Patent Application Titled "Process for Prediciting the Stability of Crude Oil and Employing Same in Transporting And/Or Refining the Crude Oil"...
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors RESPINI, Marco (Casalmorano, IT); DELLA SALA, Giuseppe (Liverpool, GB); MEDINE, Gavin M. (Amsterdam, GB); SANDU, Corina L. (Pearland, TX); PINAPPU, Sai Reddy (Houston, TX), filed on June 21, 2013, was made available online on January 2, 2014.
No assignee for this patent application has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates to transporting, storing, blending, and refining crude oil. This invention particularly relates to using online instruments to monitor and/or control transporting, storing, blending, and refining crude oil.
"As world reserves of light, sweet crudes diminish and worldwide consumption of oil increases, refiners seek methods for extracting useful products such as gasoline and fuel oils from heavier crude resources. While not as desirable and easy to process, extensive reserves in the form of 'heavy crudes' exist in a number of countries, including Western Canada, Venezuela, Russia, the United States, and elsewhere.
"For example, heavy or extra heavy crude oil can be found in the Orinoco Belt in Venezuela, the oil sands in Canada, and the Ugnu Reservoir in Northern Alaska. Alberta produces approximately two-thirds of Canada's oil and more than three-quarters of its natural gas. Nearly half of Alberta's oil is mined from vast oil sands, which contain deposits of a heavy crude oil called bitumen. Alberta's oil sands represent the largest known deposits of bitumen in the world. The oil sands occur in three major areas of the province: the Athabasca River Valley in the northeast, the Peace River area in the north, and the Cold Lake region in east central Alberta.
"Such heavy oils (even some not so heavy oils) are often difficult to refine because of their viscosity and propensity for being unstable and precipitating solids upon storage and processing, most notable asphaltenes. Asphaltenes are high molecular weight aromatic carbonaceous compositions, normally solid at room temperature. When they precipitate from crude oil, they can foul equipment and reduce the quality of the products being refined. Other issues associated with heavy crude oil include: high solids; increased amounts of entrained water; and high sulfur content; high total acid number (TAN) and high metals. Asphaltene deposition is a well-known problem affecting all aspects of petroleum production and processing. Crude oils containing high or low levels of asphaltenes can be destabilized while processing causing fouling, formation of sludge, corrosion and all the equipment fixing, cleaning, and cost aggravations associated with these effects.
"Additional operational problems observed with heavy crude oil: difficulty in blending crude streams, increased unit upsets, increased pollution, loss of through-put, difficulty with desalting, increased load on wastewater plants, increase in air emissions, and flexibility in plant operations is reduced. All of this leads to an overall increase in operating costs. It follows that it would be desirable in the art to be able to use an online method of monitoring and predicting the stability of crude oil so that the crude oil could be more efficiently stored, transported, blended, and refined."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one aspect, the invention is a method for controlling a process for refining crude oil to mitigate fouling comprising: deploying a refractive index probe at a location suitable for making a crude oil stability determination, wherein the crude oil stability determination is relevant to controlling the refining process; making a measurement of crude oil stability; and then controlling the process for refining crude oil by maintaining the process or implementing a change to the process, based upon the determination of crude oil stability.
"In another aspect, the invention is a method of transporting or storing crude oil to mitigate fouling comprising: deploying a refractive index probe in a crude oil transportation or storage system; making a measurement of crude oil stability; and then controlling the process for transporting or storing the crude oil by maintaining the process or implementing a change to the process, based upon the determination of crude oil stability.
"In still another aspect, the invention is a method of monitoring the blending of two or more crude oil streams to form a combined feed stream to identify their stability and compatibility as well as to avoid inducing fouling comprising employing a refractive index probe to measure at least the stability of the combined streams.
"Another aspect, the invention is a method of monitoring the blending of two or more crude oil streams to form a combined feed stream to identify their stability and compatibility as well as to avoid inducing fouling comprising employing a refractive index probe to measure at least the stability of the feed streams used to prepare the combined streams. In this aspect, the use of the refractive index probe to determine the blending order may also be determined.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"For a detailed understanding of the present disclosure, reference should be made to the following detailed description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements have been given like numerals, wherein:
"FIG. 1 is an exemplary correlation between refractive index and SB.sub.n of a crude oil."
For more information, see this patent application: RESPINI, Marco; DELLA SALA, Giuseppe; MEDINE, Gavin M.; SANDU, Corina L.; PINAPPU, Sai Reddy. Process for Prediciting the Stability of Crude Oil and Employing Same in Transporting And/Or Refining the Crude Oil. Filed June 21, 2013 and posted January 2, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fn...
Keywords for this news article include: Energy, Patents, Oil & Gas, Heavy Crude.
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