Paraffin Inhibitors prevent
further buildup of the viscous paraffin wax from agglomerating
equipment. Some crude oils with high levels of paraffin are so
viscous that travel in pipelines during the winter months is almost
Crystallization of this
material can buildup in a production string to the point that it can
kill a well.
Usually, low levels of
paraffin inhibitors (400 ppm to 1000 ppm) are continuously injected to
prevent this sticky material from adhering to production lines.
The following diagram
displays the effectiveness of a production string with, and without a
paraffin inhibitor that is producing a fluid with a high level of
The untreated (top) line has
a gradual buildup of Paraffin Wax which eventually chokes the production
flow (Gas, Condensates, etc).
A line treated with a
Paraffin Inhibitor forms a protective layer between the sticky paraffin
wax and the outer metal lining. This action inhibits the
paraffin from physically attaching to the line and maintains free
flowing production of produced chemical fluids.
Further research is being
performed to chemically treat or chemically modify the metal matrix to
lower the adhesion properties of production string metals. This is
in the field of metallurgical chemistry.
Eugene for more information.