Crude distillation is the first process in the refining sequence and is vital to the profitability of refinery operations. This importance has grown with the advent of cleaner fuels.  This program has been developed to provide an in-depth yet practical review of the art and science of crude distillation.  Consistently maintaining smooth operation, capacity and product quality are critically important goals that can be difficult to achieve.  Many complex process, equipment, and reliability issues have to be balanced to optimize run-length, capacity, and quality.  With the many variables involved, constant adjustments are required.

The program’s content is both comprehensive and wide-ranging.  Sessions begin with a discussion of fundamentals, including process objectives, crude oil characterization, products, process flow sequences, heat integration, desalting, and major equipment design.  Attendees will gain an understanding of how process requirements, equipment operation, and economic objectives interact.  Once the fundamentals are established, the session moves into the topics of operation, control, troubleshooting, and revamps.  The program speaker is Mr. Andrew Sloley, a  Principal Engineer at CH2M Hill in Bellingham, Washington.

Program participants will have ample opportunity to obtain a broad working knowledge of crude unit operations, to gain insight into current technology and trends, and to interact with others working in this area.  The program is ideal for personnel involved in refinery process engineering, plant operations, troubleshooting, and technical services.  Process engineers from design and construction companies as well as those providing services to the petroleum refining industry should also find this program beneficial.



1. Introduction and Process Objectives

• Feed and Products

• Importance to Refinery Operations

• General Process Sequences

• Major Equipment

• Heat Integration

2. Crude Properties

• Crude Types

• Crude Oil Characterization

• Heavy Oil Fractions

3. Crude Unit Products

• Lights Ends

• Naphthas

• Kerosene and Jet Fuel

• Diesel

• Gas Oils

• Residues

4 . Process Flow Sequences

• Topping and Simple Units

• Conventional Atmospheric-Vacuum

• Preflash Columns and Drums

• Gas Oil Columns

• Vacuum Columns

• Diesel Recovery Options

•  Naphtha-Kerosene Recovery Options



5. Heat Integration and Exchangers

• Heat Exchanger Networks

• Heat Train Limitations

• Cold Versus Hot Train Duties

• Split Trains

• Pinch Analysis

• Crude Types

• Exchanger Design

6. Desalting

• Corrosion, Fouling, Contaminants

• Single Versus Two-Stage

• Operation

• Salt Content and Removal Efficiency

7. Fired Heaters

• Heater Types

• Operating Limits

• Heat Flux

• Steam Injection

8. Atmospheric Distillation

• Process

• Equipment

• Overhead Systems

• Metallurgy

9. Vacuum Distillation

• Process

• Equipment

• Vacuum Systems

• Metallurgy

10. Control, Monitoring, Troubleshooting

• Daily Monitoring

• Control Options

• Troubleshooting Common Problems

- Poor Separations

- Heat Removal and Heat Input

- Entrainment – Black Products

- Foaming

- Hydraulics

11. Revamps

• Revamp Strategies

• Defining Unit Performance

• Discovering Opportunities

• Future Directions: Energy Efficiency and Climate Change

12.  Current Topics

•  Light Crudes and Tight Oils

•  Diesel Recovery

•  Condensate Splitting



Andrew W. Sloley is a Principal Engineer for CH2M Hill, Bellingham, Washington. He has over 30 years of experience in the hydrocarbon processing industry.  At CH2M Hill he is primarily responsible for technical design and review and acts as team leader for process design for refinery crude units, delayed cokers, alkylation, and refinery recovery units including gas plants and FCC product recovery.  His other responsibilities include proposal preparation, technical support and system troubleshooting.  Andrew has authored or co-authored over 250 publications on petrochemical and refinery operations in the areas of equipment design and troubleshooting.  He is currently a contributing editor on equipment and plant design for Chemical Processing magazine.  He has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a licensed professional engineer in Texas.