Bottom of the Barrel Conversions: What Does the Future Hold?

Presented By

- KBC (a Yokogawa Company)

Conference: Rotterdam 2019

The world crude oil qualities and demands are constantly changing. Today, sweet crude is far more abundant than it was 10 years ago. This offers a short-term benefit but it’s not yet clear if there will be a long-term gain. The anticipated IMO2020 impact will likely widen the sweet-to-sour crude differential and those who can process more heavy sour will make a profit while those who can only process sweet will be pinched.

The markets will adjust, and prices reflect IMO2020 desired reality, only if compliance is strong. Reviewing major market acceptance, insurance, technology and tracking/enforcement for indications of a fairly compliant industry.

The presentation considers how increasing hydro-processing, conversion, and maximum value lift has major capital investment risks; Carbon rejection, the most often considered pathway for bottoms management, is under further pressure of CO2 reductions; and how hydrogen addition and other emerging technologies need to be sufficiently mature to offer a viable alternative.

Examining raw material to the finished product as part of the value chain optimization is seeing choices emerging. Major factors for decisions moving forward include cost, reliability of technology, and the disposition of the coke. However, any successful approach will require industry to become more efficient, have a need to focus on achieving reduced variable costs as well as energy efficiency.

Refining Community