Featured Articles
Executive Viewpoint: Succeeding against cyber attacks

No doubt exists that the added connectivity that modern control and automation systems deliver offers a myriad of benefits. By embedding computing within the process and utilizing edge and cloud technologies, it can provide greater visibility. It creates a digital thread for the plant and allows both equipment and the processes to be analyzed, as well as giving prescriptive advice.

Reliability: When slow-rolling machines can cause failures, and how to avoid them
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

All the book learning in the world will fail if we do not use common sense. We could also say that we need to think things through and should recognize that intuitive logic can lead us astray. If that sounds like semantic banter, let us zero in on three practical field examples that illustrate the issues at hand.

IMO 2020 stability and compatibility headaches
Curcio, L. E., Barsamian, A., Refinery Automation Institute, LLC

The year 2020 will be a mess from the fuel oil stability and compatibility points of view. The year will be price-driven, so the temptation to “cut corners” is great—meaning that a highly variable number of blend components to manufacture the fuel oil will open a “Pandora’s box” of complex and questionable fuel formulations.

Consider installing a VFD to increase reliability and savings
Vila Forteza, M., Petronor

The Petronor oil refinery is in the north of Spain and is part of REPSOL Group. In 2019, the facility upgraded the driver of a reformer’s draft fan from a general-purpose steam turbine and gearbox to a variable frequency drive (VFD) electric motor.

Business Trends: One downstream—Strategic imperatives for the evolving refining and chemical sectors
Dickson, D., Slaughter, A., Deloitte Services; Mittal, A., Deloitte Services LP

Downstream executives will remember the present decade as a golden age for the industry, driven by low feedstock prices and healthy end-use demand.

Daily Oil
& Gas Prices

Global Construction Projects

Data provided by Construction Boxscore.

According to Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database, more than 320 new projects have been announced in the downstream processing industry over the past year.

EWA Analysis

Boxscore new project announcements, April 2018–present

Active project market share by region 

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Tech Talk
Threats Challenging US Downstream Market 2020 Profitability

As the U.S. trade wars are prolonged with multiple countries, the battle is leaving the supply chain with few choices as impacts from the tariffs grow.

Construction Boxscore: Project Spotlight

For additional downstream construction project data, visit Construction Boxscore.

Project: Polyethylene & Polypropylene
Location: Point Comfort, TX
Operator: Formosa Plastics
Cost: Not Yet Announced
Capacity: 400,000 tpy
Completion date: 2020
Status: Construction
Project: Refinery Rehab
Location: Ndala, Zambia
Operator: Indeni Refinery
Cost: $500MM
Capacity: 50,000 bpd
Completion date: 2022
Status: Planning
Project: Specialty Fluids
Location: Bayport, Texas
Operator: Total Specialty Fluids
Cost: 100MM
Capacity: 250,000 tpy
Completion date: 2016
Status: Operational
Project: Sebastopol Refinery
Location: Cartegena, Columbia
Operator: Sebastopol
Cost: $5 Billion
Capacity: 150,000 bpd
Completion date: 2023
Status: Engineering