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  • Day 1 edition of the AFPM 2015 Q&A and Technology Forum official newspaper

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Sunday October 04, 2015

    NEW ORLEANS -- Here is Day 1 of the official newspaper of the AFPM 2015 Q&A and Technology Forum. The issues are being published by Hydrocarbon Processing as daily editions on Oct. 4/5 and Oct. 6, and as an electronic edition on October 7. If you want information on future Hydrocarbon Processing show dailies, email the editor, Mike Rhodes.

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    Tags:AFPM, Q&A, Technology Forum, show daily

  • POLL: Top Project Awards of 2015

    Posted by: Ben DuBose

    Thursday October 01, 2015

    CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE TOP PROJECTS OF 2015 BY CLICKING HERE!Using the Construction Boxscore database, HP editors identified 11 projects with high impacts on the global or regional downstream industry and demonstrating innovative processing and/or construction technologies. They represent some of the top developments for the global refining and petrochemical sectors in 2015.Take a look at our picks, and cast your vote in the poll! For the winning projects, awards will be presented to the operator and EPC contractor(s).REFININGNorth West Redwater Sturgeon Bitumen RefineryThe 150-Mbpd refinery project is being developed by the North West Redwater Partnership, a 50/50 JV between North West Upgrading and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The $8.5-B bitumen refinery will be located in Sturgeon County, 45 km northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Sturgeon refinery will be the first refinery built in Canada in three decades. The facility will convert diluted bitumen into ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and other high-value...

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    Tags:Top HPI projects, poll

  • Smuggled Venezuelan gasoline fuels Guyana’s economy

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Friday September 25, 2015


    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has deployed thousands of soldiers, shuttered large swaths of his country’s border with Colombia and deported hundreds of migrants in his latest crackdown on contraband. He may now be starting to look at a different border where Venezuela’s almost free gasoline has been flowing liberally.

    Troops have begun to build up near Guyana’s western frontier, where entire towns subsist on smuggled Venezuelan fuel and market stalls are packed with goods brought in illegally. For years, authorities in the tiny, English-speaking South American nation not only looked the other way, they virtually embraced the practice.

    “We ain’t got a gas station,” laughed gas-seller Emanuel Slyvain, 52, as he siphoned Venezuelan fuel from a greasy drum on the outskirts of Mabaruma, a border town. “No one even bothers.”

    Residents have come to rely...

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    Tags:Venezuela, Guyana, gasoline, fuels

  • COLUMN: Despite export debate, does anyone even want to buy crude from the US?

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Thursday September 17, 2015


    Given current prices, does anyone even want to buy crude oil from the US?

    After the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to end a four-decade ban on most oil exports, crude in the US remains more expensive than foreign supplies and domestic demand is robust. Supporters of expanded exports, including ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, say ending the ban would ease a glut from the shale boom and lower global prices. Refiners opposed to the legislation say it could increase gasoline costs for US consumers. 

    Lifting the ban won’t lead to a big jump in shipments, at least in the short term, said John Auers, executive vice president at energy consultant Turner, Mason & Co.

    Light oil in Louisiana was more than $2/bbl more expensive Wednesday than Brent, the international benchmark, making it unattractive for overseas refiners seeking to capitalize on the shale...

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    Tags:column, crude, exports, refiners

  • Industry Metrics: US gasoline cracking spreads climb to multi-year highs

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Monday September 07, 2015

    The US product market continued to reflect a surge in domestic gasoline demand, allowing gasoline cracking spreads to hit levels not seen in more than two years. European product market margins remained healthy with higher gasoline export opportunities. Lower seasonal regional demand amid oversupply pressure weakened Asian margins. The devaluation of Chinese currency is sending ripples through global markets. HP









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  • Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bets on US refiners as gasoline demand soars

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Monday August 31, 2015


    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sees a green light at the intersection of low oil prices and record driving.

    In its most significant energy investment in two years, Berkshire has amassed a $4.5-billion stake in Phillips 66, making it the biggest shareholder in the largest US oil refiner. 

    Berkshire owns almost 58 million shares in Phillips 66, more than 10% of the total outstanding, up from the 7.5 million it reported at theend of the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing issued late Friday by the Omaha, Nebraska-based company.

    Phillips 66 climbed 2% to $78.78 at 10:25 a.m. in New York, the best-performing energy company on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index Monday. 

    The bet on fuel processing is a wager that an unexpected and significant rally by refiners during the shale...

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    Tags:US, gasoline, refiners

  • North America spearheads rise in LNG liquefaction growth: GlobalData

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Thursday August 20, 2015

    Global LNG capacity would more than double from 341 mtpa in 2015 to 811 mtpa by 2019 based on proposed natural gas liquefaction projects, according to new figures from research and consulting firm GlobalData.

    The company’s latest report states that the scale of the North American project pipeline is unparalleled, totaling 32 individual liquefaction plants with over 287 mtpa of capacity through the end of the decade. Dramatic liquefaction capacity growth is also anticipated in Africa, Europe and Asia.

    Matthew Jurecky, GlobalData’s head of oil & gas research and consulting, says this massive infrastructure build-out in the US is driven by unconventional gas in North America.

    Jurecky explains, “Years of lobbying for regulatory approval and building out liquefaction capacity has paid off, and the global market will now have to make room for significant increasing volumes of North American gas.

    “Shale operators in North America have...

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    Tags:LNG, North America, liquefaction

  • Industry Metrics: European refined product market finds sharply increasing margins

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Monday August 10, 2015

    Refinery utilization rates in the US, encouraged by the high driving season demand, continued to rise following the end of the heavy maintenance season. Regional demand in Asia continued lending support to the market amid heavy maintenance. The European product market saw strong support from the top of the barrel, leading to higher gasoline export opportunities and sharply increasing margins. HP




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  • Operators increasingly turn to ‘plug and play’ industrial Ethernet solutions

    Posted by: Hydrocarbon Processing

    Wednesday July 29, 2015

    Hermosa Beach, California

    The recent oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, is yet another example of the need to monitor and control pipelines to prevent breaches that could endanger life and property for hundreds of miles overland and along coastlines. According to the Los Angeles News Group, the spill of more than 100,000 gallons of oil resulted from the failure of monitoring equipment to detect leaks in a corroded pipeline and to automatically shut off the valves supplying the oil.

    To protect infrastructures against such disasters, promote worker safety and facilitate automated functions ranging from drilling to wellhead operation and transport pipelines, oil and gas operators are increasingly turning to fiber optic cable suppliers for “end-to-end” communications and control solutions. Many such solutions include ruggedized cable and connectors that ensure survival of fiber-based DCS/PLC automation/control architectures for onshore and offshore oil and gas operations, even in...

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    Tags:plug and play, industrial, ethernet, communications

  • Asia’s refining, petrochemical majors look to cut costs as Iran’s oil returns to market

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Tuesday July 28, 2015


    Asian oil buyers, already sucking in barrels from as far away as Alaska and Mexico, are anticipating more bargains when Iran finally returns to world markets.

    In a region that’ll account for more than half the growth in global oil demand this year, refiners are poised to be the winners as the Persian Gulf state raises overseas sales when Western sanctions are lifted. Iran’s oil minister has said he will woo Asian customers and seize market share.

    Processors including Hindustan Petroleum in India and Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp. have signaled they may buy more from Iran. Cheap oil has been a boon for many Asian nations, helping to cut budget deficits by reducing fuel subsidies and boosting emergency crude stockpiles.

    Iran’s deal “could trigger another price war with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the UAE,” said Gordon Kwan, the...

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    Tags:Asia, refining, petrochemicals, Iran, oil

  • COLUMN: Should US raise the gasoline tax for consumers?

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Thursday July 23, 2015


    Tesla’s latest announcement was big. The electric carmaker said it planned a modification that would give its autos the ability to accelerate faster than cars that cost two to three times more and keep up with those that cost 10 to 20 times more. 

    That's an astonishing accomplishment. 

    I made the supposition that if you squint, you can see the beginning of the end for gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. They won’t go away for a while, but they have a credible challenger in electric battery-powered vehicles.

    Let's assume for the moment that my wild-eyed speculation is correct. Play this out and it means that at some point in the future, sales of gasoline-powered automobiles will peak and begin to fall. This has enormous ramifications for the US transportation grid, and the health of the American economy -- and for anyone...

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    Tags:US, gasoline, tax

  • Industry Metrics: US, Asian refiners find rising margins, demand in 2015

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Tuesday July 14, 2015

    US refineries are running at record levels and delaying their scheduled 2015 maintenance until 2016 to take advantage of very high margins and demand for refined products, including gasoline. In the Asian market, refinery margins strengthened on the back of higher regional demand amid tightening sentiment due to the maintenance season.





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  • US ethanol advocates hope promotional E-15 use in NASCAR sways public opinion

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Friday June 26, 2015


    Jeff Broin’s silhouette shines in the glossy hood of the modified grass-green Chevrolet SS. It’s moments before the start of Nascar’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, and Broin is having a quick chat with young driver Austin Dillon.

    A racing fan for a decade, Broin is now a Nascar sponsor. And what really has him revved up is what’s splashed in bold white letters across the hood of Dillon’s racer and the stuff in its fuel tank: “E-15,” spelled out more precisely as “15% Ethanol.”

    The 49-year-old Broin, founder of Poet LLC, the biggest US ethanol producer, is the architect of a promotion by which Nascar uses gasoline mixed with 15% concentrations of the corn-based fuel to power its $150,000 supercars. He and the trade group American Ethanol...

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    Tags:ethanol, gasoline, fuel, NASCAR

  • Industry Metrics: Crude pricing supports higher cracking margins in US, Europe

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Wednesday June 17, 2015

    US refinery utilization rates have returned to summer operating levels. Crude oil pricing supports higher cracking margins for gasoline in US and European markets. Asian margins fell as increasing supplies outweighed strong regional demand. Supply-side pressure on the European middle distillates caused margins to fall. HP






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As low oil prices make naphtha cracking margins in Europe and Asia more competitive, are investments in new, ethane-based petrochemicals capacity in the US and Middle East becoming less attractive?




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