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Identifying Optimal Pigging Frequency for Oil Pipelines Subject to Non-Uniform Wax Deposition Distribution

[+] Author Affiliations
Wenda Wang, Qiyu Huang, Si Li, Changhui Wang, Xi Wang

China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing, China

Paper No. IPC2014-33064, pp. V004T08A004; 6 pages
  • 2014 10th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 4: Production Pipelines and Flowlines; Project Management; Facilities Integrity Management; Operations and Maintenance; Pipelining in Northern and Offshore Environments; Strain-Based Design; Standards and Regulations
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 29–October 3, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4613-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Wax deposition in oil pipelines causes reduced throughput and other associated problems. Periodical pigging program can effectively minimize the cost of wax deposition. This paper shows a typical pigging case study for a field pipeline subject to non-uniform wax deposition distribution by using a developed wax deposition model. The model prediction results prove that the wax is distributed in a short, localized accumulation along the first half pipeline. The resultant pressure drop along the pipeline was examined to reveal the effects of non-uniform wax deposition distribution on the pipeline production. In extreme case, the pressure drop of severe localized section increases by 50%, while this value between pump stations is merely 3%. A maximum wax thickness of 2–4 mm is used as a criterion to determine an optimal pigging frequency. The case study pipeline is recommended to be pigged at a frequency of 10 to 15 days, using by-pass pigs.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Pipelines



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