Paraffin Deposition Phenomena in Crude Oil Pipelines

  • James P. Brill
Conference paper
Part of the Fluid Mechanics and its Applications book series (FMIA, volume 43)


When oil and gas are produced from wells drilled in deep water environments, the fluids undergo rapid temperature reductions as a result of heat transfer to the surrounding cold water. Typical sea floor temperatures in 2,000-m water depths are often about 5 °C. When the oil temperature near the pipe wall cools below the cloud point or wax appearance temperature, deposition of paraffin on the pipe wall begins. Predicting the phenomena of paraffin deposition requires combining computations for heat transfer, phase equilibrium thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and deposition mechanisms, some of which are not well understood for either single phase or multiphase flow conditions. Once started, paraffin deposition can continue until significant reductions occur in the pipe cross-sectional area available for flow, sometimes resulting in total blockage.


Pipe Wall Radial Temperature Gradient Cloud Point Temperature Test Pipe Shear Dispersion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bern, P. A., Winthers, W. R. & Cairns, J.R.: “Wax Deposition in Crude Oil Pipelines,” European Offshore Petroleum Conference & Exhibition, London, UK, 21–24, (1980).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Burger, E. D., Perkins, T.K. & Striegler, J.H.: “Studies of Wax Deposition in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline,” J. of Petroleum Technology, 1075–1086, (June 1981).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cole, R. J, and Jessen, F.W.: “Paraffin Deposition,” Oil and Gas Journal, vol 58, pp 87, (Sept 1960).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cragoe, N.B.S. Misc. Publ., pp 97, (1929) cited in Perry & Chilton: “Chemical Engineers Handbook”, pp. 6-237 & pp 6-243 (1973).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    DiEspoti, E.J. and Tackett, J.E.: “Fluid Characterization and Property Evaluation for Paraffin Deposition in Multiphase Flowlines and Wellbores,” Quarterly progress report, (September 23, 1996).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hunt Jr., B. E.: “Laboratory Study of Paraffin Deposition,” JPT, 1259–1269, (November 1962).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jessen, F.W. & Howell, J.N.: “Effect of Flow Rate on Paraffin Accumulation in Plastic, Steel, and Coated Pipe,” Petroleum Transactions, AIME, Vol. 213, 80–84, (1958).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jorda, R. M.: “Paraffin Deposition and Prevention in Oil Wells,” JPT, 1605–1612, (December 1966).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Matzain, A., “Single Phase Liquid Paraffin Deposition Modeling,” MS Thesis, The U. of Tulsa (1997).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Patton, C.C., & Casad, B.M.: “Paraffin Deposition from Refined Wax-Solvent System,” SPEJ, pp 17, (March 1990).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Volle, J.P.: “DSC Determination of Crystallized Fraction of South Pelto Crude Oil by Elf Aquitaine”, (1996).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Welty, J. R., Wicks C. E., Wilson, R.E.: “Fundamentals of Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer,” John Wiley and Sons, 3rd Edition, pp 202–211, (1983).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zigrang, D. J. and Sylvester, N.D.: “A Review of Explicit Friction Factor Equations,” Trans. ASME, JERT, vol 107, pp 280–283, (1985).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Conoco PARAFFIN Prediction Program and Manual.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Brill
    • 1
  1. 1.Petroleum Engineering Dept.The University of TulsaUSA

Personalised recommendations