399554 State of Utah Energy Research Triangle (University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University) Project for Characterization of Uintah Basin Waxy Crude Oil Deposition in Pipelines

Monday, April 27, 2015: 2:10 PM
12A (Austin Convention Center)
Richard Roehner, Chemical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

This presentation provides an overview of the subject project, and discusses opportunities for enhanced pipeline transport of Uintah Basin (Utah) waxy crude oils. The project involves characterization of the viscosity and wax solubility of Uintah Basin waxy crudes, with and without feasible diluents. Diluents and modifiers include regionally available crude, other raw or refined hydrocarbons, condensates, surfactants, and possibly water (as an external emulsion phase). Wax solubility and resultant crude oil viscosity are key parameters for deposition models specific to Uintah Basin derived waxy crudes. Modeling has been implemented to evaluate techniques for process control at the wellhead (or centralized facility) and at the refinery. Evaluations have been undertaken of the rate and spatial profile of deposition within appropriately-sized pipelines at pipeline-ambient temperature.  This leads to an understanding of possible pigging regimes and determination whether diluents alone may be used to reverse pipeline deposition. Additional considerations of the study include process control, land use, and environmental aspects of pipelining Uintah Basin waxy crude oils.

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