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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics Wax

Deposition Modeling and Comparison with
Field Data for Some Indian Oil Fields

Article · January 2017


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Anand Gupta Anirbid Sircar

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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)
Volume 4, Issue 1

Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field

Data for Some Indian Oil Fields
Anand Gupta, Anirbid Sircar*
School of Petroleum Technology, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

One of the major determinants for flow assurance of crude oil is its constitution and involves
successful management of solid deposits. Major challenges in flow assurance are adequate
selection of production equipment and pipelines. Control of wax deposition and its challenge
can be met with better prediction through wax modeling. Precipitation of paraffin out of
supersaturated crude oil mixture is responsible for wax deposits in pipelines. The authors
have seen severe wax deposition in some of the Indian oil fields leading to the choking of
pipelines and costing large amount of money and efforts in revival of these pipelines or
replacement. This paper brings out application of wax deposition models and its field
validation through studies carried out for some Indian oil fields. The studies have given
insight into this complex phenomena and improved understanding has led to better wax
deposition management in the pipelines. The main objective of this study is to predict the rate
at which wax deposition takes place with respect to dynamic simulation model with field data
of two different fields. The first case hasan8 in and 25 km long pipeline with burial depth of
1.2 m and multiphase transportation in the pipeline. The flow rate is about 500 m3/d of oil
emulsion from A to B GGS. The temperature and concentration distribution of wax deposition
rate has been analyzed through wax deposition models. The second case describes a pipeline
of 8 in and 15 km long, burial depth 1.2 m, insulated with polyurethane of 2.5 mm thickness.
To find out most suitable model for wax deposition, comparison between various WAX
deposition models viz., RRR (Rygg, Rydahl and Ronningsen), Matzain and University of
Michiganto available SCADA system has been made for better understanding, especially in
context of Indian oil fields. The fluid properties for these fields were measured and the same
have been used in wax deposition models for prediction of temperature drop, pressure drop
and wax thickness calculations. Currently, in field operations to control the wax deposition,
pigging is being carried out every month. Based on the studies carried out, pigging frequency
has been optimized. Further, through improved understanding, the chemical injection could
be optimized thus saving the cost in the field operations. Through wax deposition modeling
and operational experience of two different fields, some insight to understand wax deposition
phenomena with respect to molecular diffusion, shear dispersion and other mechanisms has
been made. Through Matlab program for Matzain and Singh model, the predictions and field
data has been compared for validation of results. It has been seen that for prediction of
temperature profile along the trunkline, RRR model used in OLGA has been found most
suitable and for accurate prediction of wax deposition; Singh model has been found to be
more accurate for these fields. This study was taken up to improve the fundamental
understanding of problems related to production and transportation of crude oil containing

Keywords: Wax deposition modeling, RRR model, OLGA, wax appearance temperature
(WAT), Matzain model, University of Michigan/Singh model

*Author for correspondence E-mail: anirbid.sircar@spt.pdpu.ac.in

INTRODUCTION production, transportation and refining. Wax

The complex and varied composition of crude deposition occurs on the inner surface of a
oil containing hundreds of compounds lends pipeline. As the pipe wall temperature falls
the crude as a unique fingerprint and is below the wax appearance temperature
responsible for its distinct behavior during (WAT), wax deposition causes harmful effect

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Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

