Course Content – Crude Oil Distillation

Course Content – Crude Oil Distillation


Schedule Date Time PDH Venue/Platform Cost Register
Fall 2024 October 23 – 25, 2024 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Central Time (UTC -6)
24 hrs. Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental
Accepts in-person and virtual attendees


Crude distillation is the first process in the refining sequence and is vital to the profitability of refinery operations. This importance has grown with the advent of cleaner fuels. This program has been developed to provide an in-depth yet practical review of the art and science of crude distillation. Consistently maintaining smooth operation, capacity and product quality are critically important goals that can be difficult to achieve. Many complex process, equipment, and reliability issues have to be balanced to optimize run-length, capacity, and quality. With the many variables involved, constant adjustments are required.

The program’s content is both comprehensive and wide-ranging. Sessions begin with a discussion of fundamentals, including process objectives, crude oil characterization, products, process flow sequences, heat integration, desalting, and major equipment design. Attendees will gain an understanding of how process requirements, equipment operation, and economic objectives interact. Once the fundamentals are established, the session moves into the topics of operation, control, troubleshooting, and revamps. The program speaker is Mr. Andrew Sloley, a Principal Engineer at CH2M Hill in Bellingham, Washington.

Introduction and Process Objectives
  • Feed and Products
  • Importance to Refinery Operations
  • General Process Sequences
  • Major Equipment
  • Heat Integration
Crude Properties
  • Crude Types
  • Crude Oil Characterization
  • Heavy Oil Fractions
Crude Unit Products
  • Lights Ends
  • Naphthas
  • Kerosene and Jet Fuel
  • Diesel
  • Gas Oils
  • Residues
Process Flow Sequences
  • Topping and Simple Units
  • Conventional Atmospheric-Vacuum
  • Preflash Columns and Drums
  • Gas Oil Columns
  • Vacuum Columns
  • Diesel Recovery Options
  • Naphtha-Kerosene Recovery Options
Heat Integration and Exchangers
  • Heat Exchanger Networks
  • Heat Train Limitations
  • Cold Versus Hot Train Duties
  • Split Trains
  • Pinch Analysis
  • Exchanger Design
  • Typical Operating Conditions and Performance
  • Corrosion, Fouling, Contaminants
  • Single Versus Two-Stage
  • Operation
  • Salt Content and Removal Efficiency
Fired Heaters
  • Heater Types
  • Operating Limits
  • Heat Flux
  • Steam Injection
Atmospheric Distillation
  • Process
  • Equipment
  • Overhead Systems
  • Metallurgy
Vacuum Distillation
  • Process
  • Equipment
  • Vacuum Systems
  • Metallurgy
Control, Monitoring, Troubleshooting
  • Daily Monitoring
  • Control Options
  • Troubleshooting Common Problems
    – Poor Separations
    – Heat Removal and Heat Input
    – Entrainment – Black Products
    – Foaming
    – Hydraulics
  • Revamp Strategies
  • Defining Unit Performance
  • Discovering Opportunities
  • Future Directions: Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
Current Topics
  • Light Crudes and Tight Oils
  • Diesel Recovery
  • Condensate Splitting
Who Should Attend:

Program participants will have ample opportunity to obtain a broad working knowledge of crude unit operations, to gain insight into current technology and trends, and to interact with others working in this area. The program is ideal for personnel involved in refinery process engineering, plant operations, troubleshooting, and technical services. Process engineers from design and construction companies as well as those providing services to the petroleum refining industry should also find this program beneficial.

Andrew W. Sloley
Andrew W. Sloley is an independent consultant with over 40 years of experience in the hydrocarbon processing industry. He has worked extensively on petrochemical and refining units. His specialty in this area has been on product separation, distillation, and heat integration. This has covered the range from crude and heavy oils to cryogenic systems for light-ends recovery and gas treating. His other responsibilities have included technology analysis and economic evaluation. Andrew has authored or co-authored over 400 publications in these areas. He is currently a contributing editor on equipment and plant design for Chemical Processing magazine. He has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a licensed professional engineer in Texas. His experience in over 100 crude units has covered the entire range of crude blending, process configuration, optimization, equipment design, control, and troubleshooting issues for all types of crude units.

Becht offers the following discounts on Public Training:

The highest applicable discount will be applied; discounts are not additive.

  1. Early Registration – A 10% discount is to be provided when you register 30 days before the start date of the training.
  2. Group Rate – A group discount is applied when you send three or more people from your organization to the same course and provide a single payment.
  3. No. of Registrants Discount/Person
    3 10%
    4 – 6 20%
    7 and up 25%
  4. Yearly Commitment Discount – A 25% discount when you prepay for a minimum of 10 participants from your organization to any of the courses in the same year.

Cancellation Policy:
Full refunds or course transfers are available 4 weeks prior to the class start date. Cancellations 2-4 weeks out are eligible for course transfers or a refund of 60% of the registration fee. Cancellations within 2 weeks of the class will not be eligible for a refund. For any inquiries, please email

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