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Winterized Paraffin Inhibitor Reduces Thermal Remediation Frequency


The Denver-Julesburg Basin experiences temperatures as low as -30°F, making paraffin inhibition challenging. The customer was addressing the paraffin deposition challenges by combining continuous inhibition of the wells with an incumbent inhibitor at 750ppm based on oil production and monthly thermal remediation treatments. The addition of the paraffin inhibitor successfully pushed back the remediation frequency from bi-weekly to monthly; however, the solution was not able to prevent all deposition, requiring a monthly thermal remediation to keep the well in operation. The thermal remediation treatments carry a large cost to the customer in addition to the cost of the treatment – there are significant production losses associated with well shut-in and the use of oil for thermal remediation.


Nalco Champion’s research centre specifically formulated a new product suite for paraffin inhibition that would stand up to colder climates while achieving a high level of performance. The chemistries are not only stable to -40°F – they also show improved performance as compared to the current paraffin inhibitor offering. Nalco Champion recommended PARA13115A for a field trial, starting the trial at 750 ppm (the same injection rate as the incumbent chemistry), then further optimizing the rate down to 500 ppm. The well selected for the trial was a low GOR rod pump well located near Fort Lupton, CO and the chemistry was to be applied in the same fashion as the incumbent, via continuous injection down the backside of the well. The success of the treatments was to be measured by monitoring the differential pressures across the tubing string and the flowline leading to the separator.

The use of PARA13115A saved the customer 25% of the annual operation costs for the trialed well if the thermal remediation treatment frequency is extended to 60 days and up to 40% if extended to 90 days.


Based on the obtained results, PARA13115A has shown a great reduction in deposition, and for the duration of the trial the well did not require any remediation treatments to keep steady operation. After further analysis, the use of PARA13115A saved the customer 25 percent of the annual operation costs for the trialed well if the thermal remediation treatment frequency is extended to 60 days and up to 40 percent if the remediation frequency is extended to 90 days. The calculated numbers also do not capture the reduced exposure from minimising the truck traffic in the field and reduced safety and environmental risk potential for reducing the thermal remediation frequency on a producing location.
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