A US Gulf Coast reﬁnery took possession of a parafﬁnic froth treatment (PFT) crude cargo when a nearby sister reﬁnery, whose desalters were treated by a Baker Hughes competitor, could only process the heavy Canadian crude at less than 5%. Even at such low levels, the sister reﬁnery still experienced a large desalter emulsion band and signiﬁcant oil undercarry, which upset their wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operations.
The new owner of the PFT crude parcel, a Baker Hughes customer, had previous success running blends of this same crude thanks to the implementation of a Baker Hughes Crude Oil Management™ program and the use of XERIC™ heavy oil demulsiﬁers. However, the reﬁnery now wanted to maximize the blend percentage of the PFT crude and determine their long-term potential to fully exploit the lower price of the opportunity crude.
Baker Hughes Solution
To help the customer achieve their ambitious goal, Baker Hughes proposed using JETTISON™ solids removal technology, which was developed speciﬁcally to treat the ultraﬁne solids in parafﬁnic froth-treated tar sands crudes.
The active chemistries in JETTISON solids release agents (SRA) remove oil from the ﬁne solids, releasing them from the emulsion layer to the brine, allowing them to be properly and easily handled through reﬁnery wastewater treatment operations.
The maximum rate test was initiated with the PFT crude at 12% of crude charge and ramped up to 30% over the course of several days, ultimately limited only by crude availability and product yields. Throughout the run, brine quality remained exceptional and oil and grease levels were kept below established limits, preventing any detrimental impact on the reﬁnery wastewater treatment plant.
The use of JETTISON solids removal technology was successful in reducing the size of the desalter emulsion layer and improving the solids removal efﬁciency by more than 50%. While normal ﬁlterable solids removal at this reﬁnery had averaged 50-60% during previous heavy crude operations, the use of JETTISON solids release agents increased removal to 80-85%.
Additionally, the downward migration of solids from the emulsion layer into the brine was conﬁrmed by ﬁlterable solids measurements of each of the desalter trylines before and during the test run.
As a result of the implementation of the Baker Hughes Crude Oil Management philosophy and, in particular, the use of JETTISON solids removal technology, the reﬁnery was able to increase the blend percentage of the PFT crude to 30% without any detrimental impacts to the brine handling system or wastewater treatment plant.
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