Economics

Viewpoint—Industry 4.0: Demystifying the next big thing in oil and gas

Habibi, E., PAS Global

Until a few years ago, the term Industrial Revolution referred to the significant technological changes that began in the late 1700s with the advent of the steam engine, leading to the mechanization of work and the unprecedented economic growth and prosperity that followed.

Refining—The evolving base oil industry: The Group 1 shift

Walko, T., ExxonMobil

In April, ExxonMobil launched its 2018 Basestocks Industry Pulse Report. Supported by survey responses from 300 base oil decision makers around the world, the report reveals their own perspectives into the key market trends and industry drivers in the base oils business.

Improve refinery production and efficiency with asset monitoring

Donnangelo, M., Emerson Automation Solutions

The sheer volume of equipment in a refinery—from vessels, columns, huge structures and mazes of pipes to pumps, valves, controllers and instruments—is staggering.

Global Project Data

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

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.

Viewpoint: Reducing the sulfur shadow— Who pays the price?

Wright, S., KBC

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) 2020 regulation has been described as the most disruptive change to impact the oil industry in the past 30 yr.

Risk: Measuring margins—Avoiding complacency when the market is stable

Lamb, J., Allegro Development Corp.

When top oil marketer Geneva Energy Markets LLC liquidated its trading book holding1 “millions of barrels of open interest across crude oil, refined products and natural gas,” managing partner Mark Vonderheide emphasized the pressures and potential damage of new market regulations.

The road to successful plant modernization

Kang, H., Yokogawa Corp. of America

Any personnel working in a refinery or heavy petrochemical plant with “vintage” automation equipment are painfully aware of the effects a distributed control system (DCS) from the 1990s, 1980s or even earlier can have on operations.

Amine pumps upgraded for improved operations and reliability

Yusoff, D., PETRONAS; Aronen, R., Bouden International

A gas processing plant in Malaysia eliminated a source of expensive failures in its acid gas removal unit (AGRU).

Industry Metrics

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

US margins recorded losses as crack spreads declined for all products except fuel oil, despite lower refinery crude intakes.

Refining: Chinese refining industry eyes production cuts, consolidation

Gerden, E., Contributing Writer

The Chinese refining industry is on the verge of massive production cuts and consolidation. A new tax rule aimed at curbing alleged tax evasion by independents and the end of an era of liberalization in the industry are driving the downsizing.