October 2003


Special Report: Improving Process Control

Creating the 'smart plant'
White, D. C., Emerson Process Management

Before too long, your doorbell may ring and a repairman might say, 'I received a request over the Web from your refrigerator to come and replace the drive belt.' Will process equipment be far behind?

A step-by-step approach to advanced process control

This implementation procedure makes the technology more practical for less obvious processes

How to lose money with basic controls
King, M. J., Whitehouse Consulting

Follow these 21 rules to ensure that many opportunities to minimize process disturbances will be completely overlooked

Consider dynamic simulation tools when planning new plant startup
Lauritsen, M., AspenTech; Persad, W., Rutherford, P., BP Chemicals

Simulation-based operator training uncovers potential process and operational problems before feed enters the unit

Enhance process control performance
Smith, C. L., Cecil L. Smith, Inc.

Properly incorporating summers into a control configuration can increase benefits for nominal cost

Engineering Case Histories

Case 17: Wreck of a centrifugal pump
Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

Understanding the entire flow system is important when determining the cause of a failure


Apply biofiltration methods to manage VOC emissions
Morrison, J., BP AMOCO; Schowengerdt, M., Envirogen, Inc.; Vernengo, S., Superior Engineering

"Green" technology can offer economic benefits while complying with permit requirements

Process Economics/Refining

New methodology enhances planning for refined products
Anxue, L., PetroChina Daquing Refining & Chemical Co.; Hui, C., Wenkai, L., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay

A unique analytical tool collectively applies value information from various end-product and intermediate streams and identifies the best profit-making operation


Applications for multifunction pressure instruments
Jethra, R., SOR Inc.

Case histories show how these devices can improve reliability and lower costs


HP Automation Safety: Periodic functional testing – Is there a better way?
Goble, W., exida LLC

Process design engineers work hard to create inherently safe processes. To a great extent, this effort is successful and the general industry safety record continues to get better. Cons..

HP Integration Strategies: Blackout remedies may come from the HPI
Forbes, H., ARC Advisory Group

The August 2003 US blackout seems unrelated to the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI). However, in the weeks to come as the events that precipitated the blackout are reconstructed, b..

HPIn Europe: Marine fuel set to tax refiners and ship owners
Pitt, R., European Refining & Marketing

For some time now, the European Commission has been looking at the problem of emissions from ships - both inland and seagoing - as part of its concerns over emissions control and the ro..


Select refinery assets acquired ConocoPhillips is purchasing certain assets at Premcor's Hartford, Illinois, refinery. The purchase includes the coker, crude unit, catalytic cracker, alkylation unit, ..

New Developments

Pressure gauges offer various options New Swagelok industrial process thermoplastic pressure gauges monitor vacuum and positive system pressures up to 15,000 psi (100,000 kPa) in the ch..

HP Construction: North America
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Engelhard Corp. has a contract with ConocoPhillips to supply specially designed sorbent technology for a large-scale gasoline sulfur removal unit in Ferndale, Washington. The sorbent is..

HP Construction: Africa
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

GE Power Systems, a General Electric subsidiary, has a 28-year contractual service agreement (CSA) to provide maintenance and other services to Nigeria LNG Ltd. The CSA is for as many a..

HP Construction: Middle East
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Daelim has a contract to construct a 3,000 mmscfd (500 mmscfd x 6 trains) capacity South Pars Gas Development Phases 6, 7 & 8 onshore facilities. The project is being performed jointly ..

HP Construction: Asia-Pacific
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

SINOPEC Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co. Ltd. started what is claimed to be the largest single-set P-xylene plant in China. This 450,000-tpy P-xylene plant and another 1 million-tpy cont..

HP Construction: Europe
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, will upgrade the existing analyzer data management system at the ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd. Fife ethylene plant (FEP) in Scotland. ..

HP Construction: South America
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

SimSci-Esscor, an Invensys plc operating unit, has a two-year contract with Ecopetrol, the state-owned petroleum producing and refining company of Colombia. Valued in excess of $500,000..

Free Literature

Compressors and valves from the same source Burckhardt Compression's new brochure defines the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the latest developments and field experience of pl..

HP In Brief: HPIn Brief
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

  Spending forecast for key sectors ..

HP Impact: International refining margins rise in August
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Refinery margins rose in August as a result of strong gasoline prices in all main refinery centers, says an analysis from KBC PEL Market Services. In particular, the US supply disruptio..

HP Impact: Automation market in process industries forecast for $58 billion
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The process automation market, whose resilience is directly related to industry prosperity and health of the economy, has experienced mediocre growth. However, the total automation busi..

HP Impact: Major growth projected for LNG market
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Capital expenditure in the LNG business is forecast to see strong growth. Total spending over 2003 - 2007 is projected to nearly double that of the previous five-year period (Fig. 2). ..

HP Impact: Refiners attitudes ‘optimistic’ compared to 1990s, says study
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Oil refiners expect fuel supplies and prices to remain volatile around the US in the next few years. Refineries are working to churn out fuels at near capacity levels in response to ris..

HP Impact: Report reveals causes of UK refinery incidents
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In May and June 2000, three incidents took place at BP's Grangemouth, Scotland, UK, complex. A new report details results of the investigation into the events. What happened over a few weeks..

HP Impact: New OPC spec provides gateway to Internet
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The OPC Foundation has released OPC XML Data Access (XML DA) specification. This is part of a move towards platform-independent interoperability and generic support for Internet-based W..

HP Impact: DOE offers guidelines to ease effects of natural gas prices
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham offers the DOE's suggestions for easing the effects of a tightening natural gas market. In a letter to state public utility commissioners, he recomme..

HP Impact: Economist assesses 'shape of recovery'
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The recession is over. The good news is, it wasn't much of a recession, says David Wyss, chief economist with Standard&Poor's. However, here's the bad news: "It's not much of a recovery." Speaking at ..

HP Impact: Indonesia state company sees 33% jump in profits
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Pertamina, Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company, announced company profits for January - December 2002 of $1.66 billion, up 33% from $1.22 billion in fiscal year 2001. Of the total profit, Pert..


Management’s role in achieving and sustaining reliability focus
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

This column has been published for over 13 years and although its content was, and still is, primarily targeting the reliability professional, many of its musings contained messages tha..

HP Innovations

Detection method measures total sulfur species in gasoline Agilent Technologies has released a new method for characterizing sulfur in reformulated gasoline using gas chromatography-ind..