Abstract

This paper presents and discusses the methods used by Amoco Production Company to reduce operating costs resulting from paraffin deposition. The initial program was basically that of removal of paraffin deposits from downhole tubular goods and surface lines and equipment by mechanical cutting and oil treating. However, as production experience was gained, it production experience was gained, it was established that the prevention of paraffin deposition was much less costly than its removal. Hence, plastic coated tubing and rods, plastic coated tubing and rods, fiberglass flow lines, and paraffin inhibition chemicals were investigated and eventually utilized extensively. Since then mechanical cutting and hot oiling to remove paraffin deposits have virtually been eliminated with a concurrent reduction in operating cost.

Introduction

The Powder River Basin (Figure 1) has developed into one of the most prolific oil and gas producing basins prolific oil and gas producing basins in Wyoming. Prior to 1967, Powder River Basin production occurred primarily from the Minnelusa formation primarily from the Minnelusa formation (Pennsylvanian age) which yielded a black asphaltene base crude and very little gas. The discovery of Bell Creek Field in 1967 in the Muddy formation (Cretaceous age) resulted in a rush to find Muddy oil and gas. Muddy production in the Powder River Basin has risen from approximately 6,000 BOPD in 1966 to in excess of 100,000 BOPD currently. Muddy oil is generally a high gravity paraffin base crude. Solution gas-oil ratios range from 500 to 1500 SCF/BO. One of the most significant operating problems associated with muddy problems associated with muddy production is paraffin deposition.

PARAFFIN AND ITS DEPOSITION A paraffin problem can basically be described as the formation of an organic deposit in oil producing equipment such as tubing, flow lines, manifolds, separators and tanks.

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