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Automation Solutions for Processing Tight Oil

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 28, 2015
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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Opportunity crudes from shale are more readily available in North America with incentives on cost. However, these typically lighter crude oils don't come without some processing challenges. Some of the challenges include high variability in API gravity, H2S and gases entrained in the crude, paraffin waxes, crude instabilities from blending, and balancing the intermediate cut point yields for downstream utilization. Accelerated fouling and heat exchanger monitoring is one of the biggest changes in operations. Many refiners use a spreadsheet with monthly calculations, and then manual checks on individual bundles prior to a turnaround to determine if cleaning is required. The traditional approach to monitor heat exchanger fouling through spreadsheets with manual entry of temperatures that are not in the DCS makes it difficult to identify which crude blends are incompatible, thus the same condition for accelerated fouling may likely be repeated in the future. This presentation will show what refiners are doing with automation to mitigate fouling when blending opportunity crudes such as tight oil.

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