interval.

INHIBITION MECHANISM

Keeping paraffin crystals from sticking to metal surfaces is a sizable task. The velocity of flow is one of the few factors that can keep deposition to a minimum. Production velocity, in many cases, is not capable of reaching suitable rates in standard-size tubing. Smaller tubing has shown itself to be impractical.

Plastic-lined tubing has been utilized in an attempt to reduce the roughness of the tubing walls. Although in a few cases this has been feasible, in most the production was too abrasive and the smooth surface soon vanished.

Other chemical coatings have been applied in attempts to make the surfaces water wet. These fail because of poor application conditions and are usually worn off in a short period of production.

This new patented process generates water-wet surfaces. The rods, tubing, pump and whatever else that may be in the well while it is producing are made water wet. The process is unique. There is no coating involved—nothing that has to stick or that can be washed off. The surfaces of the downhole goods are actually chemically converted to a hydrophilic status. Almost all common downhole materials will become water wet, even paraffin. With a surface that wants to stay wet with water and that does not readily degrade, long-term inhibition is possible. The only criteria being that sufficient produced water is available to keep the surface active and a flow rate sufficient to carry off loose deposits. Most oil wells produce more water than necessary, but some formations are nearly dry and this treatment may not apply without additional injected water.

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