Diluent Recovery Unit (DRU)
Definition - What does Diluent Recovery Unit (DRU) mean?
A diluent recovery unit, abbreviated as DRU, allows an oil company to extract the condensate used to allow bitumen to be transported via pipeline. Bitumen is usually too viscous to flow in a pipeline; hence it has to be blended with a condensate to flow in the pipeline. Condensate usually trades a premium to West Texas Intermediate ("WTI"), so adding condensate to dilute bitumen reduces the producers' returns.
Petropedia explains Diluent Recovery Unit (DRU)
Most diluent recovery units are located near oil sands production sites in Canada and Venezuela. However, as North American pipeline capacity becomes more constrained and producers seek other transportation alternatives such as rail and barge, DRU's are being built away from the production sites close to transloading facilities. The units would allow the producers to extract the condensate before the bitumen is shipped via rail, and this recovered diluent can then be reused, which enhances the operating netbacks.