May 2013


Special Report: Maintenance/Reliability

Avoid hidden costs of suction-specific speed in pumping
Bailey, J., Bradshaw, S., ITT Goulds Pumps

More than 30 years ago, a landmark study observed a relationship between suction-specific speed and the probability of pump failure that changed the way pumps are selected. This observation created th..

Rerating rotating equipment optimizes olefins plant performance
Renard, D., Elliott Engineered Solutions

Rerating your installed compressors and steam turbines can become a cost-effective, time-saving solution for increasing throughput without having to invest in new equipment.

Maximize steam unit performance with precise torque monitoring
Mayne, T., Ellul, M., Qenos Olefins Australia; Phillips, D., Emerson Industrial Automation

All turbomachinery is subject to degradation that, over time, will affect the system’s efficiency and operational performance. Precise monitoring of turbomachinery performance with continuous tor..

Investigate power limitations in a large steam turbine
Ghaisas, N., Fluor Canada Ltd.

An investigation was carried out to rectify power limitations for a steam-turbine driver of a cracked-gas compressor (CGC) in a world-class ethylene plant.DescriptionThe turbine is a nine-stage, impul..

Seal safety may require going beyond typical standards
Shaw, S., AESSEAL plc

Top industry professionals believe users must reach beyond typical standards in applying safer mechanical seals when hazardous and toxic chemicals are involved.

Prevent methane hydrate formation in natural gas valves
Glaun, A., Shahda, J., GE Oil & Gas

The discussion here focuses on the thermodynamics involved and on the requirements for a successful natural gas valve application in which the incidences of hydrate formation and icing of the valve are reduced.

Consider both actual and virtual spare parts inventory
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Globally, hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) facilities operate hundreds of thousands of fluid machinery assets. The various service-specific internal components of these assets are supported by ma..

Improve design for pump suction nozzles
Choudhury, M. G., Kulkarni, A., Koranga, D., Reliance Industries Ltd.

Several analysis methods exist to determine the effectiveness of the pump suction piping system’s first adjustable support and how that impacts nozzle loading. Parameters for consideration includ..

Bonus Report: Petrochemical Developments

Consider novel CGC and front-end depropanizer system for olefins production
Xu, Q., Fu, J., Zhao, C., Lamar University

In the presented case study, an innovative design for an integrated CGC-DeC3 system introduces part of the heavier condensate from the early compression stages directly into the high-pressure (HP) depropanizer.

Enhance operation and reliability of dividing-wall columns
Lee, J. W., LG Chem, Ltd.; Lee, M., Yeungnam University; Shin, J., LG Chem.; Lee, S., LG Chem Ltd.; Lee, B., AMT Pacific Co. Ltd.

Dividing wall columns (DWCs) are an attractive option when the goals are to reduce energy consumption and capital investment for distillation processes. A major component in a DWC system is the reflux..

Refining Developments

Optimize vacuum ejector operations
Temur, T., Haktanir, M., Uzman, F., Karakaya, M., Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corp. (Tüpraş); Avci, A. K., Boğaziçi University

Vacuum distillation unit (VDU) designs generally involve jet ejectors due to their low capital and operating expenses, high reliability, durability and simplicity. Once the ejector is installed and co..

Safety/Loss Prevention

Flare header failure: An investigation
Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Inc.

A 60-in. flare header suffered three identical failures with buckling and cracking at the circumferential weld at the bottom of the pipe. The failures are believed to have originated during hot relief..


HP Reliability: Manage your time constructively
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

We often view ourselves as very efficient reliability implementers. Yet, as professional engineers, we take action to save time, accomplish more and reduce stress by applying better time-management sk..

HP Integration Strategies: Asset information management improves life cycle benefits for equipment
Rio, R., ARC Advisory Group

Traditionally, the various production management and asset management systems in the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) and other heavy industries resided in silos with separate management, archite..

HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: Jurong Island—Asia’s preemptive LNG trading hub?
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In the South Pacific, the artificial island of Jurong Island is the heart of Singapore’s energy and chemicals industry. It houses over 100 leading global petroleum, petrochemicals and specialty c..

