Use Modeling to Evaluate Processing Solutions for Heavy Oils

Fuels and Petrochemicals Division
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 2, 2014 - 4:00pm-4:30pm

The world’s energy industry has followed the availability of easily attainable and economically feasible supplies for the oil segment that has moved towards heavier feedstock. The earlier extraction, accessibility, transport and processing centered around lighter crudes with characteristics that could be uniformly and reliably processed in refineries using a stable of proven technologies is no longer possible. As those lighter crude supplies have become exhausted or more difficult to obtain, demand from emerging nations such as India and China has strained the supply chain. Because of their explosive growth, these and other countries experiencing economic growth are usurping an increasing amount of the existing supply of conventional crudes while investing in supplies of heavier sources as well. Heavier crudes have unique physical properties that often present costly refining challenges. Efficient processing solutions require a thorough understanding of the crude’s characteristics and operating behavior. Those involved in heavy or extra heavy oil refining must decide what they have and how they should process it.

Utilizing field-proven SimSci™ modeling software, Invensys enlisted a consortium of global industry leaders – major oil companies, Canadian heavy oil producers, engineering firms and national oil companies- to provide a forum for defining and solving leading issues on heavier oil processing. Using real operating information, Invensys is using the latest modeling technologies to predict specifically how heavier oils will perform at various process stages during refining. To address this, Invensys has developed heavy oil methods, using its SimSci proprietary technologies that are able to accurately characterize heavier oils. This paper will illustrate the benefits of accurately predicting the properties of heavier-oils on the process equipment.

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