Conoco Phillips Teesside Plant processes crude oil delivered by pipeline from the Norway and UK sectors of the North Sea to produce stabilised crude oil and refrigerated natural gas liquids (NGLs) for sale to downstream users. The NGLs – principally ethane, propane, iso-butane and normal butane – are contained in the incoming crude oil. The principal function of the plant is to remove this material from the crude oil, purify and fractionate it into the four product components and refrigerate to allow economic storage and shipment.
The main processing complex consists of four crude receiving spheres, six crude oil stabilisation units, two de-ethanisers, two de-propanisers, a de-methaniser, a butane splitter and an associated utilities plant. There are ten crude oil storage tanks of 750000 barrel capacity and five refrigerated NGL tanks. All products are exported via seven operational jetties, and pipelines to Petroplus (crude oil) and Huntsman (propane and butane).
The plant processes approximately 700000 barrels/day from the pipeline, which represents about 1% of the world’s daily crude oil production. In addition, 10000 barrels/day of LPG is imported from the nearby CATS gas terminal for export across the jetties. Since startup in 1975 the plant has been available to process for 99.99% of the time, with less than one day lost due to plant failure.