In the realm of tight refining margins and competitive markets, the need to put the right processes in place to maximize profitability has been the prime objective of refiners.
All that counts at the end of the day is “What has actually been achieved” against “What was planned to be achieved”. Management is usually interested in categorically understanding this gap towards the end of each month/quarterly/Financial year to identify new ways to stream line operations and improve the bottom line.
Due to the very nature of oil business, deviations from the plan are bound to occur. The causes for deviation are many which include internal factors such as unplanned SD’s of process units, inferior catalyst performance, blending inefficiencies or external factors such as price volatility, aberrations in crude availability and fluctuating demands of petroleum products to name a few.
“Retro-analysis”, using LP tools such as PIMS, GRTMPS, RPMS serves as a useful handle to minimize the gaps between Plan and Actual scenarios. The analysis usually involves a series of LP runs with the latest production plan for the month as the base case and using the same LP model used to prepare the plan. Actual data (yield, throughputs, process data, qualities etc.) is introduced into the model case-by-case to analyze the refinery performance under various heads.
The outcome of these LP runs will be useful in:
- Quantification of domain-wise losses due to internal and external factors
- A “one-shot-two-bird” solution which helps in identifying gaps in the LP model used for subsequent planning and also correct any anomaly in actual field operation
- Identifying lost opportunities and potential areas for profit improvement
However, the reliability of the results of such analysis is purely dependent on the accuracy of the actual data (such as material balance, prices, unit-wise throughputs and modes of operation, quality data of shipments and receipts) fed into the model.
The effective means to overcome these challenges is to have proper flow of data from and necessary integration with other refinery applications such as MES solutions (Advisor, Sigmafine etc.), LIMS system, ERP system and rigorous reactor models in place.
SCM consultants at iOG Solutions are a team of consultants with rich and vast experience in deploying end-to-end solutions of “Retro-analysis” business process at refineries in Spain, Middle-East, Vietnam, India and various other client sites across the world.
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