Published in Downstream

Challenges and Solutions for Handling Opportunity Crudes

Friday, 17 June 2016 17:36 Written by 

Sparing the last two years wherein the unanticipated fall in crude oil price has been by-and-large governed by geo-political reasons, the price of conventional and light crude oils has always been steadily increasing owing to the fast depleting oil reserves coupled with steeply escalating demand.This has caused the refiners to constantly look out for ways and means to include and maximize low cost heavy and extra-heavy opportunity crudes in their acceptable crude basket in an attempt to reduce the dependency on conventional lighter crudes, increase profitability and as well secure their crude diet. This is clearly evident from the fact that refining giants such as Reliance (Jamnagar-India), Motive (Port Arthur) and Marathon Garyville (USA) have already augmented their heavy oil processing capacity in the recent past.

Heavy crudes are typically characterized by their high total acid number, low hydrogen/carbon ratios, high density and viscosity, high carbon residues, high level of gel, asphaltenes, sulfur, heavy metals, nitrogen and high salt content which give rise to issues such as high and low temperature equipment corrosion, catalyst poisoning in secondary processing units, catalyst bed blocking, fouling and coking in high-temperature heat exchangers and severe problems with product quality, environmental protection and process-ability.

While the corrosion related issues could be addressed through measures such as deployment of multi-level electrical desalting, addition of anti-sludging and anti-corrosion agents, etc., the other downstream processing and blending related issues (originating from the high naphthenic and N2 content in the crude) could be addressed only through the right choice and combination of suitable H2 addition and carbon rejection technologies.

To date, there have been a wide range of industry-proven process technologies to process heavy oils with varied characteristics and compatibility with other technologies. Some of the prominent technology combinations to process heavy oils are:

  • Delayed Coking + Gas oil Catalytic Cracking
  • Residual Oil Hydrofining + Heavy Oil Catalytic Cracking
  • Solvent Deasphalting + Asphaltenes Gasification + Deasphalted Oil Hydrofining + Catalytic Cracking
  • Residual Oil Hydrofining + Delayed Coking

We, at iOG, with good knowledge on technology from leading vendors can help our clients in the selection of the most optimal technology for processing heavy crudes through our specialized LP configuration studies based on multiple parameters such as economic benefit, processing flexibility, compliance to environmental specifications, catalyst cycle-length, pay-back period and many more.Please visit our website and contact us for more information.

Last modified on Friday, 12 October 2018 10:04
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