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Overview of the Shell refining technology portfolio
Refiners are facing a dynamic business environment. Crude prices are volatile. Heavy, high-sulphur and acidic opportunity crudes are increasingly available. Demand for lighter products is high; product legislation and emissions standards are tightening; and health, safety and environment mandates also have to be met.
Cutting-edge licensed technologies are being leveraged to introduce new hardware into refineries. These technologies can help refiners to raise capacities, take advantage of opportunity crudes and meet stringent specifications.
Shell Global Solutions licenses a wide range of industry-leading technologies across all refinery processes. These include:
- hydrotreating – from naphtha to resid cuts;
- fluidised catalytic cracking (FCC);
- thermal conversion;
- distillation and separation;
- gas/liquid treating and sulphur processes;
- sulphur dioxide capture technology from Cansolv Inc.;
- carbon monoxide reduction technology (CONOx) from Praxair;
- liquid hydrocarbon-treating from Merichem;
- catalysts from Criterion Catalysts & Technologies and Zeolyst International.
Shell Global Solutions’ licensed hardware includes:
- reactor internals and FCC hardware;
- distillation trays and separators.
Shell Global Solutions’ licensed platform includes:
- the Shell Sulphur Technology Platform – handling of sulphur in any form: liquid, gas or solid.
Shell technology – the backbone of numerous operations around the globe
By supporting Shell’s global downstream network, we have addressed many of the challenges that refinery and petrochemical operators face. Our technologies have been developed in response to the challenges that emerge when operating complex process plants in demanding operating environments.
There is never a silver bullet solution. Seasonal product demand shifts, changes in crude oil source, local market conditions and individual unit design differences dictate a flexible and tailored approach. That is why we work closely with the licensee to develop optimised process unit designs and catalyst systems.
We have developed many pioneering process schemes and innovative configurations in response to compelling or emerging business needs. Moreover, as an operator, Shell has accumulated vast expertise on how to integrate the technology blocks, whether they are hydrodesulphurisation, coking, solvent deasphalting (DAO) or visbreaking units for example, to achieve the most cost-effective operation for a given crude and product slate.
In search of the refinery of the future
Figure 1: The Shell refining technology Portfolio
We recognise that innovation excellence is dynamic: it must be driven by compelling or emerging business needs. That is why we listen to our clients, both in and outside Shell, before investing in catalyst and process development. Our vision is to create the refinery of the future: a facility that is adaptable to the changing feedstock slate, that maximises pro duct flexibility and that enjoys high on-stream utilisation and best-in-class health, safety and environment performance.