Viscosity Reduction Using FloWell

Whilst no accurate figures can be given for the reduction in viscosity it must be understood that the effect of the FloWell solution is to return and maintain in liquid phase paraffin and asphaltene within the oil flow.

This return and maintaining in liquid phase are permanent features of the action of the FloWell solution. Once these components of the oil are returned to liquid phase, they will remain in that state all the way to the refinery.

From that point, the reducing temperature that the oil flow is subjected to, especially during the winter months, will have no effect on the paraffin and asphaltene content. The crude oil remains pumpable and no precipitation will occur.

The best mean viscosity will be at least the equivalent of the pour point of the crude oil stream and although we are aware of further viscosity reduction on the crude oil itself, we are unable to provide accurate figures.

To understand the reason for the increase in viscosity is the capability of both paraffin and asphaltene to create long chain molecules as the temperature reduces, these in turn increases the viscosity and is exacerbated further as these long chain molecules then create a crystalline structure.

These crystalline structures are what we know as paraffin and asphaltene precipitation. The action of the FloWell solution is to separate these molecular structures at the single molecule level, whilst doing so it also prevents these single molecular units from recombining into long chain molecules.

It is not sure how this effect happens, but it is understood that this is the only way that the precipitation is prevented. Besides the prevention, it is also able to breakdown the crystalline precipitation into liquid phase.

In many pipelines which have been abandoned because of these precipitations, it has been discovered that the solid mass which has grown within these pipelines is not a truly solid mass.

The paraffin and asphaltene precipitations bind together the solids that are produced with the crude oil especially so in sandstone formations. These particulates are bonded together with the precipitation and so gives a solid body effect.

As the oil treated with the FloWell solution travels through the pipeline, the residual FloWell works on the precipitation returning the paraffin and asphaltene to liquid phase thereby releasing the particulates.

This was proven in a very successful pipeline cleaning job in the Gulf of Mexico. This application has to be done at a low dosage rate because the release of too much particulate material can cause blockages. This is due to the reduction in viscosity which loses is ability to carry the material rapidly away.

Whilst improved flow rates are enjoyed, the residual FloWell works on the precipitation returning everything gradually to liquid phase, releasing the particulates which are then carried downstream with the oil flow.

It may be necessary in heavily contaminated pipelines, to create a capture unit for this particulate matter to prevent it going into separators/tanks and this can be in the form of a tee with the side branch being vertical where the particulate matter can drop into its containment. This would allow the occasional opening of a slide valve into a container to capture the particulate matter reducing the content entering separators/tanks.

This will also prevent any blockages at bottlenecks in pipelines. Although it is relatively easy to clear the pipelines of these blockages, it does require intervention and the halting of flow which is more of an inconvenience.