Safety

A reusable sponge could ‘revolutionize’ oil spill, diesel cleanup

CHICAGO -- Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have invented a new foam, called Oleo Sponge, that can be used to clean up oil and diesel spills in water. The material not only quickly adsorbs oil from water, but also is reusable and can pull dispersed oil from the entire water column—not just the surface.

Minimize operations risks for increased resilience, safety and reliability

Pariyani, A., Oktem, U., Near-Miss Management, LLC

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” The reverse also is true, particularly in the context of safety in the process industry.

Implement proactive asset management techniques

Natarelli, J., T.A. Cook Consultants Inc.

The drop in crude oil prices since 2014 has impacted both upstream producers and downstream players. Upstream producers—those responsible for exploration, drilling and production—were the first to feel the effects. While refining margins benefitted from the drop in crude oil pricing, they began to suffer when record surpluses of gasoline and diesel flooded the market a year later.

Hybrid technique for electroslag strip cladding of critical process equipment

Chattopadhyay, P., Nateghi, A., Lincoln Electric

One of the major challenges in the oil and gas processing industry is to strike a balance among handling the changing qualities of petroleum products and byproducts, increasing the productivity and service life of critical components and reducing environmental hazards. As an example, new refineries are moving to applying conversion methods, such as hydrocracking, to increase yields, while also utilizing conventional distillation. This juxtaposition translates into a higher Nelson Index rating. Greater refinery complexity makes processing low-quality crude oil difficult, if not impossible, thereby precluding bottom-of-the-barrel products.

Driving innovation in the downstream: IRPC returns to New Delhi

Adrienne Blume, Hydrocarbon Processing

Gulf Publishing Company and Hydrocarbon Processing are pleased to announce that IRPC 2017 will be held April 18–20 in New Delhi.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 95—How to avoid becoming overwhelmed in a failure situation

Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

When you are involved with a major failure and find yourself staring at pieces of debris scattered all over the area, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.

Editorial Comment: Corrosion prevention starts at fabrication

Andrew, Bob, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Preventing corrosion begins with the choice of materials and methods used to fabricate the equipment, piping, valves and instruments that will be exposed to varying process conditions and weather. At present, designers and fabricators can select from a multitude of modern materials and methods. Once in service, effective asset integrity programs will use smart condition monitoring and, where needed, a treatment regime to sustain the useful working life of all components. In the Special Focus section of this issue, we provide several articles that illustrate good practices in vessel fabrication, corrosivity analysis and corrosion prevention treatment.

Reliability: The risks of deferred compressor maintenance

Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

At a recent conference attended by failure investigation professionals in San Antonio, Texas, a participant spoke about an explosion and fire event on a multistage horizontally opposed compressor in oxygen (O2) service. He had scant data, but he knew the machine did not have cylinder lubrication.

Never waste a shutdown to improve process safety and uptime

Loseto, M., Honeywell Process Solutions

Process safety cannot be ensured solely by design, as it relies on the effective operability of safety and control components. Effective operability is influenced by factors that include the condition of components and operational practices.

Power outage halts output at Mexico's Tula crude refinery

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Mexico's second-biggest oil refinery was hit by a power outage that halted production, state oil company Pemex said on Saturday.