The Paraffin Problem and PETROZENE Solution

Paraffin buildup is an industry wide problem that occurs when paraffin crystals within the oil base combine into a waxy buildup. The resulting wax constricts production and strains equipment, causing losses from lowered production efficiency and increased maintenance costs. In some cases, the buildup can fully incapacitate oil operations. Petrozene™ is particularly effective in removing these types of sludge, paraffin, and other wax based deposits.

Paraffin precipitates out of waxy crudes when there is a slight change in equilibrium conditions, causing a loss of solubility of the wax in the crude. A lowering in temperature is the most common cause of paraffin precipitation, though many other factors can affect the process. Waxy crude will probably result in deposition when produced under one of the following conditions:

  • Alternatively coating the pipe or vessel, then draining the oil, leaving a thin coating behind. Movement of this oil coating is too slow to prevent deposition.
  • Contact with an unusually cold surface, such as production through aquifiers, causes paraffin crystals to grow directly on the pipe wall.
  • Vessel surfaces are rough, providing excellent sites for paraffin deposition.
  • Electrical charges on various materials in the crude promote migration of separated waxes to the pipe wall.

In addition to paraffin buildup, tars or asphaltenes occur in many crudes as colloidally suspended solid particles. Precipitation takes place when the crude loses its ability to keep those particles dispersed. The solids form a layer of tacky, gummy sludge on the bottom of the storage tank that grows over time and eventually must be removed. Many of the same factors affecting paraffin deposition also affect asphaltene deposition.

Clean up and removal of paraffins and asphaltenes is typically long and difficult and results in large volumes of hazardous waste that must be disposed at a hazardous landfill via incineration at a very large cost to the client. There are many methods for dealing with paraffin and asphaltene buildup in the industry. However, none are as clean and cost effective as Petrozene™, which has proved effective in helping dissolve solid or semi-solid paraffin and asphaltene deposits that form or collect near the formation face, piping, transportation and storage. Petrozene™ acts as follows:

  • Reduces wax deposits in vessels improving operations.
  • Reduces wax induced flowline restrictions.
  • Reduces wax deposits downhole, increasing production.
  • Reduces the pour point of paraffinic crude oils to meet contract specifications or improve flow.
  • In addition to wellbore cleaning capabilities, the solvent can be squeezed into a formation to help remove asphaltenes precipitated within the reservoir.

Petrozene™ facilitates the dispersion of the paraffin crystals, and since it is also a dispersant, it serves to retain the paraffin in the oil phase. Asphaltene deposits are also characterized by their insolubility in straight chain hydrocarbons such as kerosene and gasoline, but they are however soluble in Petrozene™. Further, treatment with Petrozene™ requires little or no costly downtime for cleaning or halt in production. It is simply used as an additive to the oil base, and can be applied at any convenient point in the production or transportation process. Tests have shown that Petrozene™ can optimally be applied to any surface equipment where accumulation of paraffin occur, as well as added into flow lines and down hole. Other specific uses include removal of tanker sludge during transport, tank bottom cleanup, back washing filters, and to proactively aid in cleanup during well work over operations.