Making Best Use of Methanol Through Temperature Based Injection

The E&P (Exploration & Production) industry makes extensive use of methanol, due to its dehydrating properties. Methanol is very useful when there is water mixed with crude oil, as in the case of mature wells that have reached the reservoir’s oil water contact. In addition to dehydration, it prevents frost at low temperatures by lowering the freezing point of liquids. Crude oil that does not have water constituents that freeze up flows better and thus oil production is increased by injecting methanol in wells in the winters.

Nevertheless, pumping unnecessary amounts of methanol down a well soon exceeds the operating budget of upstream operators, thus there is a need to constantly track the ambient temperature. When it reaches a set temperature threshold, methanol is injected, and when the threshold is met, it is stopped.  This practice has its disadvantages. First, it is dependent on human decision making, which may be unreliable or inconsistent. Secondly, the amount of methanol needed when the temperature dips is difficult to determine. It might still lead to waste if too much is injected or might cause a production drop if too little is injected.

Chemical management systems (CMS) are electronic control and monitoring systems which can solve this problem through automation. Some chemical management systems, like Profire’s PC180, use temperature-based injection, by constantly adjusting the injection rate synchronously with the changing ambient temperature. So, when temperatures start to dip they start injecting methanol. As the temperature falls further, the rate of methanol injection increases. Likewise, when temperature rises, methanol injection rate is lowered until it stops if the temperature exceeds the threshold.

Some chemical management systems can be controlled remotely through the Modbus using the operator’s SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. From the comfort of the control room the operator can change or override the injection rate of any pump without the need to visit the well site in frigid temperatures or expose themselves to other field hazards. It also reduces transportation costs, and time loss as required visits to the well site are reduced.

Using the right CMS for methanol injection is a complete solution to the aforementioned temperature-based chemical injection problems. It saves chemical costs by automating the process efficiently while reducing chemical handling hazards. The remote-control option is especially useful in cold winter conditions.

Profire Energy offers PC180 CMS solutions. Using the PC180 system, you can reap all the advantages of automated chemical management that have been discussed above. To learn more about our products and solutions visit