It used to be that refineries had a fairly constant and predictable supply of crude with similar properties coming in. Blending on the front end with the crudes and on the back end with the fuels produced were optimized for the crude oil properties.
As new supplies from shale oil production have come along with their attractive pricing, the properties of the crude are more variable. This variability poses challenges in both crude oil blending and fuel blending operations. And stricter clean fuel regulations add to the challenges refiners face.Emerson’s Julie Valentine and Arnie Josefson will be conducting a live webinar, Best Practices for Solving Crude and Fuel Blending Challenges, on September 19 at 1pm EDT.
They will share how certain blending methods and technologies are now no longer optimal for blending these new opportunity crudes or meeting these tighter fuel product specifications. Julie and Arnie will highlight best practices for minimizing these new blending challenges and optimizing performance at both ends of the refinery.
Beyond varying feedstocks, refiners face new product specifications for the grades they blend, seek to reduce giveaway and improve tank utilization, and work to mitigate the possibility of corrosion and fouling caused by asphaltene precipitation and higher total acid number (TAN) from the blended crudes.
As the nature of the crude being processed changes, refiners encounter bottlenecks as they approach operating limits of certain process units. Crude switches also require additional lab analysis and analyzer maintenance as do the increased specifications for the products. Off-spec product blends require rework, and or giveaway, with very high associated costs.
Optimal blending involves minimizing the differences from the production plan to actual by using the expected, planned for amount of opportunity crude. Minimizing the effects of crude switches is accomplished by blending to the boiling point curve, and maintaining the optimal loading of process units.
Julie and Arnie describe the four areas to explore to optimize blend operations—measurement devices and final control elements; inline blender skids; an online analyzer composed of sampling systems, analyzer shelters, and modeling to continuously assess component stream properties and blend properties for quality control; control strategies that assists refinery operators in managing, operating, controlling, optimizing, and reporting on all blend operations.
Sign up for the webinar to learn more about best practices in each of these four areas to help optimize blending operations and overall refinery financial performance.
You can also connect and interact with other refining experts in the Refining group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.