Paraffin, asphaltene and bitumen are heavy organics contained in crude oil products. These components are the primary cause of oil flow restrictions or blockages in oil pumping which is why asphaltene removal is important to increase production. Paraffin causes deposition due to the lowering of crude oil temperatures, changes in pressure and other factors resulting in the formation of crystalline solids [Afanas ‘ev, et al, 1993]. These heavy solids stick to the walls of all equipment coming in contact with the crude oil including tubulars, flow lines, pumps and tanks. As the paraffin builds up, arterial blockage occurs resulting in increased friction, greatly reduced oil flow, and/or complete restriction. The increased friction from this build-up can also cause further problems including equipment failure and breakdown. Paraffin removal, as part of a scheduled maintenance program, can greatly increase yields and reduce costs.
In the past, various costly and time consuming methods of paraffin removal have been used, including scraping, dangerous chemicals sand hot oil. Scraping is a process where production must cease and the cap be removed from the oil well in order to service the well. Dangerous chemicals often require extensive safety procedures, shut down and flushing after use. Hot oil has very limited success. The problem with most methods of paraffin removal is not only the cost but that they only soften or dissolve the paraffin enough to move it further down the line and have it precipitate elsewhere.
Parasolve Canada’s solvent is a proprietary mixture of bio-based detergents, surfactants, and organic solvents formulated specifically for the purpose of breaking down these heavy deposits while allowing pump operations to continue. ParaSolve Canada’s revolutionary formula is both oil soluble and water dispersible. ParaSolve Canada’s solvent effectively liquefies the paraffin and other heavy deposits to the point where they can no longer precipitate out again and can be sent down the stream and sold providing in many cases a higher BTU value than much of the crude oil product itself. ParaSolve Canada’s solvent can be used wherever paraffin build-up occurs including downhole, flowlines and tanks.
The following experiment demonstrates paraffin removal and asphaltene removal Calgary, Alberta, using ParaSolve’s solvent demonstrating both the procedure and its effectiveness.
Properties of Paraffin:
- Paraffin was first identified by Carl Reichenbach in 1830. It refers to alkaline hydrocarbons with the formula CnH2n+2. The solid forms or paraffin (paraffin wax) are from the heaviest molecules, C2OH42 to C4OH82.
- Alternate names: petroleum wax, hydrocarbon wax
- Melting point: 50C to 57C
- Flashpoint: 199C
- Specific Gravity: 0.72
- Density: 0.9g/cm3
Paraffin Sample | Asphaltene Removal
Our experiment starts with a sample of paraffin taken directly from an Alberta oil well. This sample is typical of paraffin deposits that build up in oil production equipment causing flow restrictions and equipment failure. ParaSolve Canada’s solution is now added to the container where it immediately starts to dissolve the Paraffin.
In the field, the product is heated and injected into the annulus where it would reach the restriction and flow up the tubing. The amount of solvent used would depend on the depth of the well and the extent of the build-up. For this experiment, enough solvent was added to make it quite obvious that the Paraffin has been completely liquefied.
Mixture Circulated | Asphaltene Removal
At this point the container is rocked back and forth several times until the paraffin has been completely dissolved into the solvent. In the field this is done by operating the pump to agitate the solvent.
Mixture Heated | Asphaltene Removal
After heating the mixture to 70C for about five minutes, the solution becomes transparent indicating that the paraffin has been completely broken down and liquefied. In the field the solution is heated before being injected into the well utilizing our specialized equipment so we may control the temperature at a range of 60C to 120C. This allows us to be able to cool enough to work in fiberglass flow lines as well as adjustable to be hot enough to address the toughest of restrictions.
Well Cleaned | Asphaltene Removal
Paraffin is molecularity restructured which results in an oil soluble and water dispersal product that mixes in with oil stream and will not precipitate out in the flow line.
Contact ParaSolve Canada Inc. today to discuss how your company can benefit from their solutions.
- Katz, D.H. and Beau, K.E., Nature of asphaltic substances, Ind. Eng. Chem. 37 (1945), pages 195-200
- Mansoon, G.A., Remediation of heavy organic deposits in petroleum production, presented at IBCs 1998 Controlling Hydrates, Waxes and Asphaltenes conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Thomas J. Glover, POCKET REF, Second Edition (1996)
Our Servicing | Asphaltene Removal
- Encapsulates and removes paraffin permanently from producing oil wells
- Is safer and more effective than traditional hot oiling and chemical programs
- Consistently improves flow rates and optimizes production
- Reduces overall service costs
- Is a bio-based, non-carcinogenic hydro carbon
A second problem well where we couldn’t run coil tubing in a tubing string was cleaned up and the coil run in without any of the previous friction problems.
For a natural based product that is environmentally friendly to actually work in these difficult well situations is a welcome addition to the industry.
I highly recommend the service and product supplied by ParaSolve.”