• What are the new technologies that can help you process heavier feeds?
  • Is your current configuration ready for upcoming product quality regulations?
  • Are you profitably and feasibly serving your market demand with your existing configuration?
  • Are your business objectives aligning with your configuration selection?
  • Is existing utility and downstream unit capacity adequate for additional new unit /technologies being selected?
  • How close is your schedule sync with actual reconciled data?
  • Are you aware of the advantage of a global model to schedule inventory levels at multiple locations?
  • Are the unit regulation reports generated from scheduling models user-friendly to the operationsgroup?
  • Are your LP and scheduling models interactive with MES applications with a common"+ "process data input?
  • Is your back-casting case robust enough to track all the critical lost opportunities?
  • Do you utilize historical inferences from the scheduling tool to validate the LP model accuracy?
  • Do you use back-casting to identify areas of LP modelsthat need updates?
  • Are you fully utilizing the potential of Assay Management tools for optimal crude selection?
  • Are you facing a problem in converting raw TBP/ASTM lab data to generate assays for LP input?
  • Do you know how to back-calculate cut points from yield patternsobtained from the MES Yield accounting tool?
  • How frequently are your LP Planning models updated to factor changes in yield, quality & process unit behavior occurring with time?
  • Do you use inferences from Daily Scheduling and Monthly Backasting activity to trigger LP model update?
  • Are you aware of the Best practices in developing yield shift vectors for process units?
  • How frequently is your LP Model updated?
  • Are you aware of the benefits of running plans over multiple periods/ locations?
  • Is your LP over-constrained or too complex or does it have has poor convergence?
  • How often do you assess your margin drivers?
  • Are you aware of various options to check and reduce sub-optimal LP results?

Planning & Scheduling

Increase Returns on Assets

Operating margins in refinery are largely controlled by the feedstock costs. Because of the capital intensive nature of refining the margins are fairly tight and the refiners are always looking to produce more from the pots and pans.

There are some well-established strategies to increase bottom line for an operating refinery:

  • Developing an optimized refinery operation plan depending on crude slate
  • Implement the refinery operation plan through tight refinery scheduling
  • Retro-analysis to see how the plans have performed
  • Conduct LP Configuration Studies to ensure optimum refinery configuration & right technology selection
  • Use LP Utility tool available in simulation software to periodically update the LP model to make it more robust
  • Use Assay Management tools in combination with simulation software for better crude selection through accurate crude assay update
Refinery Optimization Cycle

Production plans made at refinery level can be broadly classified into “Long- term” and “Short- term” plans

Long term plans aim to:

  • Provide input to annual budget and help forecast profitability targets taking into account purchase and processing guidelines, utility and catalyst consumption
  • Facilitate in selecting the right crude-mix and other feedstock
  • Perform strategic planning for de-bottlenecking and expansion of existing facilities
  • Plan periodic unit turn-around activities
  • Evaluate crude shipping and product evacuation requirements

Short term plans are usually devised over a time frame of 3 - 6 months and aim to:

  • Optimize refinery’s operational activities which include product slate, feed mix selection, process unit capacity utilization, unit yield swing, product blending and inventory management for the current month, while keeping a view for the future requirements concerning the next three-month cycle
  • Explore benefits from incremental sales/purchase
  • Provide directional input to risk management, crude and product scheduling and for KPI monitoring
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Operations scheduling is usually carried out spanning over periods as long as 3 months to as short as one day. The non-linearity in refinery operations such as feed and logistic limitations which are assumed to be linear during the Planning process is rightly addressed during the process of scheduling to drive a feasible and optimal refinery operating philosophy.

The entire business process Product scheduling can be divided into:

  • Dock scheduling
  • Feedstock scheduling
  • Process unit scheduling
  • Product blending & Scheduling
  • Product distribution
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Backcasting technique is usually applied in refineries predominantly to compare LP generated yields with the yields from actual operations. It involves a series of LP runs with the latest production plan for the month as the base case and using the same LP model used to prepare the plan.

The outcome of these LP runs will be useful in:

  • Quantification of domain-wise losses due to internal and external factors
  • A “one-shot-two-bird” solution which helps in identifying gaps in the LP model used for subsequent planning and also correct any anomaly in actual field operation
  • Identifying lost opportunities and potential areas for profit improvement
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Optimum refinery configuration with right technology adopted is a quintessential strategy for refiners to sustain uncertain product demand, volatile prices and tightening environmental norms.

LP tool can be used for evaluating various scenarios in the following ways:

  • Building the LP Sub-models for proposed different technology licensors and
  • Configuration study for the proposed multiple configurations and
  • Detailed feasibility study for the preferred configuration

Refinery configuration studies will help you develop optimal solutions to complex issues:

  • Bottom-of-barrel upgradation
  • Refinery/petrochemical integration
  • Clean fuels production
  • Facility expansions
  • Grassroots complex planning &
  • Gas processing complex planning

iOG Solutions has developed ‘Refinery Technology’ database using published licensor information from literature over the last couple of decades. Our generic LP models have all the major units of varying degrees of complexity.

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With changes in the refinery processes and with the catalyst life declining, it is very common to experience that over a period of time, process unit yields and stream properties do not match with the actual plant performance. Hence, it is highly important to update the LP models in the refinery to depict the actual process as accurately as possible on a regular basis to enable effective decision making.

Process simulation tools with rigorous kinetic reactor modeling are often equipped with LP utility tools which can provide useful information on crude assays, yield shift vectors with change in feed quality and on unit-wide process constraints for updating the LP model.

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Crude Assay Management

Accuracy of assay data in LP is vital in refinery planning more so from the perspective of crude selection as Crude oil purchase, in general accounts to 90% of the refining cost.

The starting point in assessing the value of any crude is to understand the cut-wise yields and properties (both whole crude and cut-wise) for a given refinery configuration with a defined set of refinery cut points.

Crude Assay Management tools prove to be handy in this context with several key functionalities such as crude re-cutting to specified cut points, excellent interfacing with process simulation and LP tools, in-built crude database and many other sophisticated features. Our experts at iOG Solutions can help you update crude assays from various sources such as lab TBP/ASTM data, production data, part assay data, etc.

What we offer

  • Study the business process “As –is” process
  • Identify areas of enhancement of the Business Process through benchmarking
  • Provide road-map to achieve “To-be” status in-line with the best practices available world-wide
  • Build LP and scheduling/blending models from scratch or update existing models at holistic as well as granular levels for suitable use
  • Custom Training program designed based on user requirement and realistic situations
  • Understanding results of retro-analysis (see also our brochure for LP Model update)
  • Set up of Plan vs Actual KPIs on corporate dashboard (see our brochure on corporate dashboard)
  • SCM Integration with other relevant refinery solutions to ensure seamless flow of data, efficient analysis and elegant reporting. Effective planning and scheduling needs good integration to be in place.

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