Tracerco launch extended applications for award-winning Profiler™


An international oil and gas technology provider has launched a new design of its multi-award-winning Profiler™ instrument.

The proven technology, which has been used in separation processing applications the world over for nearly 15 years, is now available for high temperature processing applications including refinery desalting and oil sands steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process plants.

This exciting new development, produced by Tracerco, part of the FTSE 100 company Johnson Matthey Plc, makes the Profiler™ the only instrument in the world that is specifically designed to measure the vertical distribution of oil, emulsion, water and solids in high temperature processing applications such as desalting and SAGD.

The Profiler™’s proven unique ability to show such a high resolution image of the density profile within a process has made it the instrument of choice in separation applications from subsea to downstream refining. There have already been multiple orders for the new high temperature version from customers in Norway, the UK, Canada and the USA, all seeking to secure the process control advantages – and the improved production and cost efficiencies that go with this – in their high temperature process systems.

Unlike existing point measurement products, this patented instrument is a true ‘window’ into the whole vessel enabling the operator to not only improve production throughput, but also manage chemical usage and reduce downtime.

Kim Thye Lee, Business Director at Tracerco said “Nowadays, within many refineries, there is a growing tendency to process heavier crudes or blend these with lighter feed stocks. This can create a number of process control challenges in the desalter vessel. Tracerco’s Profiler™ technology has been extended to now operate at higher temperatures and provides an effective solution to this problem.”

Kim Thye Lee added “By using the Profiler™, which can operate at up to 194 degrees celcius, it enables customers to increase crude throughput while providing detailed and accurate results, reducing the costs associated with chemical dosing and waste water treatment.”

Tracerco customers who use the Profiler™ in their desalter applications have already reported increases to outputs of up to 20,000 barrels per day. This is possible due to the detailed data allowing plant operators to run the with the emulsion band level at levels of up to 82%, allowing increased volumetric throughput in the desalter.

Running the emulsion at such a high level is made possible due to the detailed profiling provided by the instrument with an accuracy of +/-1% of the measurement range, giving the operator confidence to run the level closer to the electrostatic grid than ever before.

Key benefits of the Tracerco Profiler™ include:

  • Increase crude throughout.
  • Ability to enhance feedstock blend without the need to re-calibrate equipment.
  • Eliminate interface excursion upsets and reduce demand on electrostatic grid power by monitoring and controlling the rag layer.
  • Reducing demand on waste water plant and treatment.
  • High stability and accuracy across a wide range of process conditions
  • Zero radiation dose rate external to the vessel.

Kim Thye Lee commented, “Our dedicated research and development team enhanced the Profiler™ technology for desalter and SAGD processing applications following feedback from customers, who presented the challenge of needing a Profiler™ that could operate at high temperatures for crude oil refining.”

“We are extremely proud of the great achievements of Tracerco’s R&D team because they have worked hard to gain hazardous area certification for a product that the approval bodies didn’t believe was possible.”

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