Hydrate & Wax Testing

DragX has demonstrated excellent qualities in preventing plugs of hydrate and repelling wax deposition in pipelines operating under high pressures and in low temperatures.

Hydrates are solids that form when free water and natural gas combine at high pressure and low temperatures. Hydrate formation can also occur in oil wells that produce some water, creating a slurry of solids that are capable of building up, constricting flow, and plugging the pipe.

Separately, the presence of wax in crude oil can lead to the formation of wax deposits on the walls of pipelines and slowly increase in the pipe roughness while constricting flow. Significant increases in pumping pressure are caused by this surface roughness and reduced pipe diameter creating additional costs and inefficient flow.

DragX is perfectly suited to combat both conditions and maintain pipe integrity while providing flow assurance.

Quantification of Asphaltene Deposits on Various Coupons - CSM

Quantification of Asphaltene Deposits on Various Coupons - CSM

The images to the right demonstrate the treated and untreated coupons tested by CSM. The graph above visualizes the data of deposited solid mass on the coupons.

While pipeline operators continue to seek technologies that control deposition and provide flow assurance, in-situ-applied epoxy coatings have been an industry last resort. In testing at CSM, DragX was shown that it can be a frontline solution. DragX vastly outperformed other tested treatments and the control (uncoated) pipe in repulsion of asphaltenes in crude oil.

There was a remarkable visual difference observed in toluene wash solutions from an uncoated substrate versus a DragX-treated substrate. The dark, opaque color of the left picture below indicates higher amounts of deposited materials. The translucent, light-colored picture on the right shows that far less debris was able to deposit on the tested substrate when DragX was applied.

Visual Difference Observed in Toluene Wash Solutions from Uncoated/Coated Coupons
Visual Difference Observed in Toluene Wash Solutions from Uncoated/Coated Coupons
Static Asphaltene Tests
DragX-Treated Coupon with Asphaltene and Crude Oil
Uncoated Coupon with Asphaltene and Crude Oil

Pressure Drop and Flow Assurance Study with the U.S. Department of Energy

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  • Demonstration with the Colorado School of Mines, in conjunction with the RPSEA program with the NETL, for anti-hydrate plugging performance.
  • Deployment with the Colorado School of Mines for asphaltene repulsion performance.
  • Field implementation in Houston, TX, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to protect natural gas transport pipelines against corrosion and methane leakage.
  • Field Applications with major Oil & Gas operators for midstream, downstream, and chemical handling pipeline applications.
  • Field Application with water distribution test facility for reclaimed ductile iron and mortar-lined water main pipes, compatible with water quality standards and sanitization protocols (exposure to chlorine flushes).

Key benefits:

  • Improved pipeline efficiency by reducing surface friction of the pipe wall;
  • Increased flow capacity at decreased pressures for de-rated pipelines;
  • Effective for all flow regimes and products (Liquid, gas and multi-flow);
  • Increased throughput & lowered pumping power consumption;
  • Reduced need for use of costly inhibitors, or need eliminated altogether;
  • Eliminated need for continuous injection of costly chemicals;
  • Eliminated need for costly injection equipment and maintenance;
  • No adverse effects on purity of the fluids transported;
  • Protection against internal corrosion and black powder formation;
  • Faster pigging & less frequent scrapping.