The need for heavy oil processing has increased in recent years worldwide, backed by higher demands for petroleum products in the face of declining light crude oil resources. The situation encourages refineries to focus more on maximizing the production of high-value outputs from this lower-value heavier feedstock. This study purports to assess heavy oil processing potential in the refining industry through model-based economic evaluation. We formulate a refinery model suitable for preliminary investment decision making, which considers various cost elements for a number of conventional commercial heavy oil processing technologies. The formulated model is applied to a case study on the worldwide potential for heavy oil processing. This chapter demonstrates the application of a model-based approach to perform or assist with investment assessment.
Part of the book: Processing of Heavy Crude Oils