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Published June 22, 2022
The University of Wyoming’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI) sponsored an evaluation of a novel product that reportedly could help reduce the detrimental effects of paraffin precipitation and deposition in oil wells.
This novel product is produced from recycled tires and is under development by a clean-tech company that converts scrap rubber materials into several beneficial products.
The report from the EORI-sponsored testing may be downloaded here.
Paraffin in crude oil can cause problems in oil wells when paraffinic molecules crystalize and form semisolid deposits on downhole pumps, tubing, sucker rods and above-ground flow lines. The solid or semisolid paraffin deposits attract and entrap other debris, such as dirt. The paraffin mass can continue to grow and eventually choke off fluid flow paths from the bottom of the well to the surface. It also can restrict movement of pumps and rods, making the pumping process less efficient.
Analyses had shown that this novel product, in its current form, contains a significant quantity of aromatic solvents that may act either as inhibitors of paraffin wax deposition or as a paraffin solvent. But the EORI-sponsored tests -- using the novel, tire-recycled oil product on three different paraffinic oils from Wyoming oil fields -- showed that the concentrations of these solvents in the product are insufficient to provide substantial benefits.
“However, we see promise for the product as a paraffin solvent if further development is undertaken to increase the aromatic solvent concentration, or as a paraffin dispersant if the solvent and surfactant concentrations were increased,” EORI’s report says.