Magnetrol® recently visited the second largest oil refinery in California. The facility produces roughly 270,000 BPD. It primarily produces gasoline, jet fuel and diesel, in addition to propylene gas and CO2.
During this visit, MAGNETROL Engineers had a chance to discuss the applications, measurement challenges and current instrumentation, in addition to touring the refinery to see various applications and instruments in action.
MAGNETROL listened to the latest industry concerns from plant instrument engineers and operators. These concerns include the time and money required for instrument maintenance, the need for instrumentation reliability, challenges with various level measurements, and troublesome applications that are resisting accurate measurement. In turn, MAGNETROL shared some possible level solutions and engaged in dialogue about the advantages and disadvantages of the various measurement technologies.
The level measurement needs of an oil refinery are complex and wide-ranging. In order to ensure process optimization, environmental protection, and worker health and safety, a variety of best-in-class instrumentation is required. The diverse processes and operating conditions within a refinery present unique challenges to plant operators looking for reliable, accurate level measurement.
For instance, refineries typically contain large numbers of seal pots, which store barrier fluid that protects expensive rotating equipment. Measuring and ensuring proper liquid levels in these seal pots is fundamental to the safety and longevity of the refinery.
The toughest level measurement challenge in oil refineries is hydrocarbon/water interface measurement. These immiscible liquids undergo emulsification in storage and process vessels. Knowing the position and thickness of interface emulsion is necessary for maintaining product quality and operations efficiency, while monitoring the top liquid level is critical for safety and overfill prevention.
As MAGNETROL looks to the future of level measurement, the chance to hear from industry partners is invaluable. We’re grateful for the opportunity to visit this refinery and for the time they spent with us.