Crude Oil Heating for Production & Processing

Whether for fuel gas conditioning or regeneration gas heating, tank and suction heating, air heating, jacketed reactor heating and cooling, steam superheating, seal gas heating, or full plant utility heating, the processes must be safe, effective, and reliable, while maximizing efficiency. 

Other important processes and services include the proper removal of acid gases using amine and glycol reboilers and the liquid-gas vaporization that is critical following natural gas transport and storage. Finally, the indirect heating of crude oil as a means of viscosity reduction is the best way to ensure tightly controlled temperatures and maximized quality and efficiency. 

There are many Sigma Thermal products and services serving all of the unique heating needs of this industry.


What Is Crude Oil Heating?

Crude oil heaters increase the temperature of heavy and crude oils to reduce the oil’s viscosity. Viscosity reduction is critical in separating water, sand, and crude oil near the wellhead and maintaining flow in the pipeline. Crude oil must be heated and held at a certain level for efficient pumping and transportation. Without process heating, waxes and heavy hydrocarbons can cool and solidify inside the pipeline. Reducing the oil’s viscosity makes it flow smoothly and facilitates easier oil transportation.

Products for Crude Oil Heating

Sigma Thermal carries several crude oil heating products, including thermal fluid heating systems, direct-fired heaters, process bath heaters, electrical process heaters, and industrial waste heat recovery systems.

Thermal Fluid Heating Systems

Thermal fluid heating systems are indirect heating systems that heat and circulate a liquid thermal transfer medium to one or multiple energy users in a closed-loop system. The heat transfer medium is typically water, water-glycol, or thermal oil. Custom and pre-engineered thermal fluid heating systems are available in various configurations, including:

  • Biomass-fired
  • Electric
  • Oil-fired
  • Gas-fired

Direct Fired Heaters

Direct-fired heaters use hot gases to transfer thermal energy to the process gas or liquid as it flows through the coils installed in the heater vessel. They can also use convection or radiant heat transfer sections in various configurations depending on your unique specifications.

Process Bath Heaters

Process bath heaters offer a safe and simple method to heat various process fluids indirectly. Submerged at the bottom of the heater vessel, a fire tube-style burner heats the bath solution, which then heats a submerged process coil. The process medium is heated as it flows through this coil.

Electric Process Heaters

Electric process heaters heat liquid and gas mediums in various industrial process applications. Sigma Thermal offers circulation and immersion-style electric heaters ranging between 2 watts to 60 watts of energy per square inch. Our electric process heaters can meet most site and application requirements and offer a wide range of versatility.

Industrial Waste Heat Recovery Systems

Waste heat recovery units (WHRUs) recover and reuse thermal energy from waste processes like hot exhaust and gas discharge from industrial equipment like turbines and incinerators. The heat energy can be collected and repurposed for heating oil and other media. WHRUs are valuable because they capture heat that would otherwise be wasted, allowing facilities and worksites to use the heat in other applications without having to consume new energy.

Learn More at Sigma Thermal

Crude oil processing and production depend on process heating for viscosity reduction to maintain smooth and efficient pipeline transportation. Depending on their operational needs and specifications, facilities can choose between various types of heaters, including electric process heaters, thermal fluid heaters, industrial waste heat recovery systems, and more.

Sigma Thermal manufactures various crude oil heaters for crude oil processing and production. We serve clients in North and South America from our Marietta, Georgia facility and have an office in Dubai to serve the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. Contact us or request a quote on our products and services to get started with your solution.