Manuscript Title: Paraffin/Asphaltene Cleaning Formulations-Lab Design and Case Studies
- Cornell Stanciu (Sasol Performance Chemicals USA) | Jorge M. Fernandez (Sasol Performance Chemicals USA)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control, 19-21 February, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Solvents, Remediation, Surfactants, Asphaltene, Paraffin
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 71 since 2007
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Paraffin and asphaltene issues are common throughout the Oilfield, from upstream to midstream and even to downstream, costing the industry billions of dollars every year. They range from near wellbore damage to flow restrictions in the tubulars or in the pipes used to transport the hydrocarbons from the production field to contamination of equipment or means of transportation (trucks, tankers, railcars, boats) and to formation of coke deposits in reactors at the processing facilities.
Mitigating the paraffin/asphaltene issues wherever they appear is of high importance to ensure high production/transportation rates. Given the variety of problems, the wide composition ranges of crudes as well as the many differences between reservoir characteristics in different locations the R&D efforts to find efficient solutions to these complex situations have to be very application specific. In this paper we will present a few examples of formulations that were designed by leveraging the in-house expertise in the area along with simple lab methods and techniques, such as design of experiments (DOE), crude chemical analysis, cold finger instrument analysis, optical microscopy, viscosity measurements, Hegman gauge surface cleaning, porous surface cleaning.
The results show how appropriate combinations of surfactants and solvents, specifically designed for each application, can help mitigating the complex issues posed by paraffin/asphaltene precipitation. The influence of various hydrophobes-in both the non-ionic and the anionic surfactants utilized- on the final performance of the designed formulations will be discussed.
Representative case studies will be emphasized to better illustrate the efficacy of the final products in the application space they were designed for. The solvents and surfactants used in these studies are viable alternatives to existing products on the market by offering better environmental profiles, increased efficiency at comparable or lower dosage, functional benefits over two or more applications or cost savings for the users.
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