Refiners are under constant pressure to increase refining margins by reducing inventory and product quality giveaways whilst producing higher grades adhering to tighter product and environmental specifications.
The operation and management of the Off-site Oil Movement and Storage (OM&S) shall be of vital importance in context of the economics and profitability of a refinery. Typically neglected over many years, OM&S systems tend to have only basic instrumentation and their operation is by-and-large manpower-intensive.
Following are 6 areas in the refining arena which have the potential scope to capitalize on the benefits offered though OM&S automation:
Product Blending and Storage:
- Reduced blend quality give-away and need for re-blending
- Seamless integration with LIMS for reliable quality prediction and blend formulation
- Opportunity to improve inaccurate blend correlations from previous blend history
- Facilitation of direct feeding of blenders with process unit run-down thus reducing the need for intermediate storage
- Provides means to perform logistic feasibility checks to accommodate opportunity/spot crude processing apart from traditional checks through LP runs and scheduling simulation
- Provides means to optimally assess the need for additional tankage requirements during the event of refinery expansion
- Strengthens the power of Dock scheduling by providing automated information on a timely basis with respect to berth occupancy, loading rate limitations, product availability and Ship ETA’s
- Mitigates the detrimental impact of erroneous stream routings resulting from manually intensive operations through continuous reconciliation of source and destination inventory levels
- Better sequencing of laboratory sample testing activities
- Shifting the valuable time of man-power from monitoring and travelling to remote offsite areas to carry out more critical analysis
- Speeds up and improves the accuracy of production accounting and reconciliation through automatic data collection and saving time on data validation
In-depth knowledge and experience of both the offsite and onsite operations and their inter-dependability can help you better understand and appreciate the tangible and intangible benefits that could be realized through OM&S automation.