At Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a private sector enterprise that operates the world’s largest refinery in a single location (1.24 Mio bbl/d), the planning and scheduling of crudes are margin critical, resource intensive and complex processes.

Decisions have to be taken at different stages of the crude supply chain (i.e. Crude Purchasing, Crude Sequencing, Crude Discharging, Crude Blending and Crude Processing), and at different levels in the management hierarchy (Planning, Scheduling and Operations). RIL had a need to minimize the margin leakages at its Jamnagar refinery supersite, arising out of the inability of the schedule to match the optimised monthly plan. This led to the following undesirable consequences:

  • Gross Refinery Margin leakage between monthly planning, daily scheduling and actual operations
  • High demurrage cost and delay of crude VLCC’s
  • Piling of opportunity crudes at the end of the planning month

Shell Global Solutions was selected by RIL to improve the company’s optimisation of their crude supply chain. In this project consultants from ORTEC were involved, which provided access to the newest mathematical optimisation techniques applied in the solution.

The solution was the development of a highly responsive decision support system named GeCOS (Generic Crude Oil Scheduling System) using advanced Operations Research techniques, as defined in the references. GeCOS provides advice to the user, but at any point in time affords the user the freedom to modify, enhance, and overrule the proposed decisions. GeCOS captures all the complex hardware constraints of the RIL refinery (segregation and allocation requirements etc), and yet gives optimized and practical crude blends on a daily basis, while anchoring it to the overall optimum business plan which aims to maximize the GRM.

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Source: Shell Global Solutions International