Typically the configuration is described in terms of the most value-creating process unit at the refinery. For example, a refinery with a coker and a hydrocracker would likely be described as having a coking/hydrocracking configuration.
Some examples of common configuration definitions:
- Topping configuration - Atmospheric distillation and hydrotreating
- Hydroskimming configuration - Atmospheric distillation with reforming and hydrotreating
- Cracking configuration - Atmospheric distillation with FCC, reforming, and hydrotreating
A quantitative measure of a refinery’s configuration is its complexity number. A complex refinery has a complexity number of 12-15. A simple refinery has a complexity number below 8.