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

Special Focus: Maintenance and Reliability

Root cause analysis on bearing failure on an induced draft fan
Saudi Aramco: Allah, W. K.

This case study aims to provide the root cause analysis behind bearing failure of an induced (ID) fan at a new refinery startup in 2015.

Equipment critical analysis: The need for an effective maintenance program
Toyo Engineering Canada Ltd.: Zardynezhad, S.

Oil refineries and large petrochemical plants contain thousands of pieces of process and utilities equipment that are subject to wear, erosion, deterioration, aging, etc., resulting in increasing breakdowns and outages. Imagine being a maintenance engineer and receiving 50 work orders during an overhaul with a limited budget, time, labor, spare parts, tools, machines, etc. How does that engineer prioritize the work?

Extend unit life at ammonia-urea plants with debottlenecking and equipment replacement
Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd.: Kumar, K. R. R.  |  Anand, G. V. S.

Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. (NFCL) operates a large, modern, integrated ammonia-urea complex with an annual capacity of 1.6 metric MMtpd of urea from natural gas feedstock. The facility is laid out in two units, located in Kakinada in India’s coastal state of Andhra Pradesh.

Continuous corrosion monitoring of crude overhead systems
Permasense: Davies, J.

The growing availability of light tight oils (LTOs) is resulting in a choice for refiners between upgrading metallurgy or chemical inhibition and corrosion monitoring to manage the increased corrosion risk. With tight budgetary constraints in place, many oil companies are opting for chemical inhibition and online corrosion monitoring.

A deeper examination of thermal expansion issues in process equipment and piping
Suncor Energy Inc.: Tharakan, J.

Piping and process equipment that operate at high temperatures experience thermal expansion. If free thermal expansion is restrained, mechanical stresses are created within the component.

Process Control and Instrumentation

Embracing MACs: A better way of executing automation projects
Burrow Global: James, N.  |  Savoie, J.

Historically, automation projects have been executed as single-transaction projects. Often, individual projects, along with phases within a given project, are bid with the potential for new vendors and different engineering teams.

Recommended practices for fired process heater instrumentation and control
Burns & McDonnell: Schaffer, C.

Fired process heaters are one of the most critical pieces of equipment within many refinery and petrochemical facilities. Proper instrumentation and control of the equipment has direct bearing on the successful operation of the process, as well as on overall facility process safety.

Heat Transfer

Improve energy efficiency with enhanced bundles in tubular heat exchangers
BAYERNOIL Raffineriegesellschaft mbH: Müller, A.  |  Kropp, A.  |  Köster, R.
Koch Heat Transfer Co. LP: Fazzini, M.

From 2008 to date, 45 twisted tube heat exchangers and bundles have been installed at BAYERNOIL refineries in different units and services, allowing higher heat recovery and contributing to BAYERNOIL’s energy targets.

Environment and Safety

Installation of liquid sulfur degassing processes in existing SRUs
Jacobs Comprimo Sulfur Solutions: Van Grinsven, R.  |  Van Son, M.

Over the last 35 yr, more companies worldwide have installed liquid sulfur degassing processes in their sulfur recovery units (SRUs) to minimize the dangers of the release of hydrogen sulfide from the produced elemental sulfur.

Prevent human-created hazards with improved job safety analysis
Apex Safety Consultants: Sawyer, M.  |  Jayawardena, P.

Safety incidents have occurred since the beginning of time. If a “hunter-gatherer” failed to return at the end of a day, the remaining group members took it in stride.

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HP announces launch of IRPC Europe, WGLC Europe, and HP Awards in Vienna
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Blume, Adrienne

Three co-located events allow for ease of networking and attendance in one of Europe’s most renowned cultural and artistic centers.


Editorial Comment: Maintenance—a value-added expense
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

This issue of <i>Hydrocarbon Processing</i> tackles one of the most integral aspects of the downstream industry (or any industry, for that matter): maintenance and reliability. These two terms go hand-in-hand and help to ensure efficient and safe operations.

Reliability: Understanding right-angle gear backlash
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

By definition, all gear units have teeth. These teeth are designed and produced to a certain strength, or a defined force-on-tooth, or an allowable pressure-load on tooth.

Automation Strategies: Adopting the IIoT: How the industry needs to rethink IT and OT relationships
Stratus Technologies: Fryer, J.

For the connected enterprise, what was once just a futuristic ideal is now becoming a reality. Step by step, organizations are beginning to put together the pieces of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Global: The future growth of Argentina’s oil and gas industry hinges on additional investments
Contributing Writer: Nogarin, M.

Attracting new investments is vital to revive the Argentine oil industry. It is essential to involve multinationals, due to the lack of financial resources of the Argentinian government. The modernization of the country’s downstream infrastructure is crucial to improve productivity, and the nation will need international support to obtain profitable results.

Water Management: How mobile water treatment solutions can benefit refineries
Veolia Water Americas: Reyes, M.

The Coffeyville plant is the only operating plant in North America using a petroleum coke gasification process to make hydrogen, a key ingredient in its manufacturing process.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 96: Career paths—technical and management
Consulting Engineer: Sofronas, A.

I have spent most of my career in the mechanical engineering technical area because that is what I do best. I was a manager of advanced engineering for many years, but then realized that it was not my calling.

Industry Perspectives: Hydrocarbon Processing’s IRPC returns to Europe in June
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Founded in 2009, Gulf Publishing Company and Hydrocarbon Processing’s International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC) provides a series of events for the international downstream industry covering technical innovations, and exploring both the challenges and opportunities found in today’s market.

Business Trends: Human reliability—a disruptive innovation
Small Hammer Inc.: Snider, B.

Annual bottom-line losses due to equipment failures total more than $100 MM at major refineries and petrochemical complexes. Corporate executives charge plant personnel with improving the reliability of the facility.

Industry Metrics

A lack of gasoline export opportunities amid increasing inflows of middle distillates impacted the European market. Stronger US domestic gasoline demand and falling inventories ahead of the transition to summer-grade quality supported refinery margins. The Asia market was impacted by a stronger domestic gasoline demand amid an upcoming switch to summer grades.

Global Project Data

A global LNG supply glut has put many mega-LNG projects in doubt in 2017. This predicament has many industry experts heralding it as the end of the mega-LNG project era.


The Natural Gas Public Company of Cyprus (DEFA) has named Dr. Symeon Kassianides as the Non-Executive Chairman of DEFA. Dr. Kassianides is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Hyperion Systems Engineering Group.