Process Optimization

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.

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.

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.

Digital: Technologies are advancing industry beyond alarm management

Hollifield, B., PAS Global

Let’s face it, alarm management is a fully mature body of knowledge. Since the mid-1990s, industry has improved thousands of alarm systems, transforming them from overloaded nuisances to valuable operator tools for abnormal situation detection and response.

Editorial Comment: Processing a sustainable future

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

An emerging topic along the entire oil and gas value chain is the move toward sustainability. Each company has a somewhat different definition of what sustainability means to its operations.

Onsite

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Business Trends: EPC 2030: Five vital characteristics that will define the EPC firm of tomorrow

Donnelly, P., AspenTech

The state of the global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) industry can accurately be described as “challenging.” Operating in an environment of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions, EPC firms are facing unsustainable levels of stress.

FCCU catalyst reformulations: Reducing risk and guaranteeing value with collaboration/testing

Hellenic Petroleum S.A.’s Aspropyrgos refinery is located near Athens, Greece. It has a total refining capacity of approximately 7.5 MMtpy and a Nelson complexity index of 9.7. The refinery was built in 1958 and has undergone several upgrades, including the installation of a fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU).