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Operating Difficult Wells – 2019

Between November 19 to 20, the industry and technology conference Operating Difficult Wells was held in Moscow, Russia, by the industry magazine Engineering Practice with the support of SST Group.

The event was attended by oil and gas executives and professionals, researchers and engineers, as well as service companies, producers of equipment and oilfield chemicals.

In their speeches, representatives of oil companies shared their positive experiences with various technologies that had demonstrated high technical and economic performance in the operation of difficult wells. Much attention was paid to preventing the deposition of salt, as well as asphalt, resin, and paraffin deposition on the downhole pumping equipment and on the flow string components. Striving to improve the mean time between failure of the equipment, the industry widely uses solutions, such as mechanized cleaning, chemicals, protective coatings and electric heating systems.

Heating a well with a series resistance heating cable with a constant power output over the entire length is a well known solution in the oil industry. This helps maintain the temperature of the fluid in the flow string above the paraffin deposition point and has been used at oil fields since the late 20th century. The main disadvantages of such systems are high operating costs caused by high energy consumption, and significant overheating of the fluid in the lower part of the paraffin deposition section of the flow string.

At the conference, SST Group presented an alternative to existing methods — the innovative Stream Tracer™ technology designed for electric heating of oil and gas wells, which is based on a unique heater with high and low output zones, optimizing thermal output along the length of the heating cable, avoiding overheating of the fluid, and improving the operational and economic performance of hydrocarbon deposits.

Inside the coaxial heater, heat is generated by the electric current traveling along both the internal and external conductors. This reduces the thermal load on the heater, increases its service life, making it possible to achieve continuous oil production with minimal labor input.

The Stream Tracer™ presentation caught the attention of the operators of oil and gas wells facing asphalt, resin, and paraffin deposition challenges. Discussions continued at SST Group’s booth, where product samples were presented.