To cover the worldwide increasing energy demands, (extra) heavy crude oils are increasingly replacing conventional light crude oils as energy sources. The characteristics of these crude oils – including a higher viscosity and a lower density difference to water – can push conventional processing systems to their economic and technical limits. An alternative is the conversion of existing installation (brownfield) or, when planning a new installation (greenfield), the design of the complete treatment process to the GEA Crude Oil Treatment System right from the start.
Increasingly heavy crude oils pose great challenges for (further) processing due to their unfavorable properties: A high viscosity and density and a high asphaltene content, as well as possibly higher acid and sulfur contents, an increasing proportion of impurities and a low API degree reduce the quality of the crude oil and often require large amounts of water and energy in conventionally designed processes. The consequences are an impairment of both performance and economy.
Treatment systems with GEA crude oil desalting Centrifuges operate at high g-force (4,000 - 6,000 x g). Impairments to the conductivity of crude oil due to increased asphaltene content and rising water cuts play a subordinate role for the centrifuges and have a much smaller influence on their performance. GEA centrifuges can efficiently treat crude oils with an API gravity of up to 12° in a 1- or 2-stage process setup.