Processing Challenges with Tight Oil

Originally delivered Jun 4, 2014
Developed by: AIChE
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
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  • Duration:
    1 hour
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This presentation provides insight into processing challenges with tight oil. Opportunity crudes from shale are more readily available in North America with incentives on cost. However, these typically lighter tight oil crudes don’t come without some processing challenges.

Some of the challenges include high variability in API gravity, H2S entrained in the crude, paraffin waxes, filterable solids, crude incompatibilities from blending, and balancing the intermediate cut point yields for downstream utilization.  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.  


Timothy Olsen

Tim Olsen has been with Emerson Process Management for 17 years, and 25 years in the refining business. He is a refining consultant within the global refining industry solutions group where he supports Emerson’s technical and business strategy. 

Tim is a Past Division Chair for the AIChE Fuels & Petrochemicals Division and the Meeting Program Chair for the 2014 AIChE Spring Meeting in New Orleans.

He has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University with emphasis in industrial engineering and process control, and an MBA from the University of Iowa.Read more

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