Expert in Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products Testing, Petroleum Quality and Quantity Complaint Assessment
Expert ID: 724689 Jordan
This case was encountered by the refinery where the Expert was working for. As a Senior Technical Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Product Quality Expert, he solved this quality problem by tailoring for the said refinery an Optimum Crude Oil Blend, composed of Ideal Portions of the Light, Medium and Heavy Crude Oils, which were available at the refinery. The Expert prepared different Crude Oil Blends and tested each one for True Boiling Point (TBP) as per ASTM-D 2892 at the refinery laboratory, until he determined the Ideal Crude Oil Blend that would give the best Economical Fractions when processed through the Atmospheric Distillation Plant of the refinery. Having done this the refinery was able to fully utilize the Heavy Crude Oil in question instead of selling it for a cheap price.
Another example: There was a Crude Oil, which contained high percentage of Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S). When this Crude Oil is heated up it would generate more and more H2S, and, in turn, pollutes the area where this Crude Oil was being handled (i.e., storage tanks, on board the vessels, at loading and / or discharging ports). In this respect, the Expert studied this quality problem and, through his technical contacts, he came to know about a Chemical Additive, which when mixed with a Crude Oil of high H2S content, it would significantly reduce its H2S content. When the Expert tested and verified the chemical function of the said additive he found it effective and, in turn, he recommended its injection into the aforesaid crude oil. Thanks to this additive, handling of the Crude Oil in question, at the locations mentioned above, became easier and less polluting to the environment.
Testing of representative samples of Crude Petroleum and / or Petroleum Products, in accordance with International Standards (i.e., ASTM, IP, UOP etc…), is mandatory in the Petroleum Industry. The reasons being that: 1) To make sure that Crude Petroleum and / or Finished Petroleum Product Cargoes, when sold to Clients, they precisely meet their Guaranteed Specifications. 2) Prices of the said cargoes are determined based on their Guaranteed Specifications and their End Uses. Hence, any deviation from clients’ guaranteed specifications would put the whole cargo Off Specifications and, in turn, it will be rejected by the buyer concerned. However, testing of Finished Petroleum Product Cargoes for their Guaranteed Specifications may not be enough to determine whether the cargoes would be On Specifications and suitable for their End Uses. This is because, nowadays, most of refineries are technically sophisticated and having Advanced Licensed Processing Technologies some of which may have serious negative side effect on the Quality of some Petroleum Fractions, especially when Thermal Cracking Process technologies are used.
For example: The refinery, were the Expert was working for, encountered a Bunker Fuel Oil Quality problem. This problem appeared at the beginning of the refinery start-up and its production. It was frequent complaints about the Quality of the Bunker Fuel Oil Cargoes, which the refinery supplied to the vessels, which were calling at its terminals. Although all the required Bunker Fuel Oil Specification Parameters were On Spec. when tested, every time a vessel used the quality of the bunker fuel oil of the said refinery, its engine experienced serious technical problems. In this connection, the Expert, in collaboration with a European Research Center, studied this quality problem until he reached a conclusion that supplying 100% Neat Cracked Fuel Oil, as Bunker Fuel, and / or incorporating a High Percentage of a Cracked Fuel Oil Component into a Bunker Fuel Oil Cargo Blend, is the main cause of the quality problem in question. This is because the said component is Highly Unstable and generates lots of Asphaltic Sludge precipitated in the engine system. To solve this problem, the Expert introduced in the Bunker Fuel Oil Cargoes Specifications Specific Safeguard Quality Parameters, which would limit the percentage of any Cracked Fuel Oil Component, that may be mixed with other Bunker Fuel Blending components without causing any negative side effect on the final quality of the blend. He also advised the technical department to Hydro-treat the Cracked Distillates, (i.e., Kerosene and Gas Oil Streams), which are produced through Thermal Cracking Process Technologies, prior to their use as cutter stocks, into final blends of Bunker Fuel Oil Cargoes, to make sure that they are also stable components.
