November 2015


Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

Improve alkylation operational safety using operator training simulators
Martinez, C., PDVSA, Puerto La Cruz Refinery; Willetts, I., Rodriguez, K., Schneider Electric

Although simulators have been deployed widely in process industries, unique thermodynamic and physical phenomena are involved in the process that made modeling such systems very difficult in the past.

Effectively track personnel in hazardous environments
Sur, S., Tata Consultancy Services

This article describes the strengths and weaknesses of various tracking technologies and their efficacy in a metallic equipment environment.

Regional Report

Despite Western sanctions, Russian energy projects thrive
Kulkarni, P., Gulf Publishing Company

Russia’s potential for a robust downstream sector stems from the country’s enormous oil and gas resources.


Remove O2 and CO from monomer and N2 streams in polymer plants
Smith, D., UOP, a Honeywell company

To prevent deactivation, the latest generation of polymerization catalysts requires removal of a wide range of contaminants to ultra-low levels in the monomer, comonomer, solvent and reaction-controlling gas streams in polyolefin production processes.

Environment and Safety

Case study: Refinery mercury chemical decontamination in preparation for decommissioning
Radford, R., Portnoy Environmental Inc.

Initial mercury management strategies began in 2010 at a US refinery processing approximately 200 Mbpd of North Slope crude oil.

Maintenance and Reliability

Use dynamic simulation to increase reliability of hydrogen generation

Through this plant study, a licensor demonstrates effective use of rigorous dynamic simulation tools to implement the new control schemes and configurations.

Process Control/Instrumentation

Use a commercial process historian for full-featured machinery condition monitoring
Sabin, S., Compressor Control Corp., SETPOINT Vibration Div.

Can a commercial process historian be used to replace standalone condition monitoring software, including acquisition and display of high-speed vibration and surge waveform data?

Risk Management

Improve plant operations with enterprise technology
Neill, M., Petrotechnics North America

In early 2009, the author was asked a rhetorical question by a senior executive with a major international oil company: “How do you run a business when your product unit price rises from $60/bbl to $140/bbl in the space of 14 months, and then drops to $40/bbl in less than six months?”


HP Editorial Comment: There’s still time to vote for the best
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

As mentioned in the October issue of Hydrocarbon Processing, the nominees for the 2015 Top Project awards are out.

HP Reliability: Consider high-pressure throttle bushings made from fluoropolymers
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In February 2004, I reported on how horizontal multistage pumps could be upgraded with a high-performance plastic produced by DuPont, Vespel CR-6100.

HP Global: Angola targets drop in fuel imports with new refinery
Oirere, S., Contributing Editor

Angola’s constrained crude oil refining capacity has forced the country to import up to 80% of its petroleum consumption, despite the southern African nation being the continent’s second-largest crude oil exporter with an estimated 9 Bbbl of proved crude oil reserves.

HP Petrochemicals: US downstream labor shortage extends to Appalachia projects
DuBose, Ben, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The downstream labor crunch that has plagued the numerous petrochemical projects along the US Gulf Coast appears to be claiming another victim.

HP Refining: Maintain plant production with temporary heat exchangers
Paes, A., Aggreko

Of all the process operations in a refinery or petrochemical plant, heating and cooling streams are perhaps the most pervasive.

HP Water Management: Phosphorus elimination in cooling tower treatment program
Mowbray, M., U.S. Water Services Inc.

A heightened focus on environmental sustainability is apparent in today’s industry, and for a good reason.

HP Engineering Case Histories: Case 87: How an engineering consultant can help your company
Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

While engineering consultants are available for a wide range of client requirements, such as developing or reviewing specifications for new equipment, this article is only concerned with analyzing equipment failures.

HP Viewpoint: Air quality: The devil you don’t see
Winand, H., Intelligent Energy

As the global population and the demand for more and more energy has grown, so too has the detrimental impact on the air we breathe and, as a consequence, public health.

HP Industry Perspectives: Industry events offer insight into 2016 strategies

As the year heads to a close, thousands of downstream professionals descended upon major events in October around the globe, all seeking insight from their peers on the outlook for 2016.

HP Business Trends
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Despite the drop in crude oil prices, Saudi Arabia is continuing to build out multiple downstream infrastructure projects.

HP Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

A sharp drop in the gasoline crack spread following the end of the US driving season and increasing inventories caused refinery margins to fall.

HP Global Project Data
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Over the past year, Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database has tracked a steady stream of new project announcements across the globe.

HP Innovations
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Ingersoll Rand debuted its TURBO-AIR NX 8000 integrally geared centrifugal compressor at the Turbomachinery & Pump Symposia show in Houston, Texas in September.

HP People
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

GFBiochemicals has appointed three new senior team members.