December 2020


Special Focus: Plant Design, Engineering and Construction

Optimizing methanol plant operations through minimal capital investments
Soto, J., Methanex Corp.

In the constant search for improvement, Methanex has developed a state-of-the-art project to improve plant operation at its methanol production facility in Punta Arenas, Chile (FIG. 1).

Optimize the selection of sulfur unit blocks and process technology combinations
Park, G. W., Kuwait Oil Co.

Since the 1940s, the present form of the Claus sulfur recovery unit (SRU) has been successfully applied in the refining and gas processing industries.

Reframe to boost innovation: Increase operational flexibility in the coker gas treatment unit
Hormazábal, C., Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (ENAP)

Often, when challenges are presented within tight time constraints, the industry can jump to a solution without proper analysis: “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions."

Debottleneck H2 production for gasifier PSA-based plant
Lai, H., COOEC Canada Co. Ltd.; Wu, Q., China National Offshore Oil Corp.

The Canadian oil sands reserves in the area surrounding Fort McMurray, Alberta in Canada contain in excess of 165 Bbbl of recoverable bitumen.

Using ASME Section VIII Division 2 Class 1 to your advantage
Nawandar, S., McDermott

It is globally recognized that ASME codes are widely used international codes for the construction of mechanical equipment operating in power, refining, petrochemical and nuclear facilities.

Manage project spares efficiently with these best practices
Iyer, K. R., M/s Indorama India Private Ltd.

Managing project spares is a very challenging task—one that is very different from managing a large warehouse.

Hydrocarbon Processing Top Project Awards 2020

Hydrocarbon Processing Top Project Awards 2020
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) continues to expand and modernize to efficiently meet growing demand for energy, transportation fuels and petrochemicals.

Process Optimization

Driving higher return with fuel-grade butanol at the refinery
Giles, J., Dow

Since the advent of the combustion engine, gasoline and automobile manufacturers have utilized additives as a means of improving overall fuel characteristics.

Dividing wall columns for fatty acids fractionation

The use of dividing wall columns (DWCs) has been a hot topic over the past decades, as DWCs can potentially bring huge savings in operational costs and capital investment.

Environment and Safety

Applying tools to strengthen safety and risk management
Pinto, N., Emerson

The same characteristics that make hydrocarbons useful as fuels can also make refineries, and any other areas where processing or storage takes place, potentially dangerous.

Maintenance and Reliability

Stress qualifications for standard and nonstandard valves in piping systems

Various types of valves are used in refineries, petrochemical plants, fertilizer plants and utilities.

High-frequency acoustic excitation—Part 1
Datta, A. K., Process Consultant

Failure of a piping section at the outlet of pressure safety valves (PSVs) and control valves—where significant differential pressure exists (particularly in gas processing industries)—is a common problem in industries.


Editorial Comment: HPI spending forecast to reach $491 B in 2021
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Who could have known that the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) would have been hit with such market volatility entering the new decade?

Reliability: The elements of a reliability framework
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Reliability frameworks have been documented by organizations such the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP).

Workforce: Five lessons to get the most out of remote training and tools
Munson, P., T.A. Cook & Partner Consultants

The past year has been a time of great challenges, and of great opportunities, for people to adapt and overcome the current restrictions on in-person meetings.

Executive Viewpoint: How digital transformation improves safety and reduces emissions
Carugo, M., Global Refining and Chemical Programs

Digital transformation is a strategy for improving performance by applying technologies for measurement, connectivity, data storage, analytics and visualization

Executive Viewpoint: The talent pipeline: The construction industry’s quest to find a skilled workforce
Gallagher, B., Graycor

The oil and gas industry experienced unprecedented disruption in 2020.

Industry Perspectives: New project announcements suffer in 2020 due to pandemic
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

According to Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database, more than 290 new projects have been announced in 2020.

Business Trends: Why we value engineering data

In the 21st century, one cannot escape the concept of data.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Honeywell has released Measurement IQ (MIQ) Optimize, an enterprise-wide solution for monitoring meters, gas chromatographs and other measurement assets. The

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Excelerate Energy adds new executive leadership with the promotion of Alisa Newman Hood and the addition of Amy Thompson