Another Example: A Finished Petroleum Cargo may meet all the Guaranteed Specifications at the Loading Port, but at the Discharging Port it may be Off Specifications in some quality aspects. The same refinery where the Expert was working, encountered this with the Guaranteed Specification Parameters of the Cold Flow Properties (CFPP, Pour Point) of the European Gas Oils, which the refinery was marketing in Europe.
Again, the Expert, in collaboration with a European Research Center, studied this problem until he reached a conclusion that the quality of the Cold Flow Improvers, which the refinery used for controlling the required Cold Flow Properties (CFPP, Pour Point), were unsuitable for the Quality of the European Gas Oils. Therefore, he asked the manufacturer of the relevant Cold Flow Improvers, to tailor Specific Cold Flow Improvers that would suit the quality of the European Gas Oils being marketed in Europe.
Heavy Fuel Oil: It could be either Straight Run or Cracked Quality. The Straight Run Heavy Residual Fuel Oil may be used as Feed Stock for further process to produce Distillate Fractions or Lube Oil Base Stocks. It may also be used as a Base Stock for either Burning or Bunker fuel Oils. As for the Cracked Heavy Residual Fuel Oil it is used ONLY as a main blending component for Burning Fuel Oil. The reason being that it could not be used 100% Neat Blending Component for Bunker Fuel for ships and / or Electrical Power Stations because it is unstable product and generates lots of Asphaltic Sludge precipitation and filter plugging problems.
For example: Two Electrical Power Stations encountered frequent serious shutdowns. They approached the Expert, through his employer, to assess their technical problem. When the Expert studied the problem in question, he found that it was purely quality problem due to the use of Inferior Quality of Fuel Oils for their stations compared with their Manufacturing Specifications. To solve this problem, the Expert tailored for the two stations, Special Commercial Guaranteed Specifications whereby he included Specific Safe-guard spec. parameters, which would not allow sellers to incorporate in their Fuel Oil Cargo Blends high percentage of inferior blending components or cracked materials.
Coking processes were developed to minimize refinery yields of residual fuel oil by severe thermal cracking of the vacuum residue by converting this entirely to Gas, Naphtha and Gas Oil, with Gas Oil fraction being the major product obtained. Without going in details, there are three main Petroleum Coke Processes: 1) Delayed Coking: Depending on the feedstock; typical product yields of this process are: C4 and lighter 1 – 18%, Gasoline 10 – 45%, Gas Oil 8 – 63%, Coke 20 – 45%. 2) Fluid Coking: Typical product yields of this process: C4 and lighter 8 – 14%, C5 – 220 Deg. C. Naphtha 17 – 21%, 220 – 545 Deg. C. Gas Oil, Coke 8- 28%. 3) Flexi Coking and its typical product yields are: C4 and lighter 6 – 14%, Gasoline 10 – 20%, Gas Oil 50 – 65%, Coke 20%, Net coke 1- 3%.
Petroleum Coke Grades and their Definitions: There are different grades of Petroleum Cokes; the main important grades and their definitions are as follows:
1) Green Coke: A solid, carbonaceous residue produced by thermal decomposition of heavy petroleum fractions and / or cracked stocks. The use of this grade is either for under boilers, for Cement Industries (for clinker Kiln), for burning lime or as a feedstock for the production of Calcined Coke.
2) Calcined Coke: Green Petroleum coke which has been thermally treated to drive off the volatile matter and to develop crystalline structure. The use of this grade is mainly for the production of Anode Grade Coke.
3) Anode Coke: Green Petroleum Coke that is suitable for calcining and subsequent fabrication of Baked Carbon Anodes used principally in the production of Aluminum.
4) Needle Coke: This grade is manufactured from highly Aromatic Feed stocks. It needs a low coefficient of thermal expansion, good mechanical strength, and low sulphur content (below 0.6wt. %) and good electrical conductivity. This grade is used for manufacturing Graphite Products, as well as the pre-baked Graphite Electrodes used in electrometallurgical furnaces.
