Environment & Safety Gas Processing/LNG Maintenance & Reliability Petrochemicals Process Control Process Optimization Project Management Refining

June 2016


Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Optimize isomerization reactor temperatures and component RON
Tüpraş: Toraman, N.  |  Kahraman, K
Honeywell UOP: Billings, P.  |  Sabitov, O.

Isomerate is useful because it is paraffinic and contains no benzene, aromatics or sulfur. This pentane and hexane fraction of crude oil is known as light naphtha. The main objective of reactions is to increase the research octane number (RON) of the components. Decreasing fuel consumption without changing the product RON of isomerization units is discussed here.

Syngas from H2S and CO2: An alternative, pioneering synthesis route?
Alfa Laval Olmi SpA: Manenti, G.
KT-Kinetics Technology SpA: Molinari, L.
Politecnico di Milano: Manenti, F.

Hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide represent major concerns for the hydrocarbon industry. Both species are contaminants and, since their use as feedstock is minor, are considered troubling byproducts.

Utilize an optimizer to blend gasoline directly to ships
Valero Energy Corp.: Scriven, W.  |  Martin, A.  |  Seiver, D. S.

A new control system and single-blend optimization system make it possible to blend gasoline directly into tanker ships for delivery, rather than only into tanks, thereby saving millions in capital and reducing product giveaway.


Catalyst replacement strategy for a hydrocracking unit at a Middle East refinery

A Saudi Aramco refinery operates a series-flow, single-stage hydrocracking unit (HU) in a recycle high-conversion mode. The HU has been in operation for over 35 years and is being debottlenecked to increase its throughput by 20%.

Maintenance and Reliability

How small deviations and lack of management access compromise reliability
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

In 2013, Refinery “X” was experiencing serious pump distress—the third or fourth in a 12-month period. We received calls about the latest thrust bearing failure event on this important 3,560-rpm process pump. Soon after, a surprisingly similar incident happened at Refinery “Y” in 2015. Both incidents are considered here.

Improve refinery compressor performance with a reengineered rotor
Sulzer Rotterdam Service Center: de Koning, B.

When a scheduled maintenance task at a refinery in Germany revealed the need for a new rotor assembly, working with local independent specialists enabled the team responsible to improve the design and performance of the compressor without further interruption to service.

Process Control and Instrumentation

A new solution to the challenges of crude selection and scheduling

The state-of-the-art approach to solving the crude selection and scheduling problem is to separate the two challenges.

Pyrometer temperature measurement corrections ensure reliable reformer operation
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.: Daher, M.  |  Smith IV, O. J.

Here, errors in measuring TWTs are analyzed, and examples are presented to illustrate the importance of correcting for these errors to obtain accurate TWT measurements.

Reduce revamp costs with appropriate 3D laser scanning strategies
Fluor Corp.: Wong, S.  |  Lowery, R.  |  Kou, C.

The traditional approach for collecting plant as-built data commonly used for the revamp and retrofit of existing facilities, as well as for plant maintenance and operation, includes manually collecting the data and reviewing existing plot plans, elevation drawings, systems isometrics, or other 2D CAD drawings.

Process Engineering and Optimization

Secure the best benefits from C4 hydrocarbon processing—Part 1: Separation sequences
thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG: Streich, T.  |  Kömpel, H.  |  Geng, J.  |  Renger, M.

Crude C<sub>4</sub> streams from the steam cracker unit or the fluidized catalytic cracker unit contain valuable hydrocarbons, such as butadiene and C<sub>4</sub> olefins.


Editorial Comment: Optimizing the downstream industry’s message
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

This issue of <i>Hydrocarbon Processing</i> revolves around the central theme of optimization. This topic has been a major focus in our publication for decades. Thousands of pages of editorial have been devoted to this subject over our 95-year history. But what do we mean when we use the term ‘optimization?’

Reliability: Overcome biases and challenges facing industry
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

When asked about the challenges facing the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI), our answer was swift and direct: The trials we face are bundled, or can be found, in lessons some of us learned decades ago. However, lessons learned and explained decades ago were often disregarded by managers with a short-range focus.

Refining: Refinery investments focus on ultra-low-sulfur gasoline
Contributing Writer: Nogarin, M.

Mexican oil company Pemex recently announced major refinery improvement projects that will represent a total investment of $23 B over the next three years.

Global: Meeting Africa’s demand for oil products
Contributing Editor: Oirere, S.

Demand for refined oil products is expected to continue growing in Africa, both in the short and medium terms. However, the continent’s refining capacity is unlikely to keep pace as commercial risks threaten to hold back planned new refineries and the expansion of existing facilities.

Viewpoint: “Intelligizing” the refinery for business sustainability
Schneider Electric: Freburger, G.

In today’s digital world, the line between IT and OT is blurring, and connectivity has become both inescapable and necessary. Connectivity is driving an influx of data that is both beneficial and overwhelming, especially as we explore how to apply this data in meaningful ways.

Industry Perspectives: Refining’s silver lining fades for major oil companies

For major oil companies, refining has offered a silver lining since the oil market crash that began in mid-2014. While overall profits have declined, healthy margins from the refining sector—owing to lower feedstock prices—have insulated many top companies from major losses.

Business Trends: Will India be Asia’s next downstream powerhouse?
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

The Asia-Pacific region dominates in the total number of active projects in all sectors of the downstream hydrocarbon processing industry. Just as China has seen unprecedented growth over the past decade, India is emerging as the globe’s new oil demand center.

Industry Metrics

US refinery utilization rates have increased in some areas following the peak of maintenance season.

Global Project Data
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

According to <i>Hydrocarbon Processing’s </i> Construction Boxscore Database, there were nearly 90 new project announcements from January 2015 to June 2015.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Andrew, Bob

Unintended fugitive emissions from pressurized plant components have long been a key concern for operators as well as regulators.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Rhodes, Mike

Amec Foster Wheeler Plc named Halliburton executive Dr. Jonathan Lewis as chief executive officer (CEO), effective June 1.