Non-toxic paraffin remover returns flow to long-plugged GOM pipeline

A granular derivative of chemistries conceived for use in the food services and brewing industries, re-formulated as a paraffin removal agent, has effectively restored oil flow in a severely plugged Gulf of Mexico pipeline that had been slated for de-commissioning. In less than two days of intermittent pumping and soaking, the aqueous-activated solution, acknowledged as the industry’s only non-toxic paraffin remover, had established full communication on a 1.43-mi., inter-platform flowline that had been out of commission for 10 months. Nearly the full length of the 8-in. flowline, in just under 127 ft of water in the Vermilion area offshore Louisiana, was determined to be plugged by paraffin wax, Fig. 1. Previously, a number of high-pressure pumping attempts, using conventional solvents, had proved unsuccessful, leaving the operator little choice but to plan on converting a 6-in. water line to transfer oil between the two platforms.

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