SST Group Unique Solution to Save 50% Energy in Heavy Oil Production

September 16, 2016

SST Group have developed a comprehensive system, based on a unique heating element, to protect wells from wax formation and save up to 50% of energy consumption in heavy oil production.

SST Group Unique Solution to Save 50% Energy in Heavy Oil Production

The Special Systems and Technologies Group of Companies (SST Group), Russia’s largest and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heating cables and electric heating systems, presents its new development that allows to improve the efficiency of oil production when asphaltene, resin and paraffin deposits occur.

Given the reduction in Russian reserves of light and medium crude oils, as well as projected growth in heavy oil production, SST Group innovation represents a perfect solution for oil refining complexes.

Wells with heavy oils are more prone to the formation of asphaltene, resin or paraffin deposits (ARPDs), commonly known as waxing. ARPDs increase in thickness, acting as chokes to make the flow area narrow. This can result in a gradual increase in flow resistance to make problems and bring about wear of underground and pumping equipment. The waxes hamper the extraction of old wells with low flow rates.

Stream TracerTM, a new SST product is designed to protect oil wells from wax formation. The system helps maintain the produced oil temperature above its critical level, which prevents the wax formation on the tubing walls. In addition, heating makes the extracted oil less viscous, and results in energy consumption savings.

The core of the new system is a special self-supporting flexible skin-effect heater, which has zones of high and low power, enabling the power consumption of the well heating system to be significantly reduced. SST Group experts are the first in the world to have developed and patented a solution for heating oil in boreholes with skin-effect heaters. The development of the unique heating cable with variable length capacity constituted the first phase of creating a turnkey solution that keeps from depleting customer time or manpower resources.

The SST solution is a mobile complex based on an off-road truck. The system includes a heating element, power transformer, heating control station, and a mobile system for the installation and commissioning of the heating cable.

Stream TracerTM allows to increase the turnaround time of the well, improve energy efficiency, and thus, reduce the well operation costs and negative impact on the environment.

The pilot testing at the Kazakovsky LUKOIL-Perm site confirmed the effectiveness and reliability of the system. The Stream TracerTM heating system ensured an increase in the crude oil temperature at the wellhead, providing a stable production rate. The energy the system consumed for maintaining the melting temperature was 47% less compared with that of series resistance heating cable systems.

“Many years of successful experience with oil companies and the excellence in the field of electric heating solutions made it possible to solve the wax formation damage problem. Our system allows for efficient operations conducted in oil wells with paraffin deposits and other crudes and extended overhaul period. The unique self-supporting skin-effect heater with variable power along its length successfully solves the problem of wax formation avoiding unduly high energy use,” noted Michael Strupinskiy, CEO of SST Group.


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