Sampling of Petroleum Coke: Sampling and preparation of a representative sample of a Petroleum Coke Cargo for Laboratory Analysis has to be in accordance with ASTM D 346, D 2013 and D2234.
UPGRADING OF GREEN PETROLEUM COKE TO CALCINABLE COKE: When the first Petroleum Coke Plant was built at the refinery where the Expert was working, the quality of the Green Coke produced was inferior compared with other Green Petroleum Cokes produced by other refineries worldwide, and, in turn, its price in the market was cheap. To overcome of this quality problem the Expert visited a Petroleum Coke Plant in Louisiana State in the U.S.A. and met with the concerned experienced technical personnel of the said plant and discussed with them the best means and ways for upgrading the Green Petroleum Coke in question to a CALCINABLE COKE. The technical information he obtained was conveyed to the above-mentioned refinery, which implemented them and eventually started producing a good quality of a CALCINABLE COKE.
CONTROL OF THE DUST OF PETROLEUM COKE:
Another quality problem was the Dust problem, which the operators of the same refinery encountered during the handling of its production of the Petroleum Coke, whether through transporting, or storing or loading on board the vessels. To overcome this problem, the Expert introduced at the refinery the use of DUST SUPPRESSION ADDITIVE, which worked very successfully and, in turn, helped the Coke Plant in meeting the particulate air quality standards at lowest cost.
Transport of minerals and chemicals is associated with large sums of money. Hence, when analysis is to be performed, the analysis results are compared to the product’s guaranteed specifications based on which the prices are determined. The slightest difference in the quality between the bulk product and the sampled product may cause significant deviations from the guaranteed specifications. That is why sampling has to be as accurate as possible to get a sample that really represents the relevant purchased cargo. Sampling of Crude Oil and/or Petroleum Products has to be carried out as per the latest edition of ASTM D 4057. In this respect, there are two standard sampling methods: 1) Automatic Sampling System located in the Loading or Discharging pipeline on the Jetty: When a Crude Oil and/or Petroleum Product cargo is loaded into or discharged from a vessel it is essential that a representative sample of the relevant cargo is collected. The sample is normally collected by this Automatic Sampling System. 2)Manual Sampling: If the Automatic Sampling System is not available at the Jetty, then alternatively, a representative sample of the relevant cargo may be collected manually from each of the ship’s tanks to produce a composite sample representing the whole cargo. The sampling thief, which has to be used for the collection of a composite sample, has to be as per the latest edition of ASTM D 4057. Both aforesaid methods are recognized within the Petroleum Industry and their application is governed by the National and/or International Standards. However, there are occasions when neither method can be used, such as when no Shore-Based Sampler is installed and when the Inert Gas Blanket prevents effective sampling from ship’s tanks. Given the aforesaid circumstances, a Portable Shipboard Sampling Equipment is used during loading or discharging of the cargo. The said Equipment has been designed to be mounted at the Ship’s manifold. There are different types of samples that may be collected from either Shore Tanks, Ships’ Tanks or Pipelines, which would help determine whether a Crude Oil and / or a Petroleum Product cargo is meeting Buyers' Guaranteed Specifications. These samples may be classified as follows: Representative Sample: A sample having its physical or chemical characteristic identical to the volumetric average characteristic of the total volume being sampled. Running Sample: A sample obtained by lowering a container from the top of the oil to the bottom and returning it to the top of the oil at a constant speed. All levels Sample: A sample obtained from a stopped bottle to a point as near as possible to the draw-off level, then opening the sampler, and raising it at a rate such that it’s about three-fourths full (70-80%) as it emerges from the liquid (one-way). Composite Sample: A sample obtained by combining a number of samples in defined proportions to prepare a representative sample that would represent the whole loaded cargo. There are also other samples such as Top Sample, Upper Sample, Middle Sample, Lower Sample and Bottom Sample.
