Petrochemicals

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.

Editorial Comment: Adopting digital technologies to enhance operations

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

What is the future of refining and petrochemical operations? One trend that has been the focus of many articles, whitepapers and conference presentations is the digital transformation of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).

Viewpoint: How digital transformation impacts daily manufacturing operations

Price, E., Honeywell Connected Enterprise

With the ever-increasing speed of technology innovation around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud offerings, industrial manufacturers are evaluating how these new solutions can impact their daily operations. Specifically, they are looking at how these innovations enable real-time, actionable insights across processes, assets and the workforce. These insights allow for quicker and more informed decisions, thereby driving efficiency and profitability.

Inspection: A practical approach to internal inspection of pressure equipment

Anwer, A., Contributing Editor

Internal inspections of pressure equipment involve a full inspection of the equipment. Inspection engineers and inspectors depend heavily on internal inspections to retrieve useful data, which includes information on active degradation mechanisms, corrosion rates, remaining equipment life, failure occurrences and failure expectations, among other critical details.

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.

Digital: How digital tools improve access to device information

Thompson, A., Emerson Automation Solutions

Welcome to the future! The plant runs fully automated; robots glide silently back and forth, ensuring an optimized process; and your maintenance technician—with a few keystrokes—can tell you exactly how each piece of equipment is running. The promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been delivered.

Cybersecurity visibility and resilience: Keys to protecting HSE/margins in operations

Garibi, C., Siemens Oil and Gas

As digitalization accelerates in today’s downstream refining and petrochemical facilities, operators need to stay ahead of ever-growing cyber vulnerabilities in the operational technology (OT) layer—prime targets for threat actors—that may not be covered by traditional IT safeguards. Unfortunately, too often, that is not the case for a variety of reasons.

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.

Optimal gas analysis decisions improve ethylene plant operation

Kamphus, M., McMillen, D., Emerson Automation Solutions

One of the most common and important building blocks in the petrochemical industry is ethylene, constituting a huge and fast-growing worldwide industry. Ethylene is an intermediate chemical used to manufacture many commercial products—approximately 200 MMt will be produced in 2020.

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.