paraffin control | Energy Glossary

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paraffin control

1. n. []

A set of techniques used to prevent or considerably reduce paraffin deposition. Paraffin control might involve the following options:

  • use of paraffin inhibitors
  • maintaining pipe surfaces in a water-wet condition because paraffin will not adhere to water (however, the presence of natural surfactants in some crude oils converts water-wet surfaces to an oil-wet condition, making this technique effective only temporarily)
  • coating the pipe with plastic to provide a smooth surface and reduce paraffin adhesion
  • reducing heat transfer to maintain the oil temperature above its cloud point.

Filling the annulus of a well with a fluid that has poorer heat transfer properties than the oil maintains the temperature of the flowing crude oil above its cloud point.

See: damageorganic deposit