September 2013

Special Report: Refining Developments

Processing shale oils in FCC: Challenges and opportunities

Detailed feed analysis and cracking studies aid refiners in understanding how best to optimize operations and maximize FCC value when processing shale oils.

Bryden, K. J., Habib Jr., E. T., Topete, O. A., Grace Catalysts Technologies

As novel hydraulic fracturing technology with directional drilling continues to improve, shale oil will continue to be a game-changer for North American refiners. Although credited with many advantages, shale oil does not come without its challenges. Suppliers and processors alike are urgently working to adapt to the changing oil landscape. Just a few years ago, investments were focused on processing heavy crudes. Now, however, the industry is faced with lighter, sweeter crude streams from shale plays. In varying degrees at each refinery, shale oil makes up only a percentage of the total feedstock. Present estimates put shale oil production at 5% of total US crude demand. The percentage cou

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