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A deepwater producer in the Gulf of Mexico was operating a set of subsea wells in 1,700 feet of water tied back to a floating platform four miles away. The dual flowline was an uninsulated 4” O.D. with pigging capability. The black 28 gravity oil was found by cross-polarized microscopy to have a cloud point of 93°F (34°C) and to contain 3.3% n-paraffin. The customer needed a chemical program to control the wax and reduce the frequency of pigging.
A series of coldfinger tests was conducted to identify the most suitable product available to control wax deposition in the flowline. The crude was conditioned at 180°F to ensure complete remelting of the wax. Injection of the chemical was downhole so the oil could be treated at the estimated flowing downhole temperature of 150°F (66°C). Coldfinger testing was conducted with the oil at 90°F (32°C) and the finger at 60°F (16°C). The test ran for 16 hours with the oil stirred magnetically at 300 rpm. The amount of wax deposited on the coldfingers was determined gravimetrically.
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