Scope and Feasibility of Integrated Crude Blending Control and Optimization System

This paper discusses the scope and feasibility of an integrated Crude Blending control, optimization and scheduling system to control the qualities of crude feed and end products and automate oil movement and storage operations. Crude blending is different from product blending in concepts, complexity and implementation. Crude is blended upstream of the crude distillation unit whereas product blending is done at downstream side of the unit. This paper identifies six control application modules for an overall integration system to provide the quality control and optimization of crude feed to and products from the crude unit and then discusses briefly the functionality of each control module including samples of user interfaces and information flow.

The feasibility of crude blending control in an existing refinery requires accurate data analysis of its operational practices, crude schedules and sources, physical constraint of tanks and pipelines, etc., to estimate any benefits. This paper also discusses some aspects of methodologies for the data analysis of crude storage and movement operations for conducting a scoping study of crude blending control and optimization system in a refinery.

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