This paper describes laboratory investigation of alternate solvent systems and their application to the removal of organic deposits. Aromatic solvents, such as toluene and xylene, have been popular remedies for near-wellbore cleanup operations. Stricter regulations governing disposal, volatile-emission limits, and flammability/handling concerns have made the use of toluene and xylene less attractive. In an effort to limit environmental and personal exposure hazards, alternate solvents have been investigated.

Theoretical solvency parameter comparisons linked with a data base search was used to initially screen alternate solvent systems. Quantitative paraffin and pipe-dope solvency tests, along with asphaltene stability titrations, were used to qualify potential solvent candidates. As a result of this work, several alternative solvents have been found which fall outside the regulatory restrictions for xylene and toluene, while maintaining effective removal of paraffin, asphaltene and pipe-dope deposits.

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