Regional political instabilities and global changes in fuel consumption forced refineries to increase their flexibility for immediately shifting between different crude oils.

The global competition between oil refineries dictates refineries to sell their products at competitive prices, otherwise, they will not withstand the challenge of survival. Today, refineries are obliged to feed their crude distillation unit with lowest-cost crude oils, while maintaining the highest production capacity of high-valued refinery products, to increase the refining margin.
It is up to the refinery to compose the efficient crude feed by blending various types of crude oils. To optimize the crude feed price, the blend must contain the highest possible quantities of low-cost, heavy sour, and opportunity crudes, but still bear those physical and chemical properties, which allow efficient processing and provide maximum guard of the production units against corrosion, and minimum investment in downstream processes, such as desulphurization processes.

Aside from the importance of the crude oil and blend composition from a hydrocarbon point of view, the salt content from a hydrocarbon point of view, the water content, H2S, content, sulphur content, and total acidity are critical parameters, which play an important role in the corrosion that is caused by crude oils, including plugging and fouling of pipelines. By taking appropriate preventive actions to reduce the content of corrosives substances in crude prior to feeding it into the CDU, dozens of millions of dollars are annually saved in maintenance corrosion and fouling treatment in CDUs, pipelines, heat exchangers etc.

Several solutions can be employed in reducing the corrosive properties of crude oils for being distilled in the CDU:

  1. Dilution of low-cost sour and heavy crudes with more expensive sweet crudes, by blending, chemical treatment desalting etc.
  2. Use of chemicals to remove acidic materials, such as TAN and H2S
  3. Desalting of crude oil and reducing the formation of corrosive HCl.

The success of the above actions in preventing corrosion can only be effective, by the application of on-line process analyzers which indicate the efficiency of the treatment of the crude oil, such as salt in crude oil analyzers, TAN analyzers, H2S analyzers, etc. Real-time monitoring of critical crude oil parameters by on-line crude analyzers provides an excellent tool to optimize the crude oil treatment, by changing the process parameters as such, maximum performance is achieved at a minimum cost of chemicals and energy.

Without any doubt, the MOD 4100 on-line process crude analyzer plays an important role in the crude oil chain from the oil well through the terminals and blending stations until entering the CDU.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Efficient Crude Oil Blending

Can crude oil be mixed?

Yes, crude oil can be mixed or blended. This process is a crucial step in achieving specific quality standards necessary for further refining and processing. Blending is carefully monitored to ensure the combined crude oil maintains a consistent quality that meets industry and safety standards.

What is a crude oil mixture?

A crude oil mixture refers to the combination of different types of crude oils blended to achieve desired chemical characteristics and physical properties. This blending adjusts the overall quality of the oil, affecting factors such as viscosity, density, and sulfur content, which are critical for processing and refining.

What is the blending of oil?

The blending of oil, specifically crude oil, involves combining two or more different crude oil types to produce a mix with uniform properties. This process is essential for optimizing the CDU (crude distillation unit) column, improving product yield, and meeting market demand or regulatory requirements for environmental safety.

What is blended crude oil?

Blended crude oil is the product of mixing different crude oils. This blending aims to stabilize the quality of the oil, ensuring it meets predefined specifications for crude distillation units. It’s a common practice in the oil industry to enhance the ease and efficiency of processing in refineries.