June 2014

Archive

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Use crowdsourcing to boost process simulation
Brown, S., Schneider Electric

There are many ways to enhance the user experience of next-generation simulators by borrowing concepts from crowdsourcing, data mining and related fields.

Improve performance of exchangers in quench-water services
Lang, T., El-Hajal, J., Wieland-Werke AG; Provost, J., Technip

Dual-enhanced (DE) tubes are widely used in shell-and-tube heat exchangers (HEXs) in a range of industries. They have become a standard in multiple clean services for the hydrocarbon processing indust..

A chemist’s perspective on organic fouling in ethylene operations
Hancock, J. M., Nalco Champion; Van Zijl, A. W., Robson, I., Vachon, J., Hashmi, A., SABIC Technology & Innovation

Since organic fouling cannot be completely eliminated, ethylene producers must use operational, chemical and mechanical methods to minimize heat transfer losses and equipment downtime.

HPI Focus: Energy Efficiency

Automate furnace controls to improve safety and energy efficiency
Mickity, D., Phillips 66

Furnace firing is the biggest single operating expense in any refinery. Consider a medium-size refinery (250,000 bpd) that consumes 2,000 MMBtu/h. At a cost of $5/MMBtu, that’s $87.6 MM/yr being ..

Maintenance

Use online conditioning to monitor electric motors
Wilhelm, B., GE Measurement and Control; Neti, P., GE Global Research Center

Quality and health assessments of motor insulation are important aspects during the manufacturing, as well as the operation, of electrical motors. Today, there are several offline insulation quality a..

Refining Developments

Russian straight-run fuel oil supply collapse complicates Gulf Coast feedstock choices
Reed, A., ESAI Energy

In the next couple of years, collapsing Russian supply of straight-run fuel oil (SRFO) will undermine foreign supply of feedstock to the US Gulf Coast.

Targeted liquid injection improves shed deck performance
Riley, C., Wicklow, C., Valero Benicia Refinery; Hanson, D., Brown Burns, J., Valero Energy Corp.

This case study shows how the installation of an unique piping and lance design achieved targeted liquid injection, quenched vapor hot zones and reduced resid entrainment into the heavy coker gasoil product.

Which margin levers impact Group I and Group II base stock competitiveness? Part 1
Moncrieff, I., Kline and Co., Inc.

As much as the lubricants industry might wish it otherwise, base stocks production is becoming more commoditized, and it is intertwined inextricably with mainstream refining operations. The vast major..

Columns

HP Reliability: Normalization of deviance can kill
Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart just 73 seconds after launch. The seven-member crew of the shuttle lived until 3 minutes and 58 seconds after launch, w..

HP Automation Strategies: Working toward a more profitable model-based control technology
de Leeuw, V., ARC Advisory Group

Last November, the European Union (EU) Autoprofit project held a workshop near Amsterdam for academia, users, and suppliers. The workshop organizers presented the results of the soon-to-be-completed m..

HP Project Management: Better strategies avoid project delays—Part 3
Corrales-Pérez, J., Tecnicas Reunidas

The first two parts of this series analyzed the root causes of project delays and proposed strategies to avoid schedule overruns. This final part reviews construction planning.Construction planningOne..

HP Petrochemicals: Future vehicle design will need collaboration among HPI and auto manufacturers
DuBose, Ben, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The US automotive market is under stress to meet new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets of 50 mpg for 2025 model vehicles. The tighter fuel specifications will bring together automobile man..

HP Gas Processing: Asian gas market seeks new pricing, infrastructure expansion: Part 2
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The first panel session of Gastech 2014 examined gas pricing, infrastructure requirements and market evolution, from a demand-side perspective.

HP Water Management: What should cooling tower owners do about legionella?
Huchler, L. A., MarTech Systems, Inc.

The first awareness of the risks of legionella bacteria in cooling water was the outbreak of Legionellosis at the hotel hosting the Legionnaires’ Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1976..

HP Engineering Case Histories: Case 79: Integral compressor failures
Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

Recently, the author received information regarding the failure of a large reciprocating compressor. In this example, the pistons for power and compressor cylinders are powered by the same crankshaft...

HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: US methanol—the resurgence of an industry
Nichols, L., Hydrocarbon Processing

The latest resurgence of the US petrochemical industry is reflected in the planned construction of new ethylene and methanol (MeOH) capacities throughout the country.

HP Viewpoint: Transformation of downstream automation and information systems
Whitsura, F., Honeywell Process Solutions

One of the more interesting aspects about working in the energy sector, as I have done for the last 36 years, is that this industry is always changing—technically, economically and even political..

HP Industry Perspectives: Is the glass half full or half empty?
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

This year is nearly half over; however, the energy industry is more optimistic about the market and economy according to Ernst & Young’s (EY’s) recent 10th biannual Oil and Gas Capital Confi..

HP News
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Chemical companies honored with energy efficiency awardsThe American Chemistry Council (ACC) honored 16 of its member companies for implementing energy-efficiency improvements in 2013. The ACC present..

HP Industry Metrics
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The total liquid supply growth by non-OPEC countries continues to rise and is estimated to reach 54 million bpd (MMbpd) in 2014. Increasing crude oil supplies from North America are contributing to sh..

HP People

BASF SE’s supervisory board has elected Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht as its new chairman. Dr. Hambrecht succeeds Dr. h.c. Eggert Voscherau, who took over as chairman following the 2009 annual shareh..

New Developments
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Refrigerating/heating circulators provide precise temperature control for cold properties testing PolyScience refrigerating/heating circulators are offered for use with cloud-point, freeze-point,..

Misc

China: The next shale gas boom
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The shale gas boom has largely been associated with North America. The luck of this region regarding shale gas is the result of 20 years of hard R&D efforts by Texas oilman George P. Mitchell and the ..

Recruitment Supplement

Troubleshooting, data analysis remain valuable skills on refinery side
McKinney, C., BP US Refining and Marketing

In its first-ever supplement covering recruitment trends and best practices in the downstream industry, Hydrocarbon Processing spoke with professionals and organizations active in hiring and training ..

US energy production means new jobs. Are we ready?
Hockstad, M., American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

At the beginning of this now-not-so-new millennium, the US was faced with great tragedy, a loss of security and uncertainty in the future. Today, the nation has rebounded, thanks to a robust energy se..

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

The 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 p..