Skip to main content

Mini Oil Refinery Review

Mini Oil Refinery is usually built with capacity of 4000-30 000 barrel oil per day. It is built to fulfill oil demand in remote region where access to energy is difficult. Mini oil refinery is usually build in form of modular because of low capital cost and ease and speed of construction.

In Indonesia, demand of petroleum products such as gasoline, naphta, kerosene, gas oil, heavy fuel, fuel oil, and LPG is projected to increased in 2015. The existing oil refinery cannot fulfill the demand. There is a gap between petroleum products supply and demand. Therefore more mini oil refinery need to be developed.

Because mini oil refinery utilize less oil, cost to refine crude oil is matter. Capital cost to refine a litter of crude oil is higher in the case of mini oil refinery. Therefore optimization in crude oil characteristics need to be achieved to make mini oil refinery workable.

Some conditions that make investment in mini oil refinery workable are:

  • Close access to cheap crude oil
  • Near to sizable market
  • Acceptable market for heavy fuel oil because yield of heavy fuel oil is the greatest
  • Project finance on preferential terms for development credit agencies
  • Government incentives to support regional development

Mini oil refinery is often supplied only as simple as simple straight run atmospheric distillation to minimize capital cost. It produces diesel and/or kerosene, with naphta and fuel oil as by product. Some refinery added vacuum distillation to process atmosperic bottom.

Light Crude vs Heavy Crude

Light and sweet crude is very desirable in mini oil refinery because facility upgrading is less required. However, the crude oil source is limited now and its price is expensive.

On the other hand, heavy crude is cheap and its source is increasing. However, it requires facility upgrading.

Recommended Crude Oil Characteristics for Mini Oil Refinery

  • Salt content. Maximum salt content is 1 kg/1000 barrel, otherwise pretreatment is required.
  • Sulphur content. Crude oil with less than 1% sulphur will normally refined within allowable fuel specification without the need for desulphuring process
  • Other characteristics. High API, high natural diesel fraction in its assay, low contaminants.

Configuration of Mini Oil Refinery

Refinery configuration is influenced by product demand. At least there are four configuration of mini oil refinery: topping plant, hydroskimming, cracking refinery, and coking refinery. Table below summarizes differences between those refinery in term of its facility, feedstock, process, and products.

Mini Oil Refinery Configuration
Mini Oil Refinery Configuration

The simplest configuration is topping plant where it utilizes simple distillation. The most complex facilities are cracking refinery and coking refinery. 

Figure below show yield of products at different refinery configuration. As you can see, more complex refinery will produce more gasoline which is desirable and less HFO.

Product Yield using Heavy Crude Oil at Different Mini Oil Refinery Configuration
Product Yield using Heavy Crude Oil at Different Mini Oil Refinery Configuration

Current Mini Oil Refinery in Indonesia

At least six mini oil refineries has been built in Indonesia with different capacity and products. They are:

  1. PT Triwahana Universal, Bojonegoro, East Java. The capacity is 6000 barrel per day. The facilities are atmospheric distillation unit and vacuum distillation unit. The products are naphta/straight run gasoline, solar, marine diesel oil, and residue/vacuum tower bottom.
  2. PT TransPacific Petrochemical Indotama, Tuban, East Java. The capacity is 100 000 barrel per day. The facilities are precut column, condensate splitter, distillate column, and aromatic plant. The products are naphta, kerosene, diesel fuel, and aromatics.
  3. PT Humpuss Pengolahan Minyak. The plant is not commissioned yet. Design capacity is 10 000 barrel per day. Facilities consist of atmospheric distillation column, naphta hydrotreater, and catalytic reformer.
  4. PT Pertamina Refinery Unit VII Kasim, Papua. The capacity is 10 000 barrel per day. The facilities consist of distillation column, naphta hydrotreater, and catalytic reforming unit. Main products are fuel gas, premium fuel, kerosene, solar, and residue.
  5. PT PatraSK, Dumai, Riau. The capacity is 25 000 barrel per day. The product is lube base oil.
  6. PT Kilang Muba. The capacity is 800 barrel per day. The facility is atmospheric distillation column only. The products are premium and kerosene

Possible Configuration of Mini Oil Refinery

As previously mentioned, the configuration of mini oil refinery depends on intended products. Figure below is possible  configuration of mini oil refinery. However, I found that some mini oil refinery has more simple configuration than this figure.

Possible configuration for mini oil refinery
Possible configuration for mini oil refinery

You can find more about mini oil refinery in below presentation. Please see link below. I hope this review is useful.

Mini Oil Refinery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *