Investigation of the Severity of Wax Deposition in Bend Pipes Under Subcooled Pipelines Conditions

Journal article


Makwashi, Nura, Sarkodie, Kwame, Akubo, Stephen, Zhao, Donglin and Diaz, Pedro (2019). Investigation of the Severity of Wax Deposition in Bend Pipes Under Subcooled Pipelines Conditions. Day 4 Thu, June 06, 2019. https://doi.org/10.2118/195559-ms
AuthorsMakwashi, Nura, Sarkodie, Kwame, Akubo, Stephen, Zhao, Donglin and Diaz, Pedro
AbstractAbstract Curved pipes are essential components of subsea process equipment and some part of production pipeline and riser. So far, most of the studies on of wax deposition and the possible mitigation strategies have been carried out using straight pipelines, with little attention given to curved pipes. Therefore, the objective of this study is to use an experimental flow loop designed and assembled in the lab to study and understand the mechanisms and variable parameters that affect wax depositional behaviour under the single-phase flow. Series of experiments were carried out with pipes curvatures of 0, 45 and 90-degree at different flow rates (2 and 11 L/min). The sequence in which the bends are incorporated creates non-uniformity of boundary shear, flow separation, and caused isolation of fluid around the bends that affect wax deposition, which depends on flow regimes – Reynolds number along with the radius of curvature of the bend. Prior to the flow loop experiment, the waxy crude oil was characterized by measuring the viscosity, WAT (30°C), pour point (25.5°C), n-Paraffin distribution (C10 - C67), and the saturated/aromatic/resin/asphalte (SARA) fractions Results of this study shows that the wax deposit thickness decreases at higher flow rate within the laminar (Re<2300) and turbulent (Re>2300) flow regimes. It was observed that the deposition rate was significantly higher in curved pipes, about 8 and 10% for 45 and 90-degree, respectively in comparison to the straight pipe for all flow conditions. Increase elevation of the curved pipe, however, led to a more wax deposition trend; where a higher percentage of wax deposit was observed in 45-degree compared to 90-degree curved pipe. This trend was due addition of gravity forces to the frictional forces - influenced by the physical mechanisms of wax deposition mainly molecular diffusion, shear dispersion and gravity settling. From the results of this study, a new correlation between wax deposit thickness and pressure drop was developed. A relationship was established between wax deposit thicknesses, bend angle in pipes and wax deposition mechanisms with a reasonable agreement with published data, especially for steady state condition. Therefore, this study will enhance the understanding of the wax deposition management and improve predictions for further development of a robust mitigation strategy.
KeywordsWax Deposition in Bend Pipes; Wax in pipelines
Year2019
JournalDay 4 Thu, June 06, 2019
PublisherSPE
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2118/195559-ms
Publication dates
Online03 Jun 2019
Print03 Jun 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Jun 2019
Accepted15 Mar 2019
Accepted author manuscript
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Controlled
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