Vallourec wins Petrobras Inventor Award 2022 The awarded "Submagnético" project will allow the oil and gas sector to avoid costs related to salt deposits in pipelines.

12/12/2022 - Group

The "Submagnético" project was one of those awarded the Petrobras Inventor Award 2022. Developed by Vallourec, it is a device capable of avoiding the accumulation of salt deposits - the so-called incrustations - in oil and gas well pipes. The solution works by applying a magnetic field on the extracted oil. This procedure prevents the deposits from reducing the flow of oil in the pipeline and from creating problems in the functioning of the valves - which can even cause them to become obstructed.

The Petrobras Inventor Award highlights the technical expertise, competence, and collaborative spirit of researchers who filed strategic patents in partnership with Petrobras. According to the Senior Vice President of Vallourec South America, Pierre d'Archemont, Vallourec has been innovating and reinventing itself every day to meet the needs of its customers. "This recognition by Petrobras is very gratifying and shows how hard we work to deliver the best and most advanced solutions to our customers, always seeking excellence."

How the "Submagnético" works

A pioneer, Vallourec's device consists, in simplified form, of a common pipe with magnets around it that generate a magnetic field inside the pipe. As the oil passes through the equipment, the particles that cause incrustation (calcium carbonate, barium sulfate, strontium sulfate) are modified in such a way that they lose adherence to the pipe wall and, therefore, incrustation is avoided. Tests carried out indicate that the use of "Submagnético" can reduce the number of production stoppages related to fouling removal by up to 50%.

Fouling is a major cause of production stoppages in offshore producing wells. Remediation of the problem involves performing remote treatment, which requires acid stimulation boat and, in the worst case, intervention in the well for mechanical removal of the salt deposits. In addition, the traditional methods to avoid the formation of incrustation are based on chemical injection systems, but they have proved insufficient to avoid the problem, besides having an environmental impact and increasing the structural complexity of the wells. Vallourec's equipment can reduce all these costs associated with scale with the advantage of being installed as an integral part of the well tubing. 

Vallourec wins Petrobras Inventor Award 2022

"Fouling is a serious problem for the oil and gas sector. By recognizing our research, Petrobras values a solution that improves the productivity of the oil wells and reduces the expenses caused by scale formation," says Vallourec researcher José Roberto de Souza Júnior.

Still according to Souza Júnior, the equipment has the potential to bring countless benefits to the oil and gas industry. "The 'Submagnético' is a 100% passive solution, that is, without the need for activation, either by electric power or hydraulic pressure. The magnets, similar to those in the space industry, naturally generate the desired magnetic field," he explains. The equipment withstands high pressures and temperatures without losing efficiency. According to Vallourec, it can be installed both in onshore and offshore wells.


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