Cerro Negro is a strategic association formed by the state oil company of Venezuela, PDVSA (42 percent), ExxonMobil (42 percent) and Veba Oel of Germany (16 percent). Operadora Cerro Negro S.A., an ExxonMobil subsidiary, operates the project.
The complex can process 120,000 barrels of heavy crude oil a day, which it converts to 108,000 barrels of upgraded crude.
Initially produced in the Cerro Negro field as 8.6-degree API extra-heavy crude, the oil is diluted with naptha and transported by pipeline 190 miles to the port of Jose. The upgrader complex then converts the mixture into a 16-degree API crude oil.
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Description of the process:
The Cerro Negro Upgrader complex consists of new facilities destined to improve the quality of crude initially produced in the Cerro Negro field as 8.3-degree API extra-heavy crude, in Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO) of approximately 16-degree API. In order to improve the quality of crude the Cerro Negro complex uses the technology of “Delayed Coking” and the “hydrofining of naphth” originating from the coker. The plant is designed to produce around 18495 tons per day of Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO), from the heavy Cerro Negro crude of 8.3-degree API. In production wells, the heavy crude must be diluted with naphtha, with the purpose of reducing its viscosity and to easily transport it through the pipe line towards the improvement plant. The upgrader complex consists of several units of process required to turn Diluted Crude Oil (DCO) into Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO). In addition to the units of processes required for the crude improvement of the heavy oil, there are other units or facilities such as: industrial services (steam, water cooling, etc.), storage of raw material and products, and 190 miles of pipeline in order to deliver to the port of Jose, which are necessary for the total integration of the upgrader complex in the production of the Cerro Negro crude.
General Diagram of the Process is described:
UPDATED: 11/30/2010 Credit to Oilman.