Heavy Crude Oil and Heat Medium Heating Plant



TDE was engaged by the client to supply a heavy crude oil and heat medium heating plant designed for the Russian Arctic, with an inlet flow of 360 m³/day (53,800 BOPD) of 17 API crude. TDE was tasked with developing a method to maintain the temperature of heavy oil during processing to avoid solidification in the piping.

As the project site was the Russian Arctic, TDE had to comply with the unique local regulations (GOST-R, IEC, ATEX, etc.) as well as establish strategies for shipping and building the oversized heaters required for the project.

The project included detailed design (process, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, and control) in addition to the fabrication of the crude oil heating and heat medium units.

To process the heavy oil flow, TDE developed a method of heating from an inlet temperature of 10ºC to a final processing temperature of 115ºC via three stages of heat transfer. The final project also included supply of a heat medium system designed with a circulation rate of 2,040 m3/h (9,000 gpm) (higher than typical) and a total heat input of 44 MW (150 MMBTU/h).

The team established procedures for shipping the equipment as well as getting construction equipment to the remote site and complied with aeronautical requirements on the height of the heaters relative to the shipping window. The project was transported to the site, and spare parts were supplied for commissioning, start-up, and two years of operation. TDE also supplied plant chemicals and lubricants.

TDE was responsible for the supervision of field assembly of the modular supplied equipment, commissioning, start-up, the operational performance test, and personnel training for processes and operation. TDE also managed the registration of the plant and equipment with local authorities and standards agencies.



Feed flow rate

Dry oil: 360 m3/h (53,800 BPD), BS&W: 60%–80%

Vertical cylindrical heater

3 units, HP, flow rate

Feed/product exchangers

Plate and frame, duty = (3) 50% units – 1.6 MW each

1st stage exchangers

Plate and frame, duty = (3) 50% units – 14.5 MW each

2nd stage exchangers

Plate and frame, duty = (3) 50% units – 4.2 MW each

Building water exchanger

Plate and frame, duty = (1) 100% unit – 2.5 MW