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Permanent Magnet (PM) Induction Heater for Paraffin Abatement

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0018464
Agency Tracking Number: 0000234710
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 20b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001770
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-04-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-10-08
Small Business Information
4229 Hidden Canyon Cove
Austin, TX 78746-1256
United States
DUNS: 964750558
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Mukul Sharma
 (512) 413-1803
Business Contact
 Mukul Sharma
Phone: (512) 413-1803
Research Institution
 The University of Texas at Austin
 Raymond Zowarka
10100 Burnet Road CEM Bldg. 133
Austin, TX 78758-4445
United States

 (512) 471-4496
 Nonprofit College or University

One of the major maintenance headaches causing increased operational cost in the production of mature oil wells is the elimination of wax and paraffin buildup in the production tubing. The accumulation over time of paraffin compounds in "cold spots" in the tubing creates high pressures and flow constrictions that contribute to accelerated pump wear, and constrict the flow of fluids to the surface. Currently paraffin formation (which restricts the recovery of hydrocarbons) is managed in a reactive manner when oil production is observed to decrease. Current methods of paraffin removal include hot oiling, chemical treatments and electric heaters powered from the surface with cables. We propose to address this problem proactively by preventing paraffin formation in the tubing by using a permanent magnet induction heater. This will increase hydrocarbon recovery from many of the hundreds of thousands of oil wells in the US. Unlike current methods, this method does not require any external intervention to remove paraffin. It prevents paraffin formation in wells by keeping the oil above the cloud point all the way to the surface. We have built and tested a proof of concept tool and all aspects of the tool perform as analyzed by transient EM Finite Element analysis. We have briefed several oil companies and several oil field tool manufacturers. The oil companies have offered advice on operational requirements and these directives have been incorporated in the design. The tooling companies have advised us to make the device “oil field tough” which involves the selection of steel alloys for some components and the chemically compatible metals for other operational components.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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