Improving Opportunity Crude Blending Operations

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Opportunity crudes provide refiners with lower feedstock costs, but they must be carefully characterized and blended with other crudes to avoid problems during the refining process. These opportunity crudes are typically discounted from typical crudes because of the refining challenges they introduce.

In the 4-minute YouTube video, How to Maximize Profit by Characterizing and Blending Opportunity Crudes, Emerson’s Julie Valentine describes ways technologies can help.

Julie describes how proper feedback control using an analyzer to get all the opportunity crude properties helps to optimize the recipe and accurately determine the blend ratio with the other crudes.

The analyzer helps determine the crude properties and required blend ratio and accurate flow meters ensure this ratio and required recipe are achieved.

The traditional crude blending approach is to use the storage tanks, look at the levels through the tank gauging instruments, and roughly determine the ratios of the crudes being processed. Julie highlights a better approach that some refineries use instead. Micro Motion Coriolis mass flow meters which accurately measure the mass of the crude oils being blended, independent of properties.

Using these accurate measurements allow refiners to match the characteristics sought by the planning and scheduling groups. For one refiner, this meant being able to use the full capacity of the coker, where greater profitability could be achieved.

These measurement improvements also improved scheduling of tank loading activities and optimized operations downstream of the coker allowing the refinery to run closer to unit constraints and reduce allowances for planning errors.

For more, visit the Refining industry section on Emerson.com. You can connect and interact with other flow measurement and refining experts in the Measurement Instrumentation and Refining groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.