on the equipment and pipelines, depending particle velocimetry by Jimenez et al., It can
upon its occurrence. Wax deposition can be be concluded that particles residing near wall
depending upon the crude type, composition in the region of viscous sub layer get re-
and operating conditions. Amount of wax entrained back to bulk-flow due to a lifting
components dissolved in the oil is responsible force caused by turbulence, known as
(Dependent) for the degree of deposition. “Saffman lift force” [2–6]. These findings
When crude containing wax flows from suggest that contribution of shear dispersion is
reservoir to the production area through comparatively much lesser than molecular
pipelines, heat loss due to temperature diffusion. Hence, a model is needed which
difference results in wax deposition. considers both molecular diffusion and shear
dispersion but also accounts molecular
For improving the understanding of wax diffusion as main mechanism to match real
deposition for getting better flow assurance case scenario.
management, development of dynamic wax
prediction model along with validation of the The Matzain model is a semi-empirical kinetic
results with actual field conditions has been model and predicts the wax thickness. The
carried out. accuracy is acceptable, especially at high flow
rates. The Matzain model is, based on
Deposition of wax on flow line walls, are mechanisms of molecular diffusion and shear
causing restriction in fluid flow. There are dispersion, but shear dispersion is found to be
several tools or methods to control or remove of minor importance [7]. The general
the wax deposition in flow line. Most algorithm for wax deposition modelling is
extensively used methods in pipelines for shown in Figure 1.
controlling wax deposition are chemical
injection, pigging, thermal insulation and Matzain et al. (2000, 2002) proposed that the
active heating. Pigging and insulation are the rate may be influenced by other mechanisms
most extensively method using at present (now as well [8, 9]. Shear stripping will result in a
days). reduced deposition rate and rate enhancement
occurs due to entrapment of oil and other
INTRODUCTION TO MODELS mechanisms. Since Fick’s mass diffusion
The mathematical models are based on the theory does not account for such influences of
description of physical phenomena with the rate, Matzain et al. tried to take account for
certain assumptions. The wax molecules are this by empirically modifying Fick’s law.
dissolved in the oil and also precipitated in Based on experiment, two empirical correction
suspension form, getting deposited at the wall terms are added [10, 11].
resulting in wax deposition. The physical The total wax deposition rate is then expressed
phenomena such as molecular diffusion and as [12]:
𝑑𝛿 Π 𝑑𝑤 𝑑𝑇
shear dispersion are considered majorly in the = − 1 𝐷𝑜𝑤 [ 𝑤 ] (1)
𝑑𝑡 1+Π2 𝑑𝑇 𝑑𝑟
wax models. In molecular diffusion
mechanism, the wax is deposited due to Where,
δ : Thickness of wax layer deposited (m),
diffusion of dissolved molecules towards the
wall. On the other hand, due to dispersion of ww : Concentration of wax in solution (weight
precipitated particles towards wall, the %),
phenomena of shear dispersion is observed. r : Radial distance (m),
Two models namely Matzain Model and T : Temperature (°C),
Dow : Turbulent mass diffusion,
University of Michigan/Singh model are
discussed here. Π1 : Empirical relation for the rate
enhancement due to oil being trapped in the
deposited wax layer, also accounts for any
Matzain Model
The study by Bern et al. suggests that wax positive deposition rate which is not accounted
by Dow,
deposition rate does not increase with
increasing shear rate of the fluid [1]. Similarly, Π2 : Empirical relation for rate reduction due
the work of Saffman and Cleaver and Yates on to shear stripping.
particle fluid mechanics theory, and work on Π1 = 1−𝐶 1/100 (2)

RTFM (2017) 1-15 © STM Journals 2017. All Rights Reserved Page 2
Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
Volume 4, Issue 1
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)

Fig. 1: General Algorithm for Wax Deposition Modeling.

Π2 = 𝐶2 𝑁𝑆𝑅3 (3) ϑsl : Liquid superficial velocity (m/s),
Where, E : Liquid hold up,
NSR is a dimensionless variable expressed in dw :Inside diameter as a result of wax build-
the form of a flow regime dependent Reynolds up (m)
number. μo,f : Oil viscosity (kg/(ms)).

The diffusion constant is given by the Wax deposition was found to be flow pattern
correlation shown in Equation 4, but this dependent. The only model incorporating the
diffusion correlation is not sufficient to effect of different flow regimes. The variable
represent the proportionality constant that was derived for each flow pattern as
drives the diffusion process. Matzain et al. following:
incorporated the use of dimensionless Single Phase
variables and empirical constants from his 𝜌 𝜗 𝛿
𝑁𝑆𝑅 = 𝜇𝑜 𝑜 (6)
experiments [8, 9]. C1, C2 and C3 are three 𝑜,𝑓

