The characteristics of the feedstocks being processed in upgraders and refineries are changing drastically depending on the technology of extraction/production and location. Knowledge of the chemical and physical properties of heavy oils and bitumen is essential for properly evaluating and managing the processability of these feedstocks. Blending different diluents to break emulsion during bitumen production or for pipeline transportation/storage requires knowledge of their compatibility. Refineries are expected to process diverse crude blends from different sources including shale oil with minimum asphaltenes content. This may create operational challenges in heat exchangers and other upgrader/refinery units and may result in fouling. It is anticipated that, in the very near future, the fouling propensity will be part of bitumen evaluation protocol. Upgrading Solutions is at the forefront of the research to help understand, evaluate and resolve these types of issues.
Services that are provided based on years of experience in bitumen and heavy oil upgrading, include: