There are currently close to 750 refineries worldwide that refine about 87-90 million barrels of crude oil per day. It is reported that the energy utilization for a refinery account for around 6-7 % of oil throughput.
Refinery profitability is often related to operational cost, throughput and crude oil prices. The latter is highly volatile and uncertain, and refiner cannot have control over the prices. However, improving operational cost is possible by innovative solutions and optimizing plant operations.
One of the major operating costs in the refining industry is heat exchanger fouling which aggregates with processing heavy and incompatible crudes. The data suggests that crude oil fouling accounts for approximately 10 % of their energy utilization.
A single average size oil refinery utilizes thousands of shell and tube heat exchangers and hundreds of them regularly fouls which needs frequent cleaning, and /or antifoulant chemicals dosing which adds further
cost. In some case, refiner needs to reduce throughput for safety reasons or add redundant equipment for managing same heat transfer.
The following area experiences major exchangers fouling:
- Crude unit – desalter and preheat exchangers
- Hydrotreaters and Hydrocrackers preheat exchangers
- Thermal units – Visbreaker and delayed Coker
Klaren international can help you to achieve up to zero fouling operations with self-cleaning shell and tube heat exchangers. Contact us for the free feasibility study.