Modeling and Simulation of Wax Deposition in Oil Pipeline System

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Adeyanju, O.A.
Oyekunle, L.O.
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Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
The major challenge accompanies the transportation of waxy crude oil is the wax deposition in the pipeline. Oil Company spends millions of dollars yearly to remediate this anomaly. This necessitated the demand for an accurate mathematical model that would include all salient features of wax transportation and deposition for an ideal design of oil production facilities. A comprehensive mathematical model for the prediction of single-phase wax deposition applicable to both laminar and turbulent flow regimes is presented. The model couples energy, momentum and thermodynamic equations to deposition and removal kinetics models. Molecular diffusion, shear dispersion and the sloughing effect due to shear removal effect of flowing oil in the pipe channel have been considered. The laboratory data and field operating conditions were input to the wax deposition model, the modeling results were validated with experimental data. Results indicate that the sloughing effect ignored in most of the existing models can be substantial in both the laminar and turbulent flow regimes which characterize the field flow situation at different production periods. Overall predictive ability of the proposed model is excellent in both flow regimes judging by the Average Absolute Deviation (AAD) values of 0.0000921 and 0.0000996 by the proposed model as against AAD values of 0.0000982 and 0.000236 returned by the Hernandez et al. model in the laminar and turbulent flow regime respectively. The improvement was due to among others the ability of the proposed model to model the effect of shear removal in the wax deposition model which the Hernandez model failed to take into consideration.
oil-wax interface , dimensionless wax thickness , average absolute deviation , deposited wax , Brownian diffusion
Adeyanju, O.A. and Oyekunle L.O.: (2014),”Modeling and Simulation of Wax Deposition in Oil Pipeline System” Journal of Advances in Petroleum Engineering Sciences (ASPES), Vol. 6, No. 1. Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.