empirical constants which are correlated from This type of flow pattern yields harder
the single-phase and two-phase flow data. deposits but with lower thickness.
Their values were found to be: C1=15.0, Intermittent/Bubbly
C2=0.055 and C3=1.4. C2 and C3 do not vary 𝜌𝑚 ( 𝑠𝑙 )𝛿
with time, due to limited understanding of 𝑁𝑆𝑅 = 𝜇𝑜,𝑓
aging. Additionally, Coil is the percentage of This flow results in harder deposit where
oil trapped in wax deposit (%) and is hardness increases from top to bottom of the
expressed as: pipe.
𝐶𝑜𝑖𝑙 = 100 (1 − ) (4) Annular
8 𝜗
𝜗 √𝜌𝑚 𝜌𝑜 ( 𝐸𝑠𝑙 )𝛿
𝜌𝑜 ( 𝑠𝑙 )𝑑𝑤
𝑁𝑆𝑅 = 𝜇𝑜,𝑓
𝑁𝑅𝐸,𝑓 = 𝜇𝑜,𝑓
Uniform but very hard wax deposit has been
Where, observed in this type of flow compared to all
ρo : Oil density (kg/m3), other types of flow.

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Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

Stratified Smooth/Wavy parameters which may be variables or constants

𝜌𝑜 ( 𝑠𝑙 )𝛿 is shown in a flow chart in Figure 2. The model
𝑁𝑆𝑅 = 𝜇𝑜,𝑓
(9) has four parts in wax deposition calculation
Soft deposit has been seen on the bottom of which are as following:
the pipe but thickness increases in wavy • Term A, accounting for experimental
boundary in this type of flow. modifications of Fick’s law where two
Where, empirical correction relations are lumped
ϑo : Oil velocity (m/s), together to incorporate the influences of
δ : Thickness of the wax layer (m), reduced and enhanced rates.
ρm : Average density of the gas-oil mixture • Term B represents the diffusivity
(kg/m3). coefficient which is inversely proportional
These expressions show that the shear to the dynamic viscosity of oil with
stripping effect has been modeled as empirical constant C1 as proportionality
dependent of the wax layer thickness, flow constant.
conditions and flowing fluid properties. Shear • Term C takes into consideration the
stripping is modeled as a reduction in dependency of heavier wax molecule
deposition rate directly dependent of the concentration as solute in the liquid phase
diffusion rate [7]. which is dependent on the nature of solute
molecules and temperature.
The molar deposition rate for a wax forming • Term D is thermal gradient of the laminar
component i is given by Mehta et al. [7]. sublayer which depends on the thermal
𝑑𝑒𝑝 Π1 𝐷𝑤𝑖 (𝐶𝑖𝑏 − 𝐶𝑇𝑤 ) 𝑑𝑇 conductivity of oil as well as on the
𝑛̇ 𝑖 = ∙ ∙ (10)
1+ Π2 𝑇𝑏 − 𝑇𝑤 𝑑𝑟 difference between the inner and outer
The thermal gradient of the laminar sub-layer ambient temperature of pipeline.
is found to be:
𝑑𝑇 (𝑇𝑏 −𝑇𝑤 )
= (11) The limitations of Matzain model include:
𝑑𝑟 𝜆𝑜
1. Experimentally tested only on South-Pelto
Where, oil earlier.
λo : The oil thermal conductivity (W/(mK)), 2. Due to limited understanding of aging, the
Tb : Bulk average flow temperature (K), variation of C2 and C3 are time invariant.
Tw : Inner wall surface temperature (K), 3. It is basically a fitted model with too many
hwall : Inner wall surface heat transfer artificial tuning constants.
coefficient (W/(m2K)). 4. Applicability of model for pipes of
different diameters is unknown.
The diffusion controlled crystallization and the 5. Effect of smearing of wax deposition seen
effect of aging are not directly modeled, but in low rate annular flow pipes is not
these effects may to some extent be included incorporated in this model.
in the empirical constants C2 and C3, which are
based on measured single-phase and two-
University of Michigan/Singh Model
phase flow thickness data. As the deposit ages, Experimental studies performed at the
it hardens, which prevents the wax deposit University of Michigan confirmed that
from being stripped off the pipe wall. C2 and particulate deposition such as shear dispersion;
C3 should vary with time in order to account Brownian diffusion and gravity settling are not
for the increase in hardness and prevent any significant for the flow conditions in a pipeline.
further decrease in the deposition rate as the The research groups chose to put their further
thickness grows. However, the constants were focus on studying gelation along with the
not varied with time in this deposition model. molecular diffusion mechanism [13]. Although
C1 enhances the wax deposition rate by other molecular diffusion causes repeated transfer of
mechanisms which are not accounted for by molecules from bulk to oil deposit interface but
the diffusion constant. Neither is the effect of not all of these molecules become a part of this
smearing of wax deposition, as seen in the low layer, rather these dissolved components
liquid rate annular flow wax deposition test, continue to diffuse internally in wax deposit.
incorporated in the model. A general algorithm General algorithm of Singh model is shown in
of Matzain model involving input of various Figure 3.

