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  • GTL ’14: Executive insight into new gas-to-liquids technologies

    Posted by: Adrienne Blume

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    Managing Editor

    HOUSTON -- Gulf Publishing Company's second annual Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Technology Forum opened on July 30 and concluded on Thursday, July 31. Speakers and attendees shared insight on gas processing technology developments, project economics and business challenges. A full news recap of technical sessions and photo gallery are included below:


    Day 2 of the second annual GTL Technology Forum, which drew nearly 200 attendees from the US and a number of other countries, opened with an ExxonMobil-sponsored networking breakfast in the exhibition hall. Exhibitors Pentair, Siemens, AMACS, Walter Tosto and Ariel...

    Continue reading "GTL ’14: Executive insight into new gas-to-liquids technologies"

    Tags:GTL, gas to liquids, natural gas, Houston

  • A career or an adventure in machinery reliability

    Posted by: Heinz P. Bloch

    Tuesday July 22, 2014

    Fig. 1: Patent diagram of cotton tip machine.By HEINZ P. BLOCH
    Reliability/Equipment Editor

    In a recent letter, an experienced reliability professional recommended that we (engineers) share how we decided and became the professionals that we are today. This engineer suggested a future article on my life experiences as related to machinery reliability. In short, he believes that it is important to share the life experiences of a professional reliability engineer with a career spanning over 50 years. More importantly, this article would link the experiences of solving numerous reliability problems and the “lessons learned.” Likewise, the article would also share the mistakes and misunderstandings that occurred as well. Remember: Failure is an excellent teacher.   

    Looking back. Working as a reliability engineer for over 50 years, I have had a few success stories and gaffes too. For example, I could write about the slip-up in Spain, where I forgot to drain the cooling...

    Continue reading "A career or an adventure in machinery reliability"

    Tags:machinery reliability, Bloch

  • Industry Metrics: Global markets poised to reach new equilibrium

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Friday July 11, 2014

    Global energy markets are reaching a new equilibrium, according to Wood Mackenzie analysts. As demand shifts to the East, it will expand to extraordinary proportions. 

    However, the world also finds itself in an era of robust energy supplies. A shift from volume to value is rebalancing the energy market to a “supply-push” condition as demand softens. 

    New non-OPEC supplies are contributing to the situation. After the mid-June 2014 meeting, OPEC countries announced that the nations will keep the target production at 30 million bpd for another six months. HP






    Continue reading "Industry Metrics: Global markets poised to reach new equilibrium"

    Tags:industry metrics, markets

  • GALLERY: Scenes from the 2014 International Refining and Petrochemical Conference

    Posted by: Ben DuBose

    Wednesday June 25, 2014

    VERONA, Italy -- The agenda for the 2014 International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC) began on Tuesday, June 24, and extends through Thursday, June 26.

    This year, IRPC features more than 70 presentations from speakers in 24 countries, with special focus on the latest advances in technology and operations in refining, petrochemicals and in clean fuels/biofuels. Among IRPC delegates, 318 attended from 43 different countries.

    The event began on Tuesday with an exclusive tour of Eni's recently-converted Venice biorefinery. Seen below are scenes from that tour and other IRPC events throughout the week.

    For further event details, visit the IRPC website. For IRPC news stories, visit HP's Conference News section.

    DAY 3

    Eni's Claudia Prati discussed her company's Ecofining process. (WATCH VIDEO of her presentation.)

    Delegates listened closely during Thursday's keynote presentation on the global refining outlook.

    DAY 2

    The IRPC stage played host to over 72 industry presentations...

    Continue reading "GALLERY: Scenes from the 2014 International Refining and Petrochemical Conference"

    Tags:IRPC, Italy, refining, petrochemicals

  • Skills shortages in a booming market: The big oil and gas challenge

    Posted by: FMI Corporation

    Monday June 09, 2014

    Skill Shortages in a Booming Market: The Big Oil and Gas ChallengeThe strains on labor capacity in oil and gas construction markets worldwide are becoming increasingly well known. These strains continue to affect forecasted project costs, and several large capital projects have already been delayed or canceled (see Shell’s Louisiana gas-to-liquids plant as an example) as a result of rising costs and questionable long-term profitability projections. As demand continues to increase in the face of the liquefied natural gas export gold rush, construction firms are faced with unprecedented pressures to retain and grow talent.

