Dr. Doug White - Emerson Process Management
Crude characterization is crucial for refinery optimization. It affects firstly planning and scheduling activities, and secondly, process optimization of individual units as also blending plants.
Crude oil qualities available on the market today are wider than in the past. Indeed, new oil fields coming with conventional or synthetic crude oils as well as with shale oils make crude management at the refinery gate more critical. Real time knowledge of crude quality firstly makes appropriate crude tank allocation easier and safer in terms of crude compatibility.
Moreover, having the vector of properties of crude available on-line in real time leads to getting full value of crude in refining downstream processes. It gives also a significant advantage in terms of crude blending operation, with the capability of smoothing crude feed quality to CDU Plants. Indeed, short terms fluctuations of feed properties introduces instability into the unit, necessitating larger offsets from constraints. In the time frame of days, changes in the crude mix necessitate operational changes. Thus steady operation over a longer period enables better optimization of the unit by pushing against the appropriate constraints.
This paper describes the unique approach for crude characterization as well as the technology and real case studies.