Hydrocarbon Accounting and Refinery Loss
The value of oil stocks and the large capacity of many refineries is such that even a small percentage loss of hydrocarbons will have a major impact on refinery profitability. For a plant with a throughput of 100,000 BPSD a hydrocarbon loss of 0.1 % will at the current cost of crude oil ($ 100/bbl) represent a financial loss of $ 3.5 million annually. It is of paramount importance that accurate and correct Hydrocarbon Accounting is practiced and that hydrocarbon losses are strictly controlled.
Proper Hydrocarbon Accounting requires that:
- Receipts in the refinery are correctly meas-ured
- Deliveries from the refineries are correctly measured
- Refinery inventories are accurately measured and controlled
- Refinery own fuel consumption is correctly measured
- All data are correctly processed
If these requirements are not completely achieved the reported losses can either be a true loss to the refinery or may result from a miscal¬culation of hydrocarbon quantities. In such a case the refinery weight balance will not provide the accuracy that is necessary to maximize profitabil¬ity and minimize losses.
An accurate refinery mass balance will usually show a loss percentage that might be as low as 0.1 or as high as 1.0 % by weight. These losses can be categorized as ‘Identifiable’ and ‘Unidentified’ Losses. Identifiable losses include losses due to evaporation, flaring, seepage, chemical losses and hydrocarbons contained in solid and liquid waste. The calculation of these losses is important since, by definition, what is left when everything has been accounted for is unidentified loss.
Triple EEE has experts who have developed and implemented many of the best practices used in Hydrocarbon Accounting, Refinery Loss Control and Stocks Management. These experts can either be made available to assist in solving specific problems or perform general audits , either on the Hydrocarbon accounting itself, the measurement of hydrocarbon movements in and out of the refinery, or both.
Such a general audit would cover the following areas :
- Policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities
- Data measurement and collection of data relating to the refinery mass and volume balance reporting
- Review of fixed data used in the accounting system such as volume correction factors and tank strapping tables
- The quality of reporting
- Interfaces with other systems – onsite and external.
The audit would be carried out by a small team of Triple EEE experts usually involving a Metering expert, a Hydrocarbon Accounting expert and a Loss Control expert. A site audit would bring the team onsite for 1-2 weeks depending on the exact scope of the audit and the complexity of the site. The site audit would include a presentation of initial findings and conclusions at the end of the visit. A full audit report will then be prepared in the Triple EEE offices within the next 2-4 weeks.
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