September 2014


Special Report: Refining Developments

What is the impact of US shale oil on global markets and refinery configurations?
Ruwe, W. P., Barela, A. B., Jacobs Consultancy

One of the most important factors in determining a refinery’s profitability is its ability to access low-cost feedstocks. This is not to be confused with survivability. Some uneconomic refineries..

Optimize field upgrading of oil sands with slurry-phase combi-cracking technology
Schleiffer, A., BP Refining & Petrochemicals GmbH; Till, A., FIChemE; Brown, B., AMIChemE

Slurry-phase combi-crackers are able to process a much wider range of feeds—including those with very high levels of metals, asphaltenes and sulfur—that cannot be economically upgraded in fixed-bed or ebullated-bed reactors, which makes this process ideal for upgrading oil sands.

Overcome the imbalance between diesel and gasoline production
Wisdom, L., Axens; Peer, E., Craig, M., Perat, C., Axens North America

A number of strategies can be applied to increase the overall product selectivity to middle distillates.

Hydrogen perspectives for 21st century refineries
Farnand, S., Li, J., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; Ratan, S., Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology

As refining market trends continue to support increased demand for H2, its availability and cost are critical for many refiners, creating a tough environment for securing reliable, efficient and environmentally-friendly H2.

Improve refining of tight oil via enhanced fluid catalytic cracking catalysts

Crude oils from tight formations are relatively light, low in concarbon, and contain different contaminants. They have high naphtha and distillate yields, lower vacuum gasoil (VGO) content and almost ..


Mitigate H2S exposure from unconventional crudes

Personal exposure risks associated with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) historically have been a concern during the refining, storage and transportation of hydrocarbons. Recently, with the surge in production,..

Can the downstream achieve growth and sustainability?
Sukumaran Nair, M. P., Center for Green Technology and Management

The global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) is transforming beyond typical technical and management forms. This industry is making progress, and it is achieving more sustainability practices. Suc..


Improve monitoring and troubleshooting of reciprocating compressors
Geitner, F. K., Consultant; Bloch, H. P., Professional engineer

The terms surveillance and monitoring for reciprocating compressors can be used interchangeably. With few exceptions, the monitoring and/or surveillance tasks are assigned to the unit operators. They ..

Petrochemical Developments

Consider olefin offgas as feed for ammonia production
Arora, V. K., Kinetics Process Improvements, Inc.

Ammonia production using hydrogen (H2)-rich offgases is an established method, but it is practiced only in a handful of plants. The dynamics of new feedstocks in the petrochemicals industry coupled wi..

Process Control

Choose the right metering technology for ethylene furnaces
Lieberg, M., Pihlaja, R., Emerson Process Management

An ethylene plant’s main purpose is to convert hydrocarbon feedstock, usually natural gas liquids or naphtha, into a “cracked gas” that contains ethylene and other higher value products..

Process Design

Conduct a design check for depressurization system for cold conditions
Dole, R., Bhatt, S., Sridhar, S., L&T-Chiyoda Ltd.

Emergency depressurization is a safety provision designed to release gas from a high-pressure system during emergency situations, such as a fire. An overview of cold depressurization is provided, including factors affecting the temperature profiles and critical factors considered while performing the study.


HP Automation Strategies: The promise of cognitive computing
Gupta, M. S., ARC Advisory Group

The global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) has long been challenged with applying expertise consistently throughout the organization. Demographic trends and new technological advances promise to..

HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: Refining overview: Leading nations by capacity
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2014 showed total global refining capacity of just under 95 MMbpd. The top five countries with the highest refining capacities are the US, China, Russia, India and Japan. Combined, these countries account for nearly 45 MMbpd of capacity, which represents almost half of the world’s total refining capacity.

HP Gas Processing: Second GTL Technology Forum brings executive insight, new developments
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Gulf Publishing Company’s second annual GTL Technology Forum was held from July 30–31, 2014, in Houston, Texas. Speakers and attendees shared insight on gas processing technology developments, project economics and business challenges, with a focus on GTL processing technologies.

HP Global: Review of the Middle East refinery industry
Moradi, S., FACTS Global Energy

The refining business in the Middle East (ME) is very different. The average utilization rates in the ME generally run at maximum and regularly exceed 90%. Also, unlike other regions, refining margins..

HP Petrochemicals: US condensate exports send ripple effects downstream
McGinn, S., World Oil

The US, which a decade ago was considered an aging has-been in oil and gas production, now leads the globe in production, and a growing bucket of these crudes is light and sweet.

HP Project Management: Pipeline expansion uses rerating to debottleneck services
Piripavel, M., Schneider, S., Flowserve Corp.

The Colonial Pipeline connects refineries primarily on the US Gulf Coast with customer service markets across the southern and eastern US. In 2010, Colonial’s 5,500-mi pipeline was transporting a..

HP Reliability: Consider suspended-access scaffolding
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

You may always have left scaffolding and access-to-work questions to an outside contractor to make the final decisions. But plant safety and timely work completion are everybody’s business. As a ..

HP Viewpoint: Refining industry developments—Growing opportunity and uncertainty
Drevna, Charles T., American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)

The U.S. has seen a dramatic change in energy production in just a relatively short period. Crude oil output has increased by about 55% in the last five years, according to data from the Energy Inform..

HP Industry Metrics: Industry Metrics

A bump in the US economy triggered strong gasoline use. Debottlenecking of pipelines allow more US midcontinent crude to reach US Gulf Coast refineries, which operated at the highest utilization rates..

HP Industry Perspectives: New development for drop-in fuels

Future fuels must have a unique “drop-in” capability. They must also be compatible with present vehicle engines and fungible within the distribution system. Finding alternatives to corn-base..

HP Innovations
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Boron technology mitigates metals contaminationAlthough tight oil has changed the landscape of North American refining, resid-type feeds continue to play a key role in the global FCC market, with arou..

HP News
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

IChemE awards highest professional honor to Shell The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) awarded its highest honor to Shell in recognition of the company’s worldwide skills and profession..

HP People
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Brendan Bechtel will become president, COO and a member of the board of directors of Bechtel Group, Inc. He will report to Bill Dudley, the company’s CEO. Mr. Bechtel, son of Chairman of the Boar..

Free Literature
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Find the right flowmeter for measuring flare and combustor gas Fox Thermal Instruments’ technical white paper, “Flare and Combustor Gas Measurement: Applications, Regulations and Challe..

New Developments
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Company responds to demand for green remediation solutions Reterro, Inc., is doubling the size of its system fleet for onsite earth cleaning. The fleet uses the Reterro Principle, which removes hydroc..


Global refining: What is the future?
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Demand for transportation fuels will continue to increase over the next 15 to 25 years. These fuels will still be primarily based on crude oil. Developing nations are driving growing demand for energy..

E&C 2014 Supplement

Economic drivers point to strong E&C growth
Kulkarni, P., Gulf Publishing Company

Fundamentals suggest that the industry business climate for most downstream engineering and construction companies (E&C) will remain strong for the foreseeable future.