Motor fuels are complex products. Various diesel fuel and
gasoline grades are prepared from a large range of individual
blending components whose individual properties may be
extremely variable over time. Each day, refiners must determine
the blend recipe based on the properties, value and
availability of those components, as well as the target
specifications for the product. Once that is done, the
operational challenge is to verify that the blended product
delivered to the pipeline actually meets those contractually
defined specifications. Variation in catalyst and unit
operations, unrelenting cost pressures and an ever-wider range
of crude oil feedstocks compound the challenge.
No matter how daunting these factors are, it still remains the
refiners job to manage all elements so that they are
transparent to the pipeline operator.