09 November 2010 23:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Propane and butane production as a refinery by-product could rise on pipeline shipments of Canadian heavy crude oil to the ?xml:namespace>
“The shift from light crude to heavy crude will affect relatively few refineries and will probably not reduce the supply of light ends [lighter materials that are processed from crude, such as liquified petroleum gas, kerosene and heating oil],” said Dan Lippe, president of Petral Worldwide. “If anything, the shift may increase the supply of light ends due to the increases in feed rates to cokers and FCC [fluid catalytic cracking] units.”
The refinery upgrades, mainly adding coker units to process the higher density crude, would allow for higher processing rates. Refineries would process heavier material, which would yield a higher percentage of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), such as propane and butanes.
Stephen Jones, a senior analyst with Purvin & Gertz, said heavier crude oil run through a coking refinery could yield 25-35% more LPG than the same grade of heavier crude run through a refinery that only has cracking capabilities.
The Keystone Pipeline, a project of TransCanada, was expected to begin shipping Canadian crude oil at a full rates 1.1m bbl/day to the
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently mentioned the importance of granting the permit for the pipeline in order to reduce dependence on oil from the
LPGs have predominantly been used in the chemical industry for injection moulding, fibres, film, piping, latex, rubber and packaging feedstock. Both have also been used as a source for heating or cooking, and propane has been used as an alternative fuel for motor vehicles.
However, the most desired chemical feedstock has been ethane, which the heavy crude processing would not affect.
Upgrades at refineries to process heavier crude oils mainly involve adding more conversion units to break down the heavier hydrocarbons, such as crackers and coker units. Refiners have invested millions of dollars for upgrades to process the heavy crudes to take advantage of a discount of around $15/bbl for heavier Canadian crude compared with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.
Upgrades for heavier crude are being made are for at least five large US facilities, including Marathon’s Garyville refinery in Louisiana, BP's Whiting refinery in Indiana, ConocoPhillips's Wood River refinery in Illinois, Motiva's Port Arthur refinery in Texas and Total's Port Arthur refinery.To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections