Case Studies: Oil & Gas
Colloid-A-Tron Extends Operating Life of Oil Rig Compressors
The Oil and Natural Gas Commission of India
Sea water fouling on oil rigs
The oil and natural gas commission of India is responsible for the operation of India's offshore oilfields.
In 1992 it decided to assess the effectiveness of Colloid-A-Tron on preventing fouling in the cooling systems of their oil rig mounted compressors. Having identified a suitable site for testing, a program was set up to assess the Colloid-A-Tron's effectiveness.
A 4” and 8” COLLOID-A-TRON were fitted to the cooling water inlets of the two compressors.
The results have been excellent resulting in a halving of the number of cleans required during running period, thus at least doubling the operating life of the compressors between cleans.
Savings were not only made in manpower hours - savings were also made in downtime, the
reduction of the amount of cleaning chemicals needed to be shipped to the rig and a substantial
increase in the number of hours that the compressors can now run.
Petrobras is a Brazilian integrated petroleum company. Their scope of activities includes
exploration, production and refining. Maintenance engineers of Petrobras had been suffering from scale build-up in their boilers, due to the hardness of water at their plant in Santiago. The oil produced in the RPBA has a high paraffin content, which makes it extremely viscous, and it solidifies on cold days (temp. 20 degrees centigrade). Therefore, it needs to be heated for the process of treating and separating the water and other impurities. The heating process is carried out using saturated steam, which is generated by fire-tube boilers, 70 of which are spread over a radius of 150 km. These boilers use untreated water and are shut down for maintenance checks every two months, in order to reduce the scale caused by the hardness of the water.
On the 12th December 1994, the maintenance department installed a ¾” COLLOID-A-TRON in an ATA boiler, code 889, with a capacity of 1.8 m3/hr. Located in the de-waxing plant in Santiago, the boiler contained approximately 1 mm of scale; the COLLOID-A-TRON was installed in order to assess the performance of this equipment and its effectiveness in removing scale, and to avoid the
scale sedimentation incorporated in the said scale.
The installation of the COLLOID-A-TRON, which was relatively straightforward, was carried out
by the maintenance personnel. After it had been in operation for a period of 53 days, the boiler
was opened in order to carry out the bi-monthly maintenance check. It was found that all the scale
had been successfully removed, and they only had to execute a five- second blow-off for each hour
of operation, in order to reduce the hardness of the water and clean away the scale already removed
by the COLLOID-A-TRON. Consequently, Mr Sergio Bagdad, Director of Petrobras, is applying
this assessment procedure to his company’s other boilers. He has highly recommended the use of
COLLOID-A-TRON for the purpose of avoiding and removing scale, caused by the hardness of