The third annual International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC)
opened its doors in mid-June, bringing record crowds to Milan,
Italy, as leading downstream players shared and debated new
hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) technologies.
The event attracted more than 500 attendees, 40
presentations, and at least 40 sponsors and
exhibitorssetting a new high in all three categories.
It went very well, said John Royall, CEO of Gulf
Publishing Company, which organized the conference alongside
Italian host eni (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Italian energy
major eni hosted IRPC and had a
busy booth on the exhibit floor.
We launched this event two years ago in Rome [before
moving to Singapore in 2011], Mr. Royall added. The
idea was that we would put together the number one technical
forum in the world for professionals in the downstream
This years program was the best weve ever
put together, and with that we drew teams from around the
world, (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Conference
attendees mingled at IRPCs opening
reception on Wednesday, June 13.
IRPC events began with a June 12 tour of enis nearby
Sannazzaro de Burgondi refinery, where the companys
EST (eni slurry technology) project is near completion.
I think the cherry on the cake was the first day when
we visited eni, said Dr. Raushan G. Telyashev, general
director at Russias LUKOIL. That was
The proprietary EST technology allows for the conversion of
heavy oil residues in fine products, gasoline and gasoil. The
process converts waste oil, heavy crude and tar sands into
high-quality and performance fuels.
That was very, very well received because it is a
groundbreaking technology that creates a lot of efficiencies
and cost-savings for refiners, said Mr. Royall.
A lot of these refiners around the world found it to
be a very exciting day seeing this new technology put into
place by eni.
Heavy oil talk leads presentations
The conference moved to the Mico Milano
Congressi, the largest convention center in Europe, for two
days of presentations and exhibits (Fig. 3) on
June 13 and 14.
Fig. 3. Italys
Walter Tosto was among many with popular
Roughly half of IRPC presentations were focused on heavy oil
conversion, with industry heavyweights such as eni vice
president Dr. Giacomo Rispoli (Fig. 4)
imploring slurry technology innovations from European
Fig. 4. Dr. Giacomo
an executive vice president
with eni, delivered IRPCs
keynote address on
Wednesday, June 13.
Refining is considered a
technologically mature sector, said Dr. Rispoli.
The last significant development was in the 1960s with
modern hydrocracking. The industry desperately needs a technology breakthrough.
Meanwhile, other talks centered on issues like distillate
Buoyed by rising transportation fuels demand, Indian Oil executive director A.S.
Basu said multiple upgrader projects will allow his company to
raise distillate yields to 79 percent by 2016 and 84 percent
within a few more years, up from 72 percent in 2005 and 76
percent in 2012.
Other relevant subjects discussed included hydrogen
management, environment and safety issues, energy efficiency,
and European economic concerns.
We really liked the event, said Dr. Telyashev,
who traveled with several LUKOIL officials. It was very
The presentations were very useful, he
continued. We liked that there were a wide variety of
reports and companiessome who were licensing technologies
and others who run the refineries.
It was very good knowledge of new technologies in
detail, not just observations.
Companies represented among the speakers and exhibitors
included eni, Indian Oil, Foster Wheeler,
Criterion, Chevron Research, KBR, Walter Tosto, Ivanhoe Energy,
Chevron Lummus Global, CB&I, Shell Global Solutions, ABB,
Saudi Aramco and many others.
Delegates, meanwhile, were registered from locations
including Libya, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Russia, India, Europe
and the US.
Future of IRPC
The 2013 version of IRPC will be held in New Delhi, India,
event organizers confirmed following the Milan conference.
Specific site and host details have yet to be finalized,
according to Mr. Royall.
However, the event is certain to head to India for the first time, he
For more coverage of IRPC 2012, visit the HPInformer blog at