Refining and Petrochemicals

Australia's Ampol may shut oil refinery despite national security push

Ampol Ltd is considering closing its Lytton oil refinery, one of Australia's four refineries, as it has racked up big losses because of a coronavirus-driven slump in fuel demand and competition from huge Asian plants.

IMF recommends that Pemex postpones new refinery construction

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended that construction of the Dos Bocas oil refinery on the Tabasco coast be postponed.

Shape the refinery of the future through integration

The negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment has become widely accepted, and our global society has begun to focus on alternative fuels. The pollution of the local, regional and global environment has become a primary concern.

Shell preparing three Louisiana oil refineries for approaching Hurricane Delta

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s oil refineries in Convent, Geismar and Norco, Louisiana, are monitoring and preparing responses to the threat from Hurricane Delta, the company said.

Come-by-Chance refinery in Newfoundland sale falls through, could be headed for closure

An agreement for NARL Holdings to sell the 130,000 bpd refinery in Newfoundland, Canada to Irving Oil has been terminated, according to a statement from Irving Oil. The original intent for Irving’s purchase dates to May 2020.

Sasol to raise $2B in part sale of U.S chemicals unit to LyondellBasell

South Africa's Sasol announced chemical company LyondellBasell Industries has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in a unit of its U.S-based business for $2 billion, helping the petrochemicals firm to cut debt.

Japan's Eneos permanently shuts 115,000-bpd Osaka CDU

Japan’s biggest refiner, Eneos Corp, permanently shut the 115,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) crude distillation unit at its Osaka refinery on September 30 as planned, a company spokeswoman said.

Nigeria aims to revamp refineries, end oil-for-fuel swaps

Nigeria aims to end the country’s so-called oil-for-fuel swaps system in the near future and rