The crude unit physically separates the crude oil charge into fractions of specific boiling ranges by distillation and steam stripping. These fractions undergo further processing before being blended into finished products. The relatively lighter fractions are separated and recovered in the saturated gas plant. The distillate range oils are separated and sent to the Catalytic Desulfurization Unit (CHD) and Hydrotreating (HDT). The residue from the atmospheric tower is further processed by vacuum distillation in order to produce an increased yield of liquid distillates and a heavy residual material.

Crude fractionation is a continuous process and the streams are contained in piping and vessels. The potential for exposure is limited, but can occur during sampling, maintenance, or in the event of a leak, plant upset, or turnaround.

Accidental skin or eye contact with the liquid streams may result in slight to moderate irritation. Skin irritation can be severe if the liquid becomes trapped inside shoes or gloves.

Crude Unit Overview

  • Feed Input: Crude Oil
  • Temperature / Pressure: Ambient to 800°F / 29" vacuum to 450 psi.
  • Products / Output: Off-gas, Naphtha, Kerosene, H2S light gas oil (LGO), heavy gas oil (HGO), atmospheric residuum, vacuum gas oil (VGO), and petroleum pitch tar
  • Major Equipment involved in the process: desalters, heaters, fractionator, vacuum columns, stripper tower, exchangers, fin fans, and pumps
  • Safety Hazards: Hot oil, volatile light hydrocarbons, high voltage power supply to desalters, H2S, steam, and rotating equipment