    To keep up with this extremely dynamic and competitive—if not unprecedented—business environment, US energy infrastructure construction firms need to develop a robust talent pipeline to tackle the industry’s many business challenges in the coming years. In 2008, just 3.8% of the total construction workforce was engaged in direct oil and gas construction. By 2012, 6.4%—nearly double 2008’s number—of that workforce was engaged in direct oil...

    Continue reading "Skills shortages in a booming market: The big oil and gas challenge"

    Tags:employment, upstream, downstream, craft, engineers

  • GALLERY: Scenes at the Honeywell Users Group forum

    Posted by: Billy Thinnes

    Thursday June 05, 2014

    By BILLY THINNESTechnical EditorSAN ANTONIO -- An active week of automation chatter is coming to a close in San Antonio, and we would like to share with you several highlights from the Honeywell Users Group (HUG).  The first is an exclusive event for executives that is embedded within HUG called the Honeywell North America Executive Forum. The theme for the forum this year was “smart capital.” The executives pondered the challenges and opportunities posed by mega energy projects and the role automation can play in improving the ROIC for such projects. Featured speakers included Sandy Vasser from ExxonMobil, James B. Smith, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Bob Fryklund, an oil industry strategist for IHS/CERA. Out on the floor of the main event, the Honeywell Knowledge Center was a big hit with attendees. It offered over 70 live demonstrations, staffed by industry and technology experts. Demos were provided in the...

    Continue reading "GALLERY: Scenes at the Honeywell Users Group forum"

    Tags:Honeywell, HUG, Honeywell Users Group

  • Honeywell users discuss latest advances in process plant control

    Posted by: Billy Thinnes

    Tuesday June 03, 2014

    (Editor's note: A photo gallery from the Honeywell event is now included at the bottom of this blog post.)By BILLY THINNESTechnical EditorSAN ANTONIO -- Up amid the rolling Hill Country of Central Texas, the Honeywell Users Group (HUG) convened for a week of presentations, networking and deal-making. The event is expected to draw 1,342 attendees, 477 companies and 64 industries from 36 countries.At the Tuesday morning plenary session, the new president for Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) offered remarks. Vimal Kapur said that HPS is uniquely positioned to integrate all along the oil and gas value chain. For instance, the company had a CAPEX number of $25 billion in 2013 in the midstream market and was very active in pipeline transport and LNG liquefaction.Mr. Kapur said he believes that North America’s new supply dynamics will drive midstream infrastructure investment in pipelines and LNG facilities.  To capture some of those investment dollars,...

    Continue reading "Honeywell users discuss latest advances in process plant control"

    Tags:Honeywell Users Group, HUG

  • Mexico needs new crude markets as US shale boom alters landscape

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Thursday May 22, 2014


    Mexico’s reliance on oil exports to its northern neighbor is being jeopardized by the US shale boom, forcing suppliers to seek new buyers, Citigroup said.

    Mexico, which exports about 880,000 bpd of crude to the US, is being “pushed out” by its chief trading partner as demand diminishes, according to Ed Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup in New York. 

    US imports of Mexican crude fell 13% to the lowest in more than 20 years in 2013 because of increased domestic production, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

    “Something’s got to give,” Morse said in an interview at the Institute of the Americas energy conference in La Jolla, California. “The US has not been a good neighbor to Venezuela or Mexico in the way the shale revolution has unfolded.”

    Production of tight...

    Continue reading "Mexico needs new crude markets as US shale boom alters landscape"

    Tags:Mexico, shale gas, crude oil, US

  • Industry Metrics: OECD nations poised to boost diesel, gasoline demand

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Friday May 16, 2014

    The OPEC Reference Basket for crudes fell $1.23 in March. Changes in the crude oil markets are attributed to a slowdown in China’s economy and reduced crude oil demand by refineries. Non-OPEC supply growth is expected to outpace global consumption growth and stabilize oil prices.

    North America leads in new production, stemming from shale oil in the US and growth in the Canadian oil sands. Global product markets are expected to receive support from increased diesel and gasoline demand by OECD nations.

    A detailed statistical breakdown can be viewed in the slides below:


    Continue reading "Industry Metrics: OECD nations poised to boost diesel, gasoline demand"

    Tags:industry metrics, pricing, supply

  • OTC ’14: News roundup from the Offshore Technology Conference

    Posted by: Stephany Romanow

    Thursday May 08, 2014


    HOUSTON -- Kicking off this week's international upstream event was news involving China’s shale gas development. Representatives from GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power Business and China’s HongHua Group, a leading Chinese drill rig manufacturer, signed a three-year agreement to supply GE’s Waukesha VHP engines. The Waukesa gas engines will be used with HongHau generators to power new drilling rigs in operating in China and Asia.

