KBC Advanced Technologies plc.

Unconventional Crude Upgrading Challenges


Courtesy of KBC Advanced Technologies plc.

Crude markets are being influenced by increasing prices, stagnate discovery rates, increased world demand, and competition from alternate sources such as bio-fuels, coal and unconventional crude. Future crude supplies from conventional sources are anticipated to be, in part, incrementally replaced by production of unconventional crude from Western Canada and Venezuela, in addition to other sources. Upgrading unconventional crude presents processing challenges both for the upgrader and the oil refinery. These challenges require thoughtful consideration to ensure viable operation over the project life cycle. Adding to the challenge is that upgraders are being expanded almost before they are in operation due to high market demand. Uncertainties around construction costs, availability of skilled manpower, and the
political climate put added pressure on the challenges facing upgrade operations. KBC’s experience in assisting upgraders to make these choices is discussed in the following paper.

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