HomePaís PetróleoVenezuelans invent additive that improves the mobility of crude oil from the Belt

Venezuelans invent additive that improves the mobility of crude oil from the Belt

Taking the heavy and extra-heavy crude oil from the Orinoco Oil Belt from the wells to the shipping ports and upgraders continues to be the focus of oil research, since the high viscosity of these oils, manifested, among other indicators, in their low grades. API, it barely allows it to flow into the subsoil; and, once on the surface, it transforms into a toothpick marshmallow that is almost impossible to move at room temperature.

We reiterate a definition that is always relevant and necessary. The indicator par excellence used to evaluate the quality of oil is the density expressed in degrees API (American Petroleum Institute), which allows crude oil to be classified as extra heavy (less than 10° API), heavy (greater than 10° API and less than 22° API), medium (between 22° and 31° API) and light (greater than 31° API up to 45° API). Hydrocarbons greater than 45°API are considered condensates.

As we pointed out in a report published in this section, to make heavy oils more friendly, PDVSA treats them in the Jose upgraders, located in Puerto La Cruz, whose final product is the so-called synthetic barrel, created to be originally part of the diets of US refineries such as Valero Energy Corp, Chevron Corp, Phillips 66 and PBF Energy Inc.

In Venezuela there are four upgraders from the joint companies Petrocedeño, Petropiar, Petromonagas and Petro Roraima, with a processing capacity of 610 thousand barrels per day (MBD) of heavy and extra-heavy crude oil, converting them into 543 MBD of improved or synthetic products, with less sulfur. and metals, and densities between 16° and 32° API.

The synthetics produced by breeders were designed for the specialized diet of the United States; Today, due to illegal coercive measures, a good part of these synthetics are exported to other countries and are used to feed the Amuay and Cardón refineries.

Another concept: dilution, which is carried out to make the crude oil more fluid and is executed when heavy or extra-heavy crude oil is combined with another less dense product, whether invented or not but always obtained from products generated by the distillation of petroleum, as It's Nafta. Mixing is also another concept that must be known and differentiated from dilution; It is made when a light crude oil is mixed with a heavy or extra-heavy crude oil, in order to create a less dense and more fluid cocktail, in this case the Type Merey 16.

The American oil company Chevron uses heating to move Boscán crude oil, 10,5 Degrees API, both via pipelines from Campo Boscán to the ports of Lake Maracaibo, and in the same tankers that transport it to the refineries in the Eastern Gulf of the United States. other shipping ports, where it resells it to other oil companies such as ExxonMobil.

Focused on giving mobility to heavy and extra-heavy crude oil, the company Dalca, based in Valencia, created by Venezuelan entrepreneurs, formulated the fluidizing additive DAL-994 which, according to tests from the Intevep research center, a subsidiary of PDVSA, managed to reduce the volume of Naphtha diluent necessary to be added to dilute and mobilize the crude oil from the Belt to the Jose refining and upgrader complex, located in Puerto La Cruz.

In its December 2023 report, Intevep concludes that the tests carried out in two wells in the Belt, where PetroCedeño operates, “a reduction in viscosity and an appreciable improvement in the mobility of the crude oil was observed, in addition to not requiring greater dilution, which which generates diluent savings.”

To the savings in diluent and the consequent reduction in Naphtha imports that translate into less foreign exchange disbursement, the Report adds that having greater fluidity reduces the pressures on the pipes and with them increases the flow of oil.

That is, while currently for every 100 barrels of crude oil and gasoline dilution 67 barrels of oil are sent, with the addition of the additive it has been possible to send 82 barrels of oil.

Yes indeed. Intevep warns "the test must be extended to all the wells in order to issue conclusive results."

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