HP Viewpoint: Consider integral-gear compressors in CO2 services
De Maria, R. L., Gasification Co.

In 1998, the author began researching suitable technology for compressing 95 MMSCFD of “bone dry” (–100°F dew point) carbon dioxide (CO2) from 16.7 psia to 2,710 psia. The compress..

HP Engineering Case Histories: Case 72: Interaction between disciplines when troubleshooting
Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

When troubleshooting, we can become fixated on the discipline that we are most familiar—in the author’s case, mechanical engineering. Investigating the failure of a machine may have a group ..

HP Industry Perspectives: US-based ultra-low-sulfur gasoline rule released
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In late March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the long-awaited ruling for ultra-low-sulfur gasoline, also known as the Tier 3 rule. This proposed rule lowers the sulfur content ..

HP Brief
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Centrica signs long-term North American LNG export contract with CheniereCentrica has an agreement with Cheniere Energy Partners to purchase 89 billion cubic feet of annual liquefied natural gas (LNG)..

HP Impact: Global oil flows shift from West to East
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

By 2020, crude oil trade flows west of Suez will drop by 4.2 MM bpd, while crude flows east of Suez will rise by 4.7 MM bpd (Fig. 1), according to a recently published report from ESAI Energy. The pri..

HP Impact: UK consumers buying less fuel at the pump
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In the last 10 years, average UK fuel prices have almost doubled, rising from 73.68 p/l to 136.26 p/l for unleaded gasoline, and 75.57 p/l to 142.39 p/l for diesel. The latest retail marketing survey,..

HP Impact: US demand for corrosion inhibitors to reach $2.5 billion
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

US demand for corrosion inhibitors is forecast to rise 4.1% per year to $2.5 billion in 2017, with volume demand approaching 1.7 billion pounds (Table 1). Growth will be driven by higher oil and natur..

HP Impact: Poll says US citizens want more solar, wind and natural gas
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

No fewer than two in three US citizens want the country to put more emphasis on producing domestic energy using solar power (76%), wind (71%) and natural gas (65%). Far fewer want to emphasize the pro..

HP Associations: EMGC 2013 explores Eastern Mediterranean resource potential
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Gulf Publishing Company held its inaugural Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference (EMGC) at the Hilton Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus, from April 8–10. The event surpassed expectations in terms of both ..

HP Innovations: Innovations
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Membrane element improves gas processingUOP's new Separex Flux+ membrane element is designed to increase natural gas processing capacity, compared with existing technology, allowing producers to captu..

New Developments
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Jacketed tube connector protects tubing, eliminates sleeves and sealing tape A companion piece to Swagelok jacketed tubing, the new Swagelok jacketed tube connector (JTC) connects jacketed tubing..

Free Literature
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Surface-finishing microsite launchedSaint-Gobain Abrasives’ new Norton Bear-Tex microsite ( supports its multipurpose innovative portfolio of nonwoven surface-conditioning p..


Exxon: Cleanup of one barrel pipeline leak under way in Missouri

NEW YORK -- ExxonMobil Pipeline an affiliate of Exxon Mobil, said that cleanup was almost completed and repairs were under way after about one barrel of oil leaked from the Pegasus Pipeline in Doniphan, Missouri.

Chalmette Refining: Planned maintenance concluded at Louisiana refinery

LOS ANGELES -- Chalmette Refining on said planned maintenance at its oil refinery in Chalmette, Los Angeles, had been concluded over the weekend.

Terminals and Storage 2013 Supplement

Overflow systems are the last line of defense
Toghraei, M., Engrowth Training

The overflow system is the last line of defense against the excessive container filling. An overflow system consists of an overflow nozzle with internal and/or external piping and, in some cases, a si..

Terminals and storage news
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Methanol storage in LouisianaKinder Morgan Energy Partners has entered into a long-term contract with Methanex to support the construction of methanol storage capacity near Kinder Morgan’s Geisma..