September 2005

Special Report: Refining Developments

Consider modifying your refinery to handle heavy opportunity crude oils

To process high-sulfur crudes, refiners must retrofit older processing units to capitalize on 'dirty' feedstocks

Harji, A., Rodwell, M., Fluor Canada Ltd.; Henderson, R., Fluor Corp.

The incentive to process heavy, sour crude oil has never been greater, as some regional sour-crude discounts are approaching $20/bbl. Unfortunately, the lower cost crude oils have physical properties that limit their processing at most North American refineries. What modifications are needed for a conventional refinery to capitalize on this potential cost savings? Profitability has costs. Obtaining the lowest cost raw materials is a goal to enhance the profitability for any manufacturing company. For a fuels refiner, the purchase of crude oil can represent up to 50% of the expense of bringing clean products to market. Many oil refineries cannot take full advantage of feedstock

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