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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
Volume 4, Issue 1
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)

Input ρo, ϑsl, E, dw μo,f Input ϑo, δ, ρm

ρo - Oil density ϑo - Oil velocity
ϑsl - Liquid superficial velocity δ - Thickness of the wax layer
E - Liquid hold up ρm- Average density of the gas-oil
dw - Inside diameter as a result of wax mixture
μo,f - Oil viscosity

𝜌𝑜 (
) 𝑑𝑤 𝜌𝐿 ∗ 𝑣𝐿 ∗ 𝛿
𝑁𝑅𝐸,𝑓 = 𝜇𝐿
Reynolds Number
Flow regime dependent
Reynolds Number

𝑁𝑅𝑒,𝑓 0.15 𝐶2 = 0.055 𝐶3 = 1.4 Input Tamp,Tin,d,U,Cp,m

𝐶𝑜𝑖𝑙 = 100 (1 − ) Tamp-Ambient temperature outside
Time invariant Time invariant pipeline
Matzain constant Matzain Tin-Fluid inlet temperature
Matzian constant showing Percentage
of Oil trapped in wax deposit constant Cp-Specific heat capacity of fluid
m- Mass rate of flowing fluid
χ- Length of pipe
U-Heat transmission coefficient
d- Diameter of pipe
Π1 = 𝐶𝑜𝑖𝑙
𝐶1 = 15
Accounts for porosity
constant effect on rate of wax Π2 = 1 + 𝐶2 𝑁𝑆𝑅 𝐶3
Accounts for wax = 16.6
effect of shear 𝑑𝑡

Π1 Wax Solubility
Π1 + Π2
𝐷𝑊 =

Temperature Gradient =
𝑑𝑇 (𝑇𝑏 − 𝑇𝑤 )
𝑑𝑟 𝜆𝑜
−Π ∗ 𝑑 ∗ 𝑈 ∗ 𝜒
B (𝑇 )
𝑇 = 𝑇𝑎𝑚𝑏 + 𝑖𝑛 − 𝑇𝑎𝑚𝑏 ∙ 𝑒𝑥𝑝 ( )
𝐶𝑃 𝑚
Diffusivity Coefficient
λo - The oil thermal conductivity (W/(mK)),
Tb - Bulk average flow temperature (K),
Tw - Inner wall surface temperature (K),
hwall- Inner wall surface heat transfer coefficient
(W/(m2 K)).

Change in Wax thickness deposited in wall

with Time (m/s)

𝑑𝛿 Π1 𝑑𝐶𝑊 𝑑𝑇
= ∙𝐷 ∙ ∙
𝑑𝑡 Π1 + Π2 𝑊 𝑑𝑡 𝑑𝑟

Fig. 2: Generalized Algorithm for Matzain Model.

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Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

Fig. 3: General Algorithm of Singh Model.

Fig. 4: Schematic of Wax Deposit Aging.

Molecular diffusion is the major mechanism diffusion mass flux JB results in an increase in
for wax deposition. In this mechanism, the the wax fraction within the deposit. The
precipitated wax particles in the bulk oil do increase in the wax fraction in the deposit is
not contribute to the wax deposition on the also known as the aging rate of the deposit
pipe wall. Instead, it is the radial diffusion of which is physically related to the hardening of
dissolved wax molecules that results in the the wax deposit as time increases.
build-up of a wax deposit. The magnitude of
diffusion can be described in terms of radial First step of the deposition process considers
mass fluxes (Usually with unit of kg/m2/s) the formation of a deposit at the wall. Then the
which can be described as JA and JB as model considers the internal diffusion
described in Figure 4. The difference of the mechanisms of waxy gel deposits. Besides
two mass fluxes (JA–JB) corresponds to the considering the inward diffusion of wax-
growth of deposit layer, while the internal forming components towards the pipe wall, the

