Measurement is often the critical factor necessary to optimize hydrocarbon processing facilities. While many analyzers are capable of performing the required analysis, the ability to provide online measurement capabilities in real world applications is often confounded by the need for an elaborate and complex sample conditioning system. Most analytical methods require that the sample properties, such as temperature and pressure be well controlled and that the sample is clean and contaminant free. Spectroscopic solutions often reduce the required complexity of the sample conditioning system and also provide near real-time analysis.
Advances in semiconductor technology and in numerical analysis have enabled the use of near infrared (NIR) spectrometers in such applications. These devices have been applied in upstream, midstream and downstream facilities to provide real-time quantitative analysis of both chemical composition and physical properties. Upstream, the measurement has been taken to the well-head to monitor and optimize hydrocarbon production during enhance oil recovery (EOR) operations. The technology has been applied extensively through out the midstream industry, from optimizing condensate stabilizer performance to LPG production to crude oil blending. Downstream, near infrared spectroscopy is being applied to the production of refined products, such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.