Crude oil, when extracted on-site from a well, is far from the oil that most people conceptualize it to be. In fact—it’s more an amalgamation of numerous materials that have all been unearthed in the same process, which means it’ll need refining before it’s able to be used to a discernable degree.
One such material that’s heavily present within crude oil and which comes to affect well operations is wax. Paraffin wax, to be more specific, can precipitate heavily during normal oilfield operations, eventually building up on rigging equipment to degrade machinery, restrict pump flow and even cause jams and blockages that lead to malfunction. As a result, dewaxing becomes a highly critical oil field service in Duchesne County.
The precipitation of wax
Wax, at a molecular level, is simply a chain of hydrocarbons that becomes volatile at certain temperatures. Unfortunately, the optimal temperature range required to induce melting—in this case, 40 to 70 degrees Celsius—is frequently achieved during rig operation, which means consistent wax buildup over time in a wellbore.
Buildup at its most basic level will restrict oil flow as the bore becomes narrower, however this is just the beginning of trouble downhole. Paraffin wax can also flake off or break into crystal chunks, which will inevitably be pumped out with oil. Assuming this debris doesn’t go on to affect the function of the rig via a blockage, it’ll presumably follow the oil through to processing, which can create further issues.
To cope with paraffin buildups, many rig operators and companies invest in regular dewaxing. A core oil field service in Duchesne County, dewaxing is a proactive maintenance investment that keeps wax buildups to a minimum, effectively preventing any future issues that may be wax-induced.
There are a variety of ways to combat paraffin wax buildups downhole, including cutting it away, re-boring sections of the well and via chemical dissolution. The most popular, least invasive way of dealing with wax buildups however, is via melting—usually by way of pressurized steam, hot oil or water.
Hot oil melting as a form of dewaxing is far and above the most popular method because it provides a bottom-up, sustainable solution to wax buildups. Hot oil not only dissolves paraffin wax, because it’s pumped into a well from the deepest point it reaches areas most susceptible to wax buildups.
Dewaxing before issues arise
While dewaxing is a superior way to prevent obstructions and malfunctions downhole, it’s not a panacea for the issues that paraffin wax can create. When used in conjunction with other oil field services in Duchesne County, however, it becomes a powerful option in maintaining the functionality and efficiency of a rig.
If you can’t remember the last time you had wax buildups downhole addressed and alleviated, it could be time to invest in dewaxing, among other essential maintenance services. Contact the professionals at Willies Hot Oil Service Inc. today to learn more.