02 Jun 2020

Interpret InFlow offers intelligent data analysis to help crude retain its maximum value

During the current period of unprecedented volatility within the oil industry, there has been a surge in demand for crude storage. While this presents a means of retaining crude until both demand and price picks up, it is important to be aware of the potential detrimental effects of mid to long term storage.

Crude is a complex mixture and many crudes have the potential to foul over time as deposition sets in. This is a major concern during storage as deposition not only reduces the volume of crude, it presents real issues for transportation and processing, decreasing its value. There are however means to predict, monitor and prevent the fouling of crude using Intertek's InFlow proprietary technology.

There are three key aspects to consider whilst storing crude: 1) How stable is the crude over time 2) What affect will combining different crudes into a single storage facility have 3) What measures can be undertaken to circumvent any potential fouling. Intertek has a means of helping you to answer each of these questions:

1. Storage Stability

The stability of a crude can change over time and this change can be particularly impactful during blending and storage. A crude that is stable initially may begin to degrade and precipitate material (such as wax and asphaltene) whilst being stored, reducing its value and presenting difficulties for future processing. InFlow offers a way of monitoring the stability of the crude over the storage period, so any deviations in stability can be highlighted and addressed earlier to prevent or reduce fouling.

This application can be utilised for storage in tanks, vessels or pipelines.

2. Crude Blending

Blending crudes runs the risk of introducing instability, potentially causing organic deposition. InFlow is Intertek's NIR chemometric modelling technique that allows for the propensity of fouling to be quantified, enabling the operator to make assessments of the effect of blending crudes before they are mixed, preventing issues arising and optimising storage solutions.

Once the crude is stored and whether monitored or not, InFlow can also help remediate any instability that is found:

3. Instability Remediation 

Once the potential for instability is established, methodologies can be put in place to alleviate the instability by dosing additives, changing blend ratios or solvents. However, selecting the right remediation should not, and need not, be blindly undertaken as InFlow can help you make informed decisions through additive performance quantification and dosing profile optimization.

For further information on how Intertek can help you retain the maximum value of your crude during this time, please don't hesitate to contact us.




Emma Behjat,
Key Account Manager


Emma Behjat is a Key Account Manager at Intertek. She is an experienced technical sales representative with a focus on data analytics. Emma works closely with the Interpret team to identify new areas of opportunity, and helps to communicate and deliver these to Intertek customers. Emma undertook her undergraduate in Chemistry and obtained her PhD in Chemical Biology from Imperial College London.   

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