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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
Volume 4, Issue 1
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)

counter diffusion of oil molecules out of the The model for turbulent flows needs an
wax deposits is also considered. The wax addition of shear flux term as:
fraction in the deposit increase with time, and 𝐽𝑆 = 𝑚 ∙ 𝜏 𝑛 (15)
this phenomenon is called “deposit aging”.
𝑑𝛿 𝐷𝑜𝑤 | (1−𝜑(𝑥))−𝐽𝑠
𝑑𝑡 𝑖
During wax deposition, most of these 𝑑𝑡
= 𝜌𝑥
dissolved wax components lead to an increase
of wax fraction even above solubility limit and Both parameters m and n were fitted from
causing further precipitation along with experiments with a model fluid in a test rig,
formation of crystals. The trapped liquid acts but these values are only validated for the
as a medium for further diffusion of the waxy specific fluid and test geometry used [17].
molecules into the deposit porous network.
The aging enhances due to higher flow rates, MODELING OF TRUNKLINES CASE
which can result in wax fractions of 60–70% STUDIES
in the deposit [13]. The simulation of trunkline has been carried
out in MATLAB for the two cases. A platform
The Michigan model is the only model which optimized for solving complex problems. The
includes the aging of the deposit. Most models prebuilt tools and essential algorithms
state that the wax-oil deposit has constant wax iteratively analyze the data until optimal
content, and the wax porosity is used as an results are obtained.
adjustable parameter. However, experiments
by Singh et al. prove that the assumption Following crude oil properties have been used
stating that the composition of the deposit is for the two cases (Table 1):
time invariant to be invalid [14].
𝑑𝛿 𝐷𝑜𝑤 | (1− 𝜑(𝑥))
𝑑𝑟 𝑖
(12) Table 1: Crude Oil Properties.
𝑑𝑡 𝜌𝑥 No. Properties Case 1 Case 2
𝑑𝑥 𝐷𝑜𝑤 | 𝜑(𝑥)2(𝑅− 𝛿)
𝑑𝑟 𝑖 1 Sp. Gravity 60/600F 0.868 0.8664
= 𝜌𝛿(2𝑅− 𝛿)
2 API Gravity 60oF 32 31.83
δ :The deposit thickness, 3 Pour Point (0C) 42 36
𝑥 : The wax content of the deposit, 4 Saturates % wt 71.8 63.19
R : The radius of clean pipe, 5 Aromatics % wt 19.9 28.10
Dow : The diffusion coefficient for wax in oil, 6 Resins % wt 9.3 8.61
α : the average aspect ratio of the wax
7 Asphaltenes % wt 1.4 0.1
φ : Coefficient describing diffusion in a 8 Wax content wt% 21.3 11.29
porous network and can be found by
Cussler as [15]: Simulation of 8 in pipeline with length of
𝜑(𝑥) = 𝑥2
(14) 25 km is performed in MATLAB to develop
1+ 𝛼2
1−𝑥 temperature profile, pressure profile and
finally using Matzain model to depict the rate
The model was developed by Singh for of wax deposition versus distance of pipeline
laminar flow [16]. Singh et al. observed from graphically. The simplest type of program
experiments that an increase in the wall called as script files in MATLAB have been
temperature resulted in a decreased gel constructed for simulation that allowed the
thickness, an increased wax content in the wall reuse of sequences commands by storing them
layer and a decrease in wax content of the in program files. Inputs to such script files
interface layer [16]. In addition, increasing were reliable field and laboratory data as in
flow rate lead to increased wax content of both table above that involved loops and functions
layers. to generate the plots as output.

