713-665-7046

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Refiners Processing Heavy Crudes Can Experience Crude Distillation Problems

 

Summary

World heavy crude volumes are increasing, and as a result CDU/VDU operating problems and the frequency of unscheduled outages is also increasing. Conventional CDU/VDU designs will not operate reliably or profitably on the more challenging crudes. This article addresses problem areas and identifies specific sections requiring investment to maintain profitability throughout a 4-5 year run length for refiners processing heavy crudes.

 

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Refiners will process increasingly heavier crude slates during the next 10 years. A majority will originate from the Orinoco oil belt bitumen upgraders in Venezuela and the Athabasca tar sands region of Northern Alberta.

Even blended with lighter crudes, these lower-gravity blends will require crude-unit process flow scheme and equipment design changes to meet profitability objectives.

This article addressed crude distillation unit (CDU) problem areas and identifies specific sections requiring investment to maintain profitability throughout a 4-5 year run length for refiners processing heavy crude…

 

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Tags: CDU, VDU, featured