April 2014


Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

US shale gas elevates petrochemical markets
Seelam, L., Traver, S., Gaffney, Cline & Associates

The development of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies has led to the rapid exploitation of US shale gas resources. This increase in shale gas production has led to a change in the US energy mix.

Case history: Optimization of aromatics complex
Bergman, S., Yli-Opas, K., Karlsson, S., Frejborg, A., Neste Jacobs Oy; Vettenranta, J., Borealis Polumers Oy; Rönkä, M., Borealis Polymers Oy

Borealis Polymers executed an online optimization project at its phenol and aromatics plants in Porvoo. The plantwide application increased the output rate by 9% and greatly improved the stability of operations.

Improve the cracking of ethylene dichloride
Shahani, G., Ma, D., Linde Engineering North America, Inc.

The discovery and exploitation of shale gas in North America is providing a boost to the domestic petrochemical industry. In particular, commodity petrochemicals such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are e..

New catalyst increases FCC olefin yields

The new catalyst helped enable the refinery to maximize propylene and isobutylene yields, expand total LPG production, maintain LCN yield, improve bottoms upgrading and expand the FCCU operating window.

HPI Focus: New vs. Debottlenecking

Consider new strategies in defining turnaround or construction contracts
Harrell, B., Management Controls Inc.

As the use of contract labor to complete refinery turnarounds and construction projects is increasing, success of these projects hinges on the ability of owners and contractors to effectively collabor..

Project Management

Major refinery uses reliable fiscal metering system
Gupta, T., Emerson Process Management

Reliance Industries Ltd., ranked 99th on the Fortune 500 list of the world’s major corporations, operates the largest refinery and petrochemical complex. Located in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India (Fig...


Improve thermodynamic equilibrium among light olefins in FCC operations
Jaguste, S. D., Jain, B., Reliance Industries Ltd.

Worldwide propylene demand is strongly increasing. About 28% of the global propylene supply comes from refinery fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units. The light olefins have relative selectivity due to..

Process Control

Use adaptive control to improve process operations
Golightly, R., AspenTech

Refiners and chemical/petrochemical producers can now deploy APC and enjoy sustained benefits by implementing a continuous process for controller maintenance.


HP Editorial Comment: What is the future for hydrocarbons and their prices?
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Have we reached peak oil, again? No; the naysayers have predicted peak oil five times already, and innovative technologies continue to overcome previous barriers and to find new methods of developing ..

HP Reliability: Small deviations can compromise equipment reliability
Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In 2013, a major refinery was experiencing serious pump problems. The refinery had a massive thrust-bearing failure on a critical 3,560-rpm pump. The pump was designed and manufactured by a well-known..

HP Automation Strategies: A new era emerging for incident prediction and avoidance solutions
Hill, D., ARC Adivsory Group

“Inevitably, what you don’t know will ruin your day.” This often-voiced piece of wisdom is particularly true in the hydrocarbon processing industries, where operations staffs are being ..

HP Project Management: Better strategies avoid project delays—Part 1
Corrales-Pérez, J., Tecnicas Reunidas

Even when using 3D CAD, advanced project management systems and fast-track concepts, projects now take longer than they did two decades ago. Schedule overruns occur as frequently, despite the applicat..

HP Global: Shale revolution will help US chemical industry soar to new heights
Swift, T. K., American Chemistry Council

Global manufacturing entered a soft period in 2012, with particular weakness in Europe and East Asia. The manufacturing sector represents the primary customer base for chemistry. The global industrial..

HP Petrochemicals: Coal re-emerges as a primary petrochemical feedstock
Velson, J., Nexant Consulting

Coal-to-chemicals routes are now an important and viable option for producers in China and beyond. Those that look upon them as atavistic dinosaurs do so at their peril.

HP Gas Processing: Panama Canal expansion to give major boost to US gas trade
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

LNG exports are slated to increase from several approved and proposed US projects, and US NGL exports are poised to quadruple by 2020, if the planned expansion of the Panama Canal cuts shipping costs to Asia.

HP Engineering Case Histories: Case 78: Writing concisely is a definite work skill
Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

How is it possible to collect and condense so much technical information onto a single page? Answer: It is not by chance. Getting through long speeches or tedious articles are not enjoyable experience..

HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: 2014 global construction outlook—Part 2
Nichols, L., Hydrocarbon Processing

According to Hydrocarbon Processing’s HPI Market Data 2014, total capital spending is estimated to exceed $77 B. Part 2 of this outlook examines notable construction activities in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

HP Viewpoint: Ethylene production growth drives new global industry standards
Laugier, J. P., Technip

Operators that understand global market drivers and the latest technologies will provide the best solutions to improve their profitability and comply with the latest HSE rules.

HP Industry Perspectives: It is not dirty oil, just oil with dirt in it
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

There are an estimated 8 trillion bbl of heavy oil reserves located throughout the world, as shown in Fig. 1. The quest now is how to cost-efficiently bring these reserves of “dirty oil” to ..

HP News
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

 Irving Oil refinery begins $60-million turnaroundA major turnaround is underway at Irving Oil’s refinery in Saint John, Canada. It began in early March and is expected to last until mid-Ap..

HP Industry Metrics
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

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 ..

HP People
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Baldor has made two key promotions of late. Jeff Moore has been named vice president of the Baldor-Dodge brand mechanical product marketing group based in Greenville, South Carolina. His previous resp..

HP Innovations
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Modular generator creates precision gas mixturesKIN-TEK’s FlexStream Modular Gas Standards Generating System (Fig. 1) creates precise gas mixtures. The FlexStream system dilutes emissions from pe..

Free Literature
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Guide highlights benefits of swirl meter use ABB’s Measurement Products’ business offers a 28-page application guide for Swirl flowmeters. The guide describes the advantages that Swirl ..

New Developments
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Oil-trace analysis module for benchtop spectrometers PANalytical offers its Oil-Trace analysis module for Epsilon 3X benchtop X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers. The package, with its built-i..

Global Turnaround and Maintenance—Supplement

Achieve excellence and sustainability in your next turnaround
Singh, B., Project Assurance, Inc.

To consistently achieve pacesetter results on plant shutdowns and turnarounds, it is imperative that companies have a systematic turnaround management process (TMP).