Heavy crude oil production in world over is increasing gradually, resulting in higher atmospheric residue yield. Main product qualities such as high sulfur content, metals (Ni, V) & Conradson Carbon Residue (CCR) content in heavy crude & its distillation products pose challenges to refinery operation.
Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) has Al-Zour Refinery (ZOR) which is designed to process a wide range of crudes; 30° to 14° API such as Kuwait Export Crude (KEC), Kuwait Heavy Crude (KHC), Eocene and Lower Fars for supplying LSFO to power plants and marketing high-quality products) for export as per international specifications. ZOR Complex has the world's largest Atmospheric Residue Desulfurization (ARD) units, which is the heart of Al-Zour Refinery. ZOR Project today is in advanced stage of Detailed Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) phase.
This paper addresses the features and challenges experienced during the design of residue hydro-treating facilities for heavy oil processing in ZOR and especially ARD with respect to environmental and economic considerations. The road map of this paper starts by apprising its preliminary studies (external agencies studies & licensor pilot test), and challenges in developing a responsive design changes in the project in line with strategy of crude production plan to meet the objective of processing different types of heavy crude in KUWAIT.