Americas

Executive Viewpoint: Fuels and petrochemicals will continue to help humanity thrive

Thompson, C., American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)

A 15-yr rise in U.S. exports of refined products continued in 2019 with the nation exporting more than ever, underscoring the importance of these products to fueling a growing world. In the latter half of the last decade, U.S. petrochemical production capacity increased—with more than $20 B invested in domestic petrochemical projects in the last 2 yr alone—and exports of petrochemicals and petrochemical feedstocks rose, as well.

Project Management: How human intelligence and AI are driving project planning in the oil and gas industry

Patterson, D., InEight

The science of project planning has something of a tenuous reputation. How often do large oil and gas capital expenditure (CAPEX) projects really come in according to plan? Almost never. Indeed, 30% of respondents to a 2018 PWC survey said they had experienced cost overruns of 10%–50% on their Middle East capital projects.

Brazilian developments in the biofuels market

Since the 1970s, Brazil has been a world reference in automotive biofuels, especially bioethanol produced from sugarcane. In 1973, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forced a sharp rise in oil prices, triggering a massive slowdown in the country’s economic growth, which had been going through what was dubbed the “economic miracle,” with growth at an average of 12% of GDP. This study gives an overview of the biofuel sector in Brazil, along with the main business challenges and opportunities in this area.

Circular economy: Getting in the door of opportunity ahead of a vanishing polymer market

Bjacek, P., Accenture

Significant change is coming to the hydrocarbons industry. Up to 43% of the global conventional polymer production expected by 2040 may disappear due to circular economy (CE) initiatives. In addition, due to the growth in wind turbines and solar panels, and in lightweight composite materials in cars and planes, advanced materials waste is just beginning.

Roundtable: The skills gap: How to bridge it and how to close it

Marx, J., Airswift; Stuart, J., Lloyd's Register; Peet, H., Energy Jobline

The skills gap is not a new phenomenon for the oil and gas sector. An aging workforce and increased competition for tomorrow’s technical talent have left the industry nervous about its future. On the heels of the 2019 Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), a panel of experts came together to discuss the sector’s ongoing struggle with the skills gap and what oil and gas/energy companies can do about it.

Onsite

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Construction

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Equatorial Guinea plans to invest $1 B to build several energy projects, including the construction of two new refineries, each with a capacity of 30,000 bpd–40,000 bpd, as well as oil storage facilities, a methanol-to-gasoline plant and an LNG expansion project.

Global Project Data

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database is tracking more than 1,430 projects around the world, representing nearly $1.9 T in capital expenditures.

Industry Perspectives: Petrochemicals surge despite possible future roadblocks

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Over the past several years, investments in petrochemicals capacity additions have skyrocketed. Hundreds of billions of dollars have and will be invested in additional petrochemicals units and complexes.

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.