How to Break Paraffin Hydrocarbon Chains

How often are you hot oiling those paraffin problem wells at up to $1,000 a time? How often are you doing workovers on those wells at $10,000-$20,000 to even $50,000 each? Not to mention the lost production during downtime and from clogged wellbores.

Hot Oil and Chemical

Paraffin is comprised of long-chain hydrocarbons that are thick and sticky by nature. Unless you can break them down, they’re only going to come back to haunt you in costly repairs, tubing pulls, and down time. The problem with hot oiling or chemical treatments is that they just kick the can down the road, or at least farther down the line.

Chemical treatments use aromatic hydrocarbons to temporarily thin the paraffin, but the result is the same—the thinning is only temporary, so the paraffin returns to viscosity down the line and sticks elsewhere.

Hot oiling, which heats the oil to 200˚F+, temporarily softens the paraffin to release it — it hardens again as it cools, creating problems downstream. Another issue with hot oiling is the oil itself. Sourced from onsite storage tank bottoms, the oil itself often contains what are known as “heavy ends,” which themselves have a pour point of 190˚+ only slightly better than the paraffin the oil is supposed to treat. Those heavy ends travel into the well and precipitate out in the wellbore, reducing the production rate and speeding the decline curve. That could mean early retirement for an otherwise perfectly good well. Still think hot oiling helps your bottom line?

The Real Solution: Microbes to Crack the Long Chain Hydrocarbons

For paraffin problems, we include microbe blends that break down those long-chain hydrocarbons, up to C₁₀₀. Instead of raising the temperature or diluting the long-chain hydrocarbons to another location, the microbes break the carbon chains into shorter chains ranging from C₅ - C₁₅, resulting in a more liquid, refined form.

In all but the worst paraffin-clogged wells, we eliminate the need for hot oiling at all after the first 30-60 days. For those first days the microbes are dissolving huge amounts of paraffin, so hot oiling may be necessary to help clear it all out. After that, only in extreme cases is hot oiling still required on 6-12 month cycles, saving producers tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Our microbes also eliminate the introduction of those heavy ends. In fact, because the microbes propagate out into the flowlines and into the formation, they clear out any existing clogs throughout the system. Permian Basin operators have not only reduced or eliminated hot oiling and tubing pulls, they’ve increased daily production through the efficient use of microbes. By breaking down the long chain paraffin and heavy ends, they become useful hydrocarbons. The microbes transform them from problem to product.

Reduce Safety Risks

Chemicals and hot oiling come with risks from high temperature burns or from hazardous substances, and must be treated with care. Our microbial solutions are naturally occurring and are proven to be harmless to humans, land, and air, so agencies like the EPA have ruled that it is not necessary to regulate them. In fact, on the odd occasion that microbes spill onto the ground, we often see new healthy plant growth where there had been none.

If you would like to use our powerful, cost effective, and environmentally safe treatment for paraffin, scale and corrosion, contact us here.

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Explore our most frequently asked questions.

FAQ Page

Is there a different microbe product for each issue I have?

There are different strains of microbes for different issues. JGL Microbes are able to blend into one treatment, tailor-made to your system.

Why use microbes instead of chemical?

Synthetic chemicals are man-made copies of naturally occurring chemicals in nature and are for the most part toxic and/or environmentally harmful to personnel, plants, animals, aquifers, etc. Microbes are more effective than chemical because of their biological process, they produce natural chemicals and by-products in situ making them much more effective for common oilfield applications.