September 2013


Special Report: Refining Developments

Case history: Optimization of FCCU with multivariate statistical modeling
Keeley, C., Mayol, J., Riva, S., Komvokis, V., Bozukov, V., Challis, S., BASF Corp.; Karpov, N. V., Lukoil Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez Refinery

Process models and simulation methods can be used to simulate the fluidized-bed catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) process.a,b Likewise, kinetic or multivariate statistical models have been used. Rigorous..

Processing shale oils in FCC: Challenges and opportunities
Bryden, K. J., Habib Jr., E. T., Topete, O. A., Grace Catalysts Technologies

Detailed feed analysis and cracking studies aid refiners in understanding how best to optimize operations and maximize FCC value when processing shale oils.

Reduce salt corrosion rates with stronger base amines
Lack, J., Harrell, B., Baker Hughes

When processing discounted crude oils, one of the primary challenges refiners face is under-salt corrosion in crude unit distillation overhead systems.

Mitigate fouling in crude unit overhead—Part 1

In a refinery crude distillation column, up to 40% of the total heat removal may be found in the tower overhead condenser. The quantity of duty available makes heat integration (HI) between the column..

Use modeling to evaluate processing solutions for heavy oils
McMullen, J., Invensys

To optimize processing and reduce design and operating costs, refiners should consider using accurate simulation models that are specifically tailored for heavy crudes.

Catalyst systems offer flexibility for hydroprocessing applications
Olsen, C. W., Torchia, D., Advanced Refining Technologies; Shiflett, W. K., Advanced Refining Technologies, LP; Brossard, D., Chevron Lummus Global

Refinersa re strongly motivated to evaluate and select premier catalyst systems for the production of both diesel products from their hydrocracking and diesel treating units.

Improved oxidation process increases sulfur recovery with Claus unit
Vazquez, R. G., Seeger, D., Thundyil, M., GTC Technology US LLC

Since its development in 1936, the “modified Claus” technology has been the preferred process used by refineries and gas processing plants for the recovery of sulfur from acid-gas streams. M..

Update: Russia’s capacity and modernization program
Levinbuk, M., RAS, A.V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas; Galkin, V. V., Makhiyanov, V., Gazprom Neft

Since 2008, Russian regulations regarding the crude oil and refining industry have changed substantially. At present, Russia has 22 large refineries, each with an individual throughput capacity exceed..

Novel use of sulfiding agent prevents refinery shutdown
Frank, T., Lubrizol; Bridges, W., Coastal Chemical Co.

When an insufficient supply of acid gas threatened to shut down operations at a US refinery, quick thinking, along with the novel use of a sulfiding agent and a strong supply chain made all the difference.

Evaluate surfactants as antifoam substitutes in amine systems
Shukla, A. K., Dutta Roy, A. K., Chauhan, P. S., Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Uran plant

The handling capacity of gas sweetening plants using amine solutions is greatly affected by foaming problems. To mitigate foaming problems, antifoam is injected into the amine recirculating system at Oil and Natural Gas Corp.'s Uran refinery in India.

Consider accurate feed characterization with improved simulation methods
Ha, H. Z., Fluor Canada Ltd.; Tiwary, D., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Assay definition is crucial for accurate process simulations. The performance of process simulators depends on the feed definition to the processing unit. Modern analytical laboratories can offer comp..

Optimize slop-wax bed height in the vacuum unit
Gupta, A., Patil, R. C., Das, A. K., Reliance Industries, Ltd.; Yadav, M., Reliance Technology Group, Reliance Industries Limited

The vacuum distillation (VD) unit in the petroleum refinery separates the heavier fraction of crude oil from the atmospheric distillation unit (ADU) into light vacuum gasoil (LVGO) and heavy VGO (HVGO..

Process Control

Advanced process control improves operation of a polypropylene unit
Poorkar, H., Al-zahrani, M., Al-Shbrain, H., Tasnee; Sefidrou, K., Rockwell Automation

The project scope included a reactor composition controller and virtual online analyzer for MFR and xylene solubility. Quality control information and automated transition records for four reactors were also included.


HP Reliability: Leaders must allocate time for technology updates
Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Just as a good medical doctor is expected to have wide knowledge on modern treatment options, we would expect reliability professionals to be equally informed on technology advances. There are numerou..

HP Integration Strategies: The information-driven operating company
Gorbach, G., ARC Advisory Group

New information technologies—such as cloud computing, mobility, social technologies, big data/analytics and 3D visualization—have been receiving a lot of attention in the industrial communit..

HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: Brazil plans major refinery expansions
Nichols, L., Hydrocarbon Processing

Brazil is the largest producer of liquid fuels in South America. However, the country still lacks the installed refining capacity to meet domestic demand for transportation fuels. For this reason, Brazil has a number of refining projects planned and underway.

HP Viewpoint: Renewables from the refiners’ viewpoint
Klesse, B., Valero Energy Corp.

Recently, I had the opportunity to testify before the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, representing our company and our industry that employs approximately 108,000 American workers..

HP Water Management: The case for change
Huchler, L. A., MarTech Systems, Inc.

When should you change water-treatment suppliers? After a failure? When you are dissatisfied with the quality or price of your incumbent supplier? When you receive an attractively-priced proposal? Whe..

HP Associations: Inaugural GTL Technology Forum delivers insights, opportunities
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Speakers and attendees at Gulf Publishing Company’s inaugural Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Technology Forum shared knowledge on gas processing technology developments, project economics and business challenges, with a focus on GTL processing technologies.

HP Brief
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

A roundup of top news in the hydrocarbon processing industry from September's issue.

HP Impact: Egypt’s role in international energy markets
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Egypt’s influence is felt mainly through the operation of the Suez Canal and Suez-Mediterranean (Sumed) pipeline. In 2012, about 7% of all seaborne-traded oil and 13% of liquefied natural gas (LNG) traded worldwide transited through the Suez Canal.

HP Impact: Divestitures drive US oil and gas deal activity
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

For the three month period ended June 30, 2013, there were a total of 39 oil and gas deals with values greater than $50 MM, accounting for $17.2 billion in deal value.

HP Impact: US energy sector vulnerabilities exposed
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a report that assesses how critical US energy and electricity infrastructure is vulnerable to the impacts of climate trends.

HP Innovations: Innovations
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Noncorrosive bearings have high load capacityEDT Corp. has added Type E Solution bearings (Fig. 1) to its Solution line of severe service bearings. Type E Solution bearings have high load capacity and..

HP Construction Profile: US Midwest refinery nears completion of major modernization project
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In early July 2013, BP announced that it has completed the commissioning and startup of a new, 250,000-bpd crude distillation unit at the Whiting refinery, marking a major achievement in the multi-bil..

HP Industry Perspectives: A sad turn of events
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Many pages in Hydrocarbon Processing have and continue to discuss the technical solutions required by the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and similar legislation. At a time when developed nations str..

Free Literature
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Video illustrates how to extend cable and hose life in a dynamic cable carrier A new video has been added to Motion Industries’ MiHow2 channel (, the product/application solut..

New Developments
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Compact stainless-steel explosion-proof pressure switch The new Ashcroft A-Series miniature pressure switch is now available in a SIL-capable explosion- proof configuration for hazardous areas. W..

Engineering and Construction 2013 Supplement

Streamline plant information for brownfield assets
Standish, R., Botterill, E., Intergraph Corp.

Brownfield assets suffer from handling large volumes of unstructured information. Often, such projects do not have up-to-date/as-maintained 3D models, data warehouses or integrated operation systems, ..