January 2015


Special Report: LNG, NGL and Alternative Feedstocks

Maximize LPG recovery from fuel gas using a dividing wall column

Refiners are challenged to recover LPG from mixed fuel gas streams due to the difficulty of separating the lighter components from bulk gas. To maintain profitability, it is essential to direct all of the crude oil components to the optimum disposition. This practice is becoming more significant due to increasing LPG demand in some countries and the supply of lighter crudes in countries such as the US.

Shale gas drives new opportunities for US downstream
Maller, A., Dharia, D., Gbordzoe, E., Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology; Lambert, N., Axens

This shift to lighter feeds for the SC will reduce the future availability of other petrochemical feedstocks—in particular, propylene.

Optimize amine sweetening with an optical O2 analyzer
Hammond, S., Barben Analytical

After extraction, raw natural gas must go through processing before it is suitable for industrial, commercial and residential usage. The first stage of gas processing is known as “sweetening,..

Process Automation and Control

DCS migration: Lessons learned
Conley, R., TOTAL Port Arthur refinery

In 2005, TOTAL’s Port Arthur refinery (PAR), like many present-day refining and petrochemical facilities, found itself with an obsolete, at-capacity distributed control system (DCS). As shown in ..

Project Management

Avoid counterproductive project management practices
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

For many years, reliability-focused engineers have observed flawed procurement processes for mechanical equipment. Many requirements are supposedly aimed at the lowest possible lifecycle cost; however..

Risk Management

Use a schedule confidence tool to manage project risk
Shaw, J. L., CH2M Hill

On most industrial projects, the baseline schedule completion date and the indicated schedule completion date are typically the same, unless the schedule is forcibly re-baselined. Key learnings have indicated that a reevaluation of the scope, schedule and budget is essential.

Fine-tune monitoring of critical compressors
Loeken, J., PROGNOST Systems GmbH

In this case history, a new monitoring system was installed on a critical service hyper compressor for a Middle East (ME) ethylene complex. This unit supported two 400 Mton polyethylene (PE) units; do..

Rotating Equipment

Consider technology to reduce compressor vibration and noise problems
Liu, Z., Dresser-Rand

Industrial centrifugal compressors installed in hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) complexes absorb significant amounts of mechanical power when compressing gases. A small part of the mechanical en..

Achieve successful compressor startup by addressing dry-gas seal failure
Zardynezhad, S., Toyo Engineering Canada Ltd.

A common root cause for compressor failure during first startup is a failure of the dry-gas seal (DGS) system. To avoid failures of gas compressors, the project team and end users must understand the importance and significance of the DGS very early in the basic design phase.


Without reliability, there can be no safety
Dutta, H., Oil Industry Safety Directorate

Reliability and safety are complimentary concepts. For instance, unless process reliability at a plant is extraordinary, safety cannot be assured. Achieving the highest level of safety at a processing..


HP Editorial Comment: Alternative energy?
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Alternative energy is a point-of-reference term. Natural gas is an alternative energy resource for transportation fuels. As more natural gas resources are developed, natural gas is displacing coal as ..

HP Reliability: Plan now to deal with stressed equipment later
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) “Today in Energy” brief evaluated how US refineries are processing record amounts of crude oil (Fig. 1), with Midwest and Gulf Co..

HP Automation Strategies: Control on the wire(less)
Gupta, M. S., ARC Advisory Group

Since the industrial revolution, process/industrial control had relied on tightly coupled systems to transmit control signals. Industrial plants have used “modern” control via wired electron..

HP Project Management: German refinery successfully modernizes safety system
Romahn, T., Heide Refinery-Klesch Group; Cisler, M., HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH

In September 2014, the Heide refinery in Germany used two weeks of planned downtime at its pyrolysis plant to migrate to new safety systems. The new system emphasized high plant/equipment availability..

HP Global: State of the US petrochemical/chemical industry
Swift, T. K., American Chemistry Council

After a promising start, the global economy faltered in 2014 with heightened geopolitical uncertainty; recessions in Brazil, Japan and many European nations; and slowdowns in China, the Euro Area and ..

HP Petrochemicals: Global PE demand growth to drive downstream expansions
Asaro, M., IHS Markit

According to IHS Chemical, global demand for polyethylene (PE) is expected to increase by more than 25% during the next five years, from approximately 85 million metric tons (metric MMt) in 2014, to m..

HP Boxscore Construction Analysis: Malaysia embarks on ambitious downstream transformation program
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Goals include more production at offshore fields, as well as constructing downstream projects in Pengerang, Bintulu and the launch of the world’s first floating LNG vessel.

HP Industry Perspectives: Keystone XL: It is time to move forward, Mr. President

In a media call, the American Petroleum Institute (API) president and CEO Jack Gerard emphasized that it is time for the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward, and he requested urgent action by Preside..

HP News

Fuel cells to experience a bright future due to natural gasRising natural gas production is facilitating growth for both stationary fuel cells that provide power to business and the utility grid, as w..

HP Industry Metrics

Recent declines in oil pricing and the associated volatility in future pricing has created a difficult forecasting environment. Other factors are causing deviations, especially with regard to the resp..

HP Innovations
Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Conductivity meter resolves SDA dosingA major Asian refinery approached Stanhope-Seta and D-2 Technologies to assess its options for automatic dosing of static dissipater additive (SDA) in the jet fue..

HP People

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) announced that Brendan Williams has been promoted to executive vice president, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Mr. Williams joined AFPM in 2007 as director of government relations and advanced to become senior vice president of advocacy in 2013.

HP Free Literature
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Mokon launches new multi-device website  The design of Mokon’s new, improved website provides customers with an interactive experience for viewing information and comparisons in the selectio..

HP New Developments
Meche, Helen, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Series 590 valves by SAMSON are available in sizes NPS 16 to NPS 32. The valves are tailored to ASME standards and are suitable for challenging control applications.