Refinery Supply Chain Optimization in Sudan

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Hassan, Imad Eldin Hassan Abdo
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University of Khartoum
Sudan is a recent entrant into the group of petroleum producing countries, with a relatively small production rate. Nevertheless, oil has become a major contributor to Sudan’s national income. As oil is considered a depleting resource, it is necessary to utilize it in an optimized way that helps in developing other resources. This study builds on this understanding, and searches for a technical answer (by making use of petroleum refining technologies and engineering) to this optimization problem. This will be facilitated by studying the refining processes and their combinations that best suite the quality of indigenous crude oils and the products demanded in the local market. Setting future refining in the proposed way will lead to a two folds benefit, by maximizing returns from local refineries while minimizing crude oil processed and thus maximizing the amounts available for export. After collecting basic data on the different indigenous crude oils, (currently, there are three crude oils in commercial production with different qualities) the refining characteristics of these crude oils have been studied. Products yields from different refinery process units were estimated for each crude oil. All these crude oils are characterized by high yields of residual oil (heavy products). Accordingly, the residue upgrading processes (cracking processes) are of much interest when studying those crude oils. Suitable refinery configurations were identified by forming different combinations of process units suitable for the indigenous crude oils. Based on this a model has been developed to estimate the overall refinery yields from different refinery configurations for each crude. A data base is thus generated for refining yields. Data on historic consumption of refined fuel petroleum products was collected for the different states of the country. Then states were grouped into virtual sectors for the purpose of studying their supply with petroleum products. This virtual grouping leads to simplifying the information analysis and linking to a reasonable and realistic number of refineries. For this purpose, a supply centre is selected in each sector. The historic consumption data is organized and analyzed based on those sectors. Based on historic consumption, the future demand has been forecasted (for a period of fifteen years) for different products both countrywide and per individual sectors. A model has been developed to identify the optimum overall refining setup that would meet the future demand of fuel petroleum products. The model links the refining yields data base to the forecasted products demand. The optimum overall refining setup is defined -here- by the optimum combination of number of refineries, configuration and capacity of each, and crude oil to be processed in each. The objective is to have the minimum overall cost of crude oil to be processed for meeting the local demand for products. Data on unit transportation rates was collected. Based on this, transportation costs for each product between the different supply centres were calculated. A model has been developed to identify the v optimum location for each refinery. The criterion is to have the minimum overall cost for transporting all products to the different parts of the country. The model links the yields from the optimum identified refineries, the demand for different products in different sectors, and transportations costs. So, the optimum location is identified for each refinery. A comparison was held between local processing of indigenous crude oils –to meet local future demand- and importing finished products. It has been found that focusing on local refining and setting refineries in the proposed way will have more economic advantage compared to importing refined products.
277 Pages
Sudan;engineering;heavy products;petroleum products;oil