Increasing amounts of heavy crudes are being produced, particularly in Canada and South America. The discount prices for these crudes, relative to light sweet crudes, make them attractive for refiners that can process them, particularly if they have a geographic advantage relative to the crude source. However, processing these crudes can offer significant challenges for existing refineries. Typically, existing refineries require significant revamps to be able to successfully process these heavy crudes.
Fluor has worked on several heavy crude projects in the last 10 years. While each of these projects is unique, there are common design issues and limitations that apply to many of the projects. These limitations typically occur in the Crude/Vac, Coker, Hydrotreating, Sulfur Block, and OSBL areas.
This paper will present many of the typical limitations and issues, and ways to overcome them with cost-effective, successful designs.
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