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Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

Following pipeline has been simulated in 5.25×10-3 m3/day. Total mass of wax deposited
Matzain model (Table 2): is 4.78 kg/day and 143.4 kg/month. The
Table 2: Pipeline Data. modeling results prove the amount of wax
Trunk line Unit Case 1 Case 2 which is deposited in the pipeline is given in
Details Figure 8. The applicability of these models is
Line size in 8 8 tested in this present work which was earlier
OD in 8.625 8.625
unknown in spite of being supported by more
Grade APIL X-46 X-46
realistic assumptions.
Wall Thickness in 0.277 0.277
ID in 8.071 8.071
Length of trunk km 25 15
The physical properties of crude and pipeline
line dimensions are given in Table 2:
Burial depth m 1.2 1.2
Coating Coal tar Coal tar With an inlet temperature of 60oC in the
enamel enamel pipeline, there is a sharp drop in the
temperature due to cooling effect and later on
Temperature profile of pipeline is given in it attains the ambient temperature as shown in
Figure 5 during summer. Ambient temperature Figure 6.
is reached at 7000 m and WAT at a distance of
720 m from the start. Temperature profile of The wax deposited with the flow of 1 day
pipeline during winter is given in Figure 6. across the pipeline is shown in Figure 8. The
Ambient temperature is reached at 4000 m and cumulative wax deposit across the 25-km
WAT at 580 m. Pour point is reached at pipeline is about 3.5X10-3 mm.
2185 m. Pressure drop in the pipeline is
received from Figure 7. The wax deposition across the length of
pipeline works out to be about 0.025 mm
Pressure drop experienced is 47 kg/cm2 across during the period of 1 week as shown in
the line. So, along 25 km pipeline, the average Figure 9.
pressure drop for 1 km is 1.88 kg/cm2.Volume
rate of wax deposited by molecular dispersion The wax deposition which takes place in about
by RRR model is also calculated as 6.08× 30 days works out to be about 0.112 mm in the
10 − 8 m3/s and implies total volume of pipeline across the length is shown in Figure 9.


WAT reached at 720 m

AT 7000 m
Ambient temperature reached at 13058 m

X = 26
Y = 35






5 10 15 20 25

Fig. 5: MATLAB Temperature Profile during Summer.

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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
Volume 4, Issue 1
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)



WAT reached at 580 m

50 WAT reached at 580 m

40 Pour Point reached at 2185 m

Pour Point reached at 2185 m

AT 4000 m
X = 26
Y = 21



5 10 15 20 25

Fig. 6: MATLAB Temperature Profile during Winter.

Fig. 7: MATLAB Pressure Drop Profile during Winter.

Bulk of the wax deposited will be observed deposition. C enhances the wax deposition rate
where the oil temperature crosses below the by other mechanisms which are not accounted
WAT. Further, downstream the flow line, the for by the diffusion constant.
wax thickness and the specific mass at the wall
gradually reduces, with decreasing oil Modelling of Case 2 for Trunkline
temperature. This is due to the low thermal The simulation of trunkline for case 2 has also
gradient existing between the flowing oil and been carried out as per the details given in
the ambient temperature. Matzain model has Tables 1 and 2. As per the simulation carried
three empirical constants C1, C2 and C3. out, the results of pressure drop, temperature
Figure 10 shows the effect of C1 on rate of drop and wax deposition are given in
wax deposition. It indicates how an increasing Figures 11–13.
C1 parameter results in an enhanced wax

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Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

Wax deposition in one day (AB Pipeline)


Wax thickness (in mm)




0.0015 One day



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Time (in hours)
Fig. 8: MATLAB Wax Deposition Profile using Singh Model (1 Day).

Wax deposition in AB trunkline



0.08 One week

0.06 Twenty days

Thirty days
Wax deposited

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31
Fig. 9: MATLAB Wax Deposition Profile using Singh Model for AB Trunkline.

x 10
C1 =25
4.5 C2 = 20
C1 = 15
4 C1 = 10
Wax thickness in mm

C1 = 5




0 10 20 30 40 50 60
time (hrs)

Fig. 10: Effect of C1 on Wax Deposition.

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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
Volume 4, Issue 1
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)

Fig. 11: Temperature Profile of Pipeline in Summer.

Fig. 12: Temperature Profile of Pipeline in Winter.

The wax deposited in one day in PQ trunkline Results

is found to be 0.003 mm in Figure 14. Comparison of MATLAB and SCADA
Similarly, for span of one month the wax Results
deposited finally was 0.094 mm as shown in For both cases, analyzed results are taken from
Figure 15. starting point of summer and winter periods as

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Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

per the Table 3. results between MATLAB results and SCADA

There is a difference of about 2.3% observed data. The results for WAT appearance
in the temperature profile of crude during temperature are given in Table 4.
summer and winter periods, while analyzing

Fig. 13: Pressure Drop along Length of Trunk Line Pipeline P-Q.

