Complete crude oil assay from a 20 ml sample in minutes

Posted Date: August 03, 2020 

The Oil & Gas downstream market was volatile well before COVID-19 rushed to the forefront of everyone’s life. Crude oil and finished product prices can change dramatically, often with little warning. The O&G Downstream market is TOUGH.

But I am not telling you anything you didn’t already know. So many of the challenges boil down to profitability. While the O&G market is tough, technology that can help the industry address their business challenges and improve profitability is something that cannot be overlooked.

While the challenges boil down to profitability, the way to meet those challenges comes down to AGILITY. Technology can provide better visibility into the business allowing for a rapid response. Technology provides agility in addressing these business challenges.

Introducing Real-Time Crude

In a world of tight refining margins, where crude oil qualities can change from cargo to cargo, it is more important than ever to know the quality of your crude oil receipt quickly and accurately. AVEVA and Schneider Electric have have developed Real-Time Crude which combines cutting-edge analytical equipment with powerful machine-learning techniques to provide rapid and reliable crude oil assays, to support optimal real-time rescheduling of refinery operations.

Although approaches of this sort have been tried before, there are many novel hardware and software approaches here, which make real-time usage a true possibility. The system consists of the following two components:

  1. An extended-range Fourier-transform infra-red (FTIR) spectrometer
  2. Software trained using the latest machine-learning approaches to derive complete crude oil assays.

Real-Time Crude Differentiators

  • Wide Range: The highly reproducible Schneider Electric ANALECT® RefinIR FTIR system covers a wavelength range from 900 to 7000 cm-1", a range considerably wider than other NIR-only approaches. We have been able to show that the spectral features in the extended range contains additional information that allows better prediction of crude oil qualities.
  • Small Samples: Only ~20ml of crude oil is required for analysis and, through extensive research, an approach to crude sample preparation has been adopted which allows a very wide range of crude oil types to be measured reliably, reproducibly and rapidly.
  • Direct Connection: AVEVA Unified Supply Chain can directly import FTIR spectra in just a few clicks and, from this, can generate a complete assay for the crude predictive model.
  • Predictive Model: The predictive approach consists of a model, trained on the basis of large numbers of known conventional assays and FTIR spectra. Unlike other industry approaches where qualities are predicted individually, we leverage 20 years of expertise in machine-learning techniques to predict assays holistically, providing a fully consistent characterization of the crude oil.

AVEVA’s Unified Supply Chain software offers a unified set of modules. Assays generated in the assay management module, directly from the IR spectrum, are immediately available in the planning module to allow re-optimization of operations.

The new release of AVEVA Unified Supply Chain Management software with Real-Time Crude is now available to customers! Learn more here.


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