How is bitumen processed?

How is bitumen processed?

Steam is injected into the oil sands deposit, reducing the viscosity of the bitumen. A mixture of mostly bitumen and water is pumped to the surface, where the water is recovered and recycled. The deposit is mined and trucked to a main processing plant. Bitumen is recovered through a gravity separation process.

How is bitumen upgraded?

Upgrading is a process by which bitumen is transformed into light/sweet synthetic crude oil (SCO) by fractionation and chemical treatment, removing virtually all traces of sulphur and heavy metals. About one-third of Alberta’s bitumen is upgraded into SCO before being sold to downstream refineries.

How do you refine bitumen?

To remove the carbon, bitumen is heated in large steel coke drums at higher temperatures (480 degree Celsius) and for longer periods of time than typical conventional oil refinery is capable of. Hydrogen is added afterwards to make bitumen more like a liquid-fuel.

How many barrels a day does CNRL Horizon produce?

In 2018, the company averaged production of 1,079 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (6,600,000 GJ) per day, of which 76% was petroleum and natural gas liquids and 24% was natural gas.

What is the composition of bitumen?

Chemical Composition of Bitumen: Elementally, it is around 95% carbon and hydrogen (± 87% carbon and ± 8% hydrogen), and up to 5% sulfur, 1% nitrogen, 1% oxygen and 2000ppm metals. Bitumens are composed mainly of highly condensed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

How do you separate bitumen?

The density of bitumen is close to that of water. In order to facilitate gravity phase separation, the extracted slurry must be aerated to separate the bitumen as a froth phase from the water and mineral matter. Separation is performed by froth flotation of the bitumen. The froth is de-aerated before further treatment.

What is a bitumen upgrader?

An upgrader is a facility that upgrades bitumen (extra heavy oil) into synthetic crude oil. Upgrader plants are typically located close to oil sands production, for example, the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada or the Orinoco tar sands in Venezuela.

What is Dilbit used for?

Dilbit (diluted bitumen) is a bitumen diluted with one or more lighter petroleum products, typically natural-gas condensates such as naphtha. Diluting bitumen makes it much easier to transport, for example in pipelines.

How do the oil sands work?

Currently, 20% of oil sands reserves are accessible via mining techniques. Large shovels scoop the oil sand into trucks which then move it to crushers where the large clumps of earth are processed. Once the oil sand is crushed, hot water is added so it can be pumped to the extraction plant.

How is bitumen refined into oil?

Bitumen is a very heavy oil. To do that, the bitumen is mixed with a diluent to make a lighter ‘bitumen blend’ that will flow through a pipeline. This diluted bitumen is (imaginatively) called “dilbit”. When the “dilbit” arrives at the refinery, the diluent is separated out and the bitumen is refined.

What is the process of hydrotreating in a refinery?

The feedstock from the upstream processing unit of a refinery is first heated in the furnace and then sent to the reactor for hydrotreating. The effluents from the reactor are separated in a high and/or low-pressure separator into hydrogen gas and liquid product.

What’s new in hydrotreating technology?

As an example of upgrading process development, research scientists are currently developing a novel monolithic hydrotreating technology for middle distillates that has the potential for at least a 2- to 3- fold increase in process efficiency compared to conventional hydrotreating processes.

What is the operating temperature of a hydrotreater?

The typical process flow scheme for a hydrotreater, with the main temperatures for each feedstock, is shown in Figure 3. The operating temperature for naphtha desulfurization is of the order of 700°F, but this varies as a function of the catalyst activity and stringency of the treatment.

How is synthetic crude oil made from naphtha?

Each of the naphtha, light gas oil and heavy gas oil streams is then sent to its own separate hydrotreater to remove sulphur and nitrogen by adding hydrogen. The resulting products from each of the separate hydrotreaters are then combined to produce synthetic crude oil.