How to Optimize Oil and Gas Refinery Operation Profits with Engineering Simulation
Oil and gas refiners have run into some new and difficult challenges in recent years. Among them are the requirements for large capital expenditures and increased hydrogen usage for low sulfur fuels that are mandated by new environmental standards. Gasoline shortages caused by the hurricane damage in the United States Gulf Coast region has prompted news reports highlighting increased profit margins for refineries. Typically these margin increases are represented in absolute terms on a per gallon basis, and are not normalized by the cost of crude oil, which must be paid by the refiner. Although the price of gasoline has increased significantly, there is continued downward price pressure on petroleum products that are used in the chemical industry, because consumers and distributors have been able to keep consumer product prices low. Therefore, minimizing unplanned down-time while keeping operational and utility costs at a minimum is critical to business.