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Removing Wax Build Up in Subsea Pipelines

Designed specifically to improve pipeline flow rates by removing wax build up in subsea pipelines. 

Statoil ASA, the Norwegian multinational oil & gas company contacted us regarding the development of a brush which could control wax deposits in the Gudrun Oil Export Pipeline. 

The problem was the rapid temperature drop of extracted oil was causing wax to dropout and solidify inside the pipeline. Wax removal tools therefore needed to be deployed through the pipeline regularly to avoid a buildup. The pipeline was old with different internal diameters and the wax build up was in the larger diameter.

Existing tools had become more aggressive the more the pipeline narrowed.In this case we want the opposite…..and we didn’t want the tools to get stuck! Aggressive cleaning tools already existed but nothing that can then collapse down as the pipeline narrows.

A new approach was required and the use of a multi disciplinary team from different organisations.

The outcome after much work was the development of a technology/tool that can clean this pipeline alongside the development of a preventative maintenance cleaning schedule. Training sessions and instruction manuals for use and the refurbishment of the wax removal tools was then developed.

In April 2014 the Gudrun was switched on!

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