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Effect of methanol in crude

Effect of methanol in crude

Effect of methanol in crude

Request to provide information on the effects of presence of methanol in crude.

Has any refinery processed crudes having high methanol content ? What are the experiences ?
Replies continue below

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RE: Effect of methanol in crude


I have never heard of a petroleum crude oil with a "high methanol content".  Can you please tell us what crude oil you are talking about?

Milton Beychok
(Visit me at www.air-dispersion.com)

RE: Effect of methanol in crude

I'd tend to think you'd take it out in the desalters

RE: Effect of methanol in crude

Methanol is added during drilling/recovery process. Recently it was given in an article that Bonga crude (from a new Nigerian field)had high methanol content.


RE: Effect of methanol in crude

High content means what % by volume/weight?

Some of the producers here add butane to their crude. Butane is cheaper than crude (currently), has a lower viscosity, thus helping to ease transportatoin.

Maybe Bonga is using methanol instead? Seems odd though.

RE: Effect of methanol in crude

“Methanol is artificially introduced into crude. Methanol is used in deepwater production to prevent the formation of hydrates in crudes exposed to cold temperatures when wells are shut in or when rates are slowed. Methanol contamination is more common in late summer and early fall as this is peak hurricane season when Gulf of Mexico storms cause unexpected shutins.

The foremost problem related to methanol contamination is its impact on Refinery Wastewater Treatment systems. Because methanol is miscible in water, it gets carried with the water in the crude to the refinery. When the refinery processes crude containing methanol in the desalter the methanol is removed with the water and sent to the water treatment system where it can drastically upset the balance of the system leading to EPA permit excursions. This happens because the bacteria used to breakdown other components prefer the methanol instead, leaving other hydrocarbons & toxins untreated. A big enough upset can also lead to a “bug kill” which renders the treatment system useless and typically requires major remediation to get the system back in balance. Refineries will typically opt to cut runs vs. risking a permit excursion and future penalties. Methanol is not believed to cause problems downstream of the desalters or beyond the wastewater treatment system.”

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Luis Marques

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