A typical refinery or chemical processing plant has many activities which can be categorized into a number of areas such as feed and products preparations, material movement, stabilization and optimization of unit operations and information management. All refinery activities are further classified as either on-site or off-site operations. Most of the automation projects are focused only towards on-site operations and neglect off-site operations such as oil movement and product blending. However, lately the viability of a plant depends on how strongly the plant management is committed to auto mate these off-site operation areas to maintain its position in today’s very competitive business. This paper discusses three of the major integrated off-site automation systems, namely, crude blending, product blending and oil movement and storage, for typical refinery activities and represents most of the benefits realized from automation. A refinery can save US$ 10-14 million/yr in realized benefits by implementing these off-site integrated systems.
These systems are discussed in this paper only from a concepts point of view, their details are discussed elsewhere by the author.