Distillation in the oil & gas industry

Atmospheric and vacuum distillation measuring

After desalting, the crude oil is further heated to around 375oC in a furnace. From here it flows into the bottom of an atmospheric distillation column, actually at slightly above atmospheric pressure. As the oil vapours rise up the column and cool, various fractions with different boiling temperatures condense into liquids, and are removed from the side of the column. These liquid fractions are known as sidecuts, and include naphtha, kerosene, light gas oil etc, as shown on the diagram. The liquids are cooled and process efficiency improved by exchanging their heat with the incoming oil feedstock. The gas remaining at the top of the column comprises the lightest fractions of the crude oil, those with the lowest boiling points. Typically the distillation column will be run in a continuous steady state, controlled by crude oil distillation instrumentation: here flow measurement and the consequent balancing of the fractions is important for control.

Requirements
  • Process Control
  • Contamination of the crude oil could block mechanical meters
Requirements
  • Improve efficiency of separation process
  • Prevent overfill of distillation column
Requirements
  • Process control
  • Agressive media
Requirements
  • Process control
  • Help to maintain mass balance
Requirements
  • High temperature
  • High viscosity
  • Risk of blockage
Requirements
  • High temperature
  • Process control
  • Help to maintain mass balance
Requirements
  • High temperature
  • High viscosity
  • Risk of blockage
Requirements
  • Ensure optimized burner control
  • Fluctuating operating conditions
Requirements
  • Visualisation and monitoring of critical processes
  • Control of reporting, trends and alarm handling
  • Statistical evaluation of measurement data
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