Special Focus: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Troubleshooting vacuum operation of an inter-after condenser unit in an ethylene plant
Wieslaw, T., Nichols, J., Sasol; Lieberman, N., Process Improvement Engineering; Johnson, E., Graham Corp.

A system of compressors powered by surface condensing steam turbines is inherent in the operation of a typical ethane cracker unit.

Analyzing axial cooling fans’ high noise, vibration and failures
Allah, W. K., Saudi Aramco

Shipping pumps with 1,800 hp are equipped with five cooling fans that cool the oil going to the lube oil pumps to lubricate the bearings.

Plug the metering skills gap to ensure measurement accuracy and safety
Macgillivray, A., TUV NEL Ltd.

In all sectors of industry, the measurement of flow is of vital importance. However, in an industry that is cutting costs, what impact will a growing skills gap have on meter management and accuracy of measurement?

Heat Transfer

Revamp fired heaters with a common air-preheating system to increase capacity
Ahamad, S., Vallavanatt, R., Bechtel Corp.

In any process plant, fired heaters are generally considered to be one of the most optimally designed pieces of equipment.

Considerations for revamping shell-and-tube heat exchangers
Garrido, E., Summum Projects

Revamp projects are complex in nature, and demand a great deal of resources for successful completion.

Maintenance and Reliability

Does your control valve talk?
Almas, A., Palmela

Pneumatic operated control valves (POCVs) are consistently the most used control final element for process control across most industries—in some cases, they are also part of the safety instrumented systems (SISs) layer.

Carburization inspection robots for radiant tubes inside ethylene cracking furnaces
Tiyawongsakul, T., Rayong Engineering & Plant Service Co. Ltd.

In an olefins plant, the reliability of ethylene cracking furnaces is one of the deciding factors used to indicate whether or not the plant can be operated at its design productivity.

Role statements needed for reliability job functions
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Experience shows that written role statements impart great value to industries that have reliability professionals on staff.

Water Management

Filter process streams to protect downstream equipment and improve product quality
Clements, M., Eaton Corp.

Throughout the petroleum industry, most discussions of filtration focus on the oil itself as it is extracted from the wellhead and refined into saleable products.

Process Control and Instrumentation

Identify the cause of liquid maldistribution inside packed beds
Pless, L., Tracerco

Diagnosing liquid maldistribution problems inside packed beds that can cause mass transfer efficiency loss is a challenge to process engineers.

The lost art of proportional band, and the accidental art of performance monitoring
Kern, A., APC Performance LLC

Most control engineers know that proportional band and controller gain are largely interchangeable terms—both terms refer to the proportional setting of a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller and are commonly used by control system manufacturers.

Environment and Safety

Rethinking the risk mitigation process and revitalizing operational safety
Planche, S., DuPont

For the past 2 yr, oil prices have been in free-fall. At the time of writing, the WTI price is around $50/bbl, up slightly since OPEC’s May 2017 announcement to extend its September 2016 production cut of 2.2%.

Safety studies and the importance of closeout reports
Kunte, V. A., TATA Consulting Engineers Ltd.

In various types of process industries, processing, storage and transfer of large quantities of hazardous materials are inevitable.


Editorial Comment: Is the industry ready for IMO 2020?
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In mid-July, hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) professionals from around the world met in Houston, Texas for Hydrocarbon Processing’s International Petrochemical and Refining Conference (IRPC).

Reliability: Identify top ways to weather weak market conditions
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

New Jersey-based Carmagen Engineering Inc., a member of Mistras Group Inc., is a highly respected consulting engineering and project management firm comprising experienced subject matter experts (SMEs).

Automation Strategies: Navigating automation in oil and gas—Lessons learned from other industries
Fryer, J., Stratus Technologies

In today’s economy, industrial automation has become absolutely essential for refiners, petrochemical producers and pipeline owners looking to maintain profitability and competitive advantage as market pressures bear down on them.

Global: Russian oil majors eye Western expansion
Gerden, E., Contributing Writer

Amid declining profits in the domestic market, Russia’s national oil company and leading oil producer, Rosneft, is considering expanding in the European Union (EU) and US refining markets.

Supply Chain: Rail’s speed of change is all about efficiency
Donofrio, T., Argo Consulting

Railroads have long played a major role in safely and efficiently moving freight from origin to destination. However, for more than a decade, they have faced declines and slow growth in coal and other bulk commodities transported by carload service.

Boxscore Construction Analysis: The state of the global downstream construction sector
Balboa, B., Gulf Publishing Company

In May, Lee Nichols, Editor and Associate Publisher of Hydrocarbon Processing and Gas Processing, presented a detailed, year-to-date trend analysis and review on new and active downstream construction projects around the world.

Industry Perspectives: The global reach of Hydrocarbon Processing
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Since the beginning of this year, Hydrocarbon Processing has published more than 200 articles and columns. These publications include technical and trends-based articles on the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) within the magazine, online, in show dailies, etc.

Business Trends: Ethylene production economics from optional feedstocks
Sorour, F. H., Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co.; Abdelmonem, N. M., Cairo University; Tewfik, SH. R., National Research Center (NRC); Ashour, F. H., Gadalla, M.A., British University in Egypt

The petrochemicals industry is witnessing enormous growth worldwide. Ethylene is produced by cracking a range of hydrocarbons. Naphtha is the main raw material used in European and Japanese crackers, while the US utilizes ethane as its primary feedstock.

Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

High refinery runs contributed to high inventories, pressuring US product markets despite healthy summer driving season demand.

Global Project Data
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database is tracking nearly 350 downstream projects with capital expenditures (CAPEX) of $1 B or greater.

Andrew, Bob, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Emerson Automation Solutions has introduced the Enardo ES-665 spring-loaded thief hatch (FIG. 1) for use on low-pressure storage tanks in oil and gas and other industries.

Onsite: IRPC Americas
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In mid-July, Hydrocarbon Processing held its International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC) in Houston, Texas.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Dr. Béla Kelemen has been named President of the European Petroleum Refiners Association for the next 2-yr term.