Wax deposited in one day (PQ Pipeline)


Wax thickness (in mm)






1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Time (in hours)

Fig. 14: MATLAB Wax Deposition Profile using Singh Model for PQ Trunkline in One Day.

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Recent Trends in Fluid Mechanics
Volume 4, Issue 1
ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)

Wax deposition in PQ trunkline

Wax thickness (in mm)

One week
Twenty days
0.03 Thirty days
0.02 Wax depsoited
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31

Time (in days)

Fig. 15: MATLAB Wax Deposition Profile using Singh Model for PQ Trunkline.

Table 3:
Summer (April to September) Winter (October to March)
Case 1 Case 2 Case 1 Case 2
(Trunkline A-B) Trunkline P-Q) (Trunkline A-B) Trunkline P-Q)
Distance 13058 m 9000 m 4118 m 7000 m
Ambient TemperatureMeasured 36°C 35°C 20°C 21°C

Table 4:
Summer (April to September) Winter (October to March)
Case 1 Case 2 Case 1 Case 2
(Trunkline A-B) Trunkline P-Q) (Trunkline A-B) Trunkline P-Q)
Predicted distance of achievement 720 m 950 m 580 m 665 m
WAT 43°C 43°C 43°C 43°C

Fig. 16: Comparison of Wax, Asphaltene and Resin Content for Case 1 and 2 Respectively.

A difference in the order of 10–14% has been where MATLAB and SCADA results are
observed while comparison of MATLAB and within range of 7%.
SCADA results for pressure drop profile.
More insight comparison between model and In case-1 for trunkline A-B, while the
real data can be seen in volumetric wax profile comparison of wax content in the dispatch oil

RTFM (2017) 1-15 © STM Journals 2017. All Rights Reserved Page 13
Wax Deposition Modeling and Comparison with Field Data Sircar and Gupta

and wax sample after pigging has been 5. Urushihara T, Meinhart CD, Adrian RJ.
analyzed and observed the Increment Investigation of the Logarithmic Layer in
(Increase) in following wax content by 1.75%, Pipe Flow Using Particle Image
resin content by 06% and decrement in Velocimetry, Near-Wall Turbulent Flows.
asphalting content by 0.9%. Same as for case- Proceedings of the International
2 which is trunkline P-Q, increment was Conference, Tempe, Arizona, Elsevier
observed in wax content by 2.19%, resin Science Publishers; 1993; 433–446p.
content by 0.92% and decrement in asphalting 6. García MC, Chiaravallo N. Asphaltenes
content by 0.3% (Figure 16). Deposition Control in Lake Maracaibo
Crude Oil Production. SPE International
In both cases, highest fraction of increment
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of Petroleum Engineers; Jan 2001.
severity of problem and need to pay attention
towards wax deposition phenomenon. 7. Mehta AP, Hebert PB, Cadena ER, et al.
Fulfilling the Promise of Low Dosage
CONCLUSION Hydrate Inhibitors: Journey from
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The main cause of restrictions on flow Implementation. Offshore Technology
assurance is wax deposition (Paraffin Conference. Jan 2002.
crystallization), which takes place inside the 8. Matzain A, Zhang HQ, Volk M, et al.
wall of pipeline. Multiphase Flow Wax Deposition
Modelling. In BHR Group Conference
The specific conclusions are listed below: Series Publication, Bury St. Edmunds;
• An approach has been taken to develop Professional Engineering Publishing;
wax deposition model for some Indian 2000; 40: 415–444p.
crudes and successfully developed and 9. Matzain A, Apte MS, Zhang HQ, et al.
validated with field results. Investigation of Paraffin Deposition
• To perform RRR modeling, OLGA has during Multiphase Flow in Pipelines and
been used whereas MATLAB has been Wellbores: Part 1: Experiments. J Energy
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Model. The results from both are 10. SPT Group. OLGA® Simulation Services.
compared and found in good agreement. 2013. Brochure Downloaded from:
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0.02% ts/Brochures/multiphase_services08.pdf
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ISSN: 2455-1961 (Online)

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