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In-line Oil Blending Solution Guarantees Homogeneity and Optimisation of Opportunity Crude

Sep 25, 2013

In-line Oil Blending Solution Guarantees Homogeneity and Optimisation of Opportunity Crude

As the oil industry focuses on the declining availability of light sweet crude oil and the cost of growing global demand, refineries are increasingly turning to heavy crude oils as a means of optimizing yield and margins.

In-line blending technologies, which provide refineries with the ability to mix light and heavy oils to required target quality parameters, have become increasingly important. Oil companies can choose either to install simple systems that are ratio-driven or to invest in a more intelligent solution that continuously monitors and automatically adjusts blended output to the desired specification.

Leading the way in the design of the world’s most sophisticated in-line analyser trim blending technology is Cameron’s JISKOOT brand - which has recently designed and developed a five-stream crude oil blending system for a major refinery win Asia.

The operators of this new 20 mmtpa grassroots refinery project opted for this technology in order to guarantee:

• Consistent quality feedstock
• Minimal refinery downtime
• Strict production adherence
• Improved refining margins through reduced feedstock cost
• Future system expansion through additional stream capability


Design, Implementation and Outcomes: Delivering Multiple Blend KPIs for the Asia Refinery

Cameron was commissioned to develop a flexible crude oil blending solution capable of delivering a crude that would conform to multiple quality parameters. While ratio blending systems can work to achieve an accurate blend ratio, this does not optimize the blend for changes in quality that occur in crude oil as it is fed to the blending process. For this project the JISKOOT system can blend crude to a specific density and a specific viscosity within set limits for  sulphur content and Total Acid  Number (TAN) values.

In the case of the five-stream analyser-trim crude oil blending package developed for the Asia refinery, the requirement was to deliver a feedstock blend of up to four crude oils (high sulphur, heavy high sulphur, low sulphur and high TAN) to the required specification at capacity of up 2,100m3/h. Up to four feed streams were to be used (with the fifth as a standby stream).The ultimate aim is to blend higher TAN crude with higher quality crude to achieve a return on investment of between $1.5 and $3.5 per tonne. Target sulphur content was set at 2.5% with TAN levels less than 0.5mg KOH/g.

Blend Ratio Quality
The closed loops formed by the control valves, flow meter signals, analyser and the blender controller in this system underpin the blend ratio control. Each stream is fitted with a ultrasonic flow meter of the required accuracy and a flow control valve to achieve specified blend ratios at all times. The streams are then mixed to provide a homogenous output and viscosity, density and S&W measurement accuracy.
Measurement, Mixing and Analyser System
The JetMix® system installed in the blend header ensures that blended streams are homogenous at all design flow rates and ratios. The system uses a pumped bypass loop taken from the blend header. When the fluid is returned to the line upstream of the take-off point through the high sheer mixing nozzle,homogenising the blend. This is achieved without inducing pressure loss.
Blender Control
The entire blender is controlled by JISKOOT InSight® technology, a real-time three-term PID controller that incorporates standard, field-proven blender software. This unit constantly assesses the quality and throughput of the blender, adjusting parameters automatically once the blend process has started.
The blend controller automatically guards against system faults, or adverse conditions. The controller can automatically shut down if there is zero flow due to a loss of signal or blockage. The blender also compensates for any restricted product streams. Changes in schedules and requirements can be accommodated simply by the selection of a different recipe, at least 50 of which can be stored within the system designed for the Asia refinery. The InSight controller interfaces with an industry standard Modbus® in either master or slave mode.  
This system not only guarantees the end result, it also creates significant financial value through the ability to utilize opportunity crude.

This JISKOOT in-line blender has enabled the refinery to accommodate a lower cost high sulphur, high TAN crude oil and blend it with low sulphur, low TAN crude oils. The blend density and viscosity are predetermined, and the blend ratio continually optimised during the blend process with the aim of using as much of the high sulphur, high TAN crude as possible to reduce the overall cost. This provides the operator with the opportunity to improve feedstock margins significantly.


Sector Perspective: Achieving Rapid Payback Through Technology

The wider availability of lower-cost heavy crude oil has increased investment in in-line blending equipment. In-line blending equipment is increasingly seen as a cost- effective alternative to additional tanks and batch blending. Moreover, such a system improves a facility's ability to process a wide range of crude oils while offering rapid payback that provides the correct technology.

 

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Category: Blending News

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