Historically, paraffin blockages have been removed from lines by introducing extreme pressure to push the obstruction past the affected area. This could result in situations where the plug was forced into a less-accessible run of pipeline, requiring repairs using submersible vehicles.
CTT said that its Pipeline Cleanout System actually removes the plug, using a high-pressure nozzle system with a "back thrust" propulsion system to "pull" a composite tubing string back through the pipeline. Increasing or decreasing the fluid volume and pressure determines the pull-through speed and cleaning rate of the pipe.
"To date, the system has been tested with positive results in the North Sea and is now being manufactured for Gulf of Mexico and other warm-water applications," said Jerry Swinford, CTT's president.
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