IMPORTANCE OF PROPER REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES: From his experience in testing of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products, the Expert noticed that most of clients’ serious complaints about the quality of their various Oil cargoes were mainly due to the Manual collection of improper representative samples from clients’ cargoes. To avoid the occurrence of these complaints, the Expert introduced the use of the Portable Shipboard Sampling Apparatus with well trained staff for handling sampling of clients’ cargoes. The implementation of this step minimized client’s quality complaints and, in turn, saved the suppliers substantial amount of money.
Assisting a Petroleum Trading Company in solving a Quality Complaint pertaining to a JET FUEL cargo, wich could have had caused a significant demurrage and delay.
|Year: 1968||Degree: L.L.B. (licentiate of Law)||Subject: Law||Institution: Faculty of Law, Damascus University|
|Years: 1992 to 2006||Employer: Undisclosed||Title: Regional Manager for Saybolt Middle East Headquarters||Department: Undisclosed||Responsibilities: Regional Manager for Saybolt Middle East Headquarters”, which comprised the following Twelve Branches and Franchise Partners: - Saybolt-Bahrain
|Years: 1991 to 1992||Employer: Undisclosed||Title: Free Lance Technical Consultant||Department: Undisclosed||Responsibilities: Setting up Turn-Key Petroleum Laboratories|
|Years: 1978 to 1990||Employer: Undisclosed||Title: Senior Analyst||Department: Undisclosed||Responsibilities: Research & development of Crude Petroleum & Petroleum Products, Handling of their Quality & Quantity Complaints, participating as voting member in ASTM|
|Years: 1968 to 1978||Employer: Undisclosed||Title: Petroleum Laboratory Supervisor||Department: Undisclosed||Responsibilities: Testing or Crude Oil and Petroleum Products and certification of the quality of their finished product cargoes|
|Years: 1964 to 1967||Employer: Jordan Petroleum Company – Jordan||Title: Undisclosed||Department: Technical Services Department - Petroleum Laboratory||Responsibilities: Testing of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products|
|Training / Seminars|
|•A One-Week Course, “Introduction to Petroleum Refining Processing” at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) – Kuwait - 1982.
•A One-Week Course, “Effective Strategies for Managerial Planning & Communications” at KPC – Kuwait – 1982.
•A One-Week Course, “Crude Petroleum & Gas Production Measurement” in Aberdeen – Scotland – U.K. 1979.
•A Six-Month Course, “Organic Chemistry” at Jordan Petroleum Refinery (JOPETROL), Zerka Refinery - Jordan - 1997.
•A Six-Month Course, “Inorganic Chemistry” at Jordan Petroleum Refinery (JOPETROL), Zerka Refinery - Jordan - 1966.
•A Six-Month Course, “Refining Operations” at Jordan Petroleum Refinery (JOPETROL), Zerka Refinery - Jordan - 1966.
|1) Consulting in the assessment of quality complaints pertaining to Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products and their handling either technically or legally at courts if necessary.
2) Expert witness in testing of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products
3) Expert in setting up Turn-Key Petroleum Laboratories.
|Other Relevant Experience|
|He is presently running his own Law Firm, as a Qualified and Professional Advocate, whereby he handles almost all Quality and Quantity Complaints / Claims pertaining to Sales and / or Purchase of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products Cargoes, either through amicable Settlements, or Arbitration or through Legal Channels (Civil Court Cases) if necessary.|
Fields of Expertise
crude oil, petroleum product analysis, heavy fuel oil, petroleum coke, oil sampling, petroleum handling, petroleum quality, oil terminal operations, crude distillation, petroleum additive, oil tank corrosion, oil tank, petroleum corrosion, petroleum product composition, oil additive, petroleum product, lubricating oil, fluid catalytic cracking, hydrocracking, mineral oil, petroleum, fluid catalytic cracking unit