    Gas over diesel. The Waukesha gas engines offer high reliability, especially in the tough exploration and production (E&P) environment. More importantly, these engines can successfully burn any gaseous fuel, from 950 Btu to 2,600 Btu, including  field gas, LNG, CNG, propane, biofuel and coke oven gas. Switching from diesel to gas can provide drilling rig operators the opportunity to reduce energy cost by 75%. Typical drilling rigs use three diesel engines. Converting to gas engines...

    Continue reading "OTC ’14: News roundup from the Offshore Technology Conference"

    Tags:OTC, Emerson, China, shale gas

  • Canada finds China oil option is no easy answer to Keystone snub

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Tuesday May 06, 2014


    Stephen Harper was in need of a new friend with a big appetite for oil. The Americans just weren’t cutting it.

    It was February 2012, three months since President Barack Obama had phoned the Canadian prime minister to say the Keystone XL pipeline designed to carry vast volumes of Canadian crude to American markets would be delayed.

    Now Harper found himself thousands of miles from Canada on the banks of the Pearl River promoting Plan B: a pipeline from Alberta’s landlocked oil sands to the Pacific Coast where it could be shipped in tankers to a place that would certainly have it -- China. It was a country to which he had never warmed yet that served his current purposes.

    Harper stood before a business audience in a luxury hotel banquet hall in Guangzhou, capital of...

    Continue reading "Canada finds China oil option is no easy answer to Keystone snub"

    Tags:Canada, China, crude oil, Keystone XL, pipeline, exports

  • Tightening job market in US cities prompts higher pay

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Wednesday April 16, 2014


    To hire 10 to 15 project coordinators this year, Sabre Commercial Inc. has boosted pay 10% and added a 401(k) retirement plan.

    “It is an employee’s market,” said John Cyrier, co- founder and president of the 48-employee Austin, Texas-based builder. “We are definitely seeing a labor shortage in Austin and central Texas. I see it only getting worse.”

    Companies across the US from Texas to Virginia and Nebraska are struggling to fill positions with metropolitan jobless rates below the 5.2% to 5.6% level the Federal Reserve regards as full employment nationally. Competition for workers is prompting businesses to raise wages, increase hours for current employees, add benefits and recruit from other regions.

    “There are spot labor shortages” that probably will “broaden out over the next year as the job market steadily improves,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s...

    Continue reading "Tightening job market in US cities prompts higher pay"

    Tags:jobs, economy, worker, salary

  • Industry Metrics: Supply disruptions, geopolitical tensions add volatility to prices

    Posted by: HP Editorial Staff

    Monday April 07, 2014


    Cold weather, supply disruptions and geopolitical tensions continue to add more volatility to oil prices, supporting prices above $100/bbl. The events occurring in Ukraine, along with other political strains in North Africa and the Middle East, continue to infuse more tension in energy markets. Stress in Europe maintained the North Sea Brent crude oil spot price in February at approximately $110/bbl. The US EIA expects the Brent crude oil price to weaken as non-OPEC supply growth exceeds growth in world consumption, thus calming shortage fears.





    Continue reading "Industry Metrics: Supply disruptions, geopolitical tensions add volatility to prices"

    Tags:industry metrics, pricing, supply

  • Ships colliding in Houston expose risks of busy oil channel

    Posted by: HP News Services

    Friday April 04, 2014


    By the time the ships’ pilots realized they were on a crash course, it was too late.

    The fog was just beginning to lift on the Houston Ship Channel midday March 22 as a bulk carrier and a fuel barge found themselves three-quarters of a mile apart. For five minutes, they exchanged radio messages as they tried slowing down, speeding up and reversing while nearing a collision that closed one of the world’s busiest waterways for three days, according to US Coast Guard recordings and radar data obtained by Bloomberg under the Freedom of Information Act.

    “I can put it down to a dead slow, but that still ain’t gonna stop,” the freighter’s pilot said, according to the recordings.

    The crash caused 4,000 bbl of fuel oil to spill and disrupted about $1.5 billion...

    Continue reading "Ships colliding in Houston expose risks of busy oil channel"

    Tags:Houston Ship Channel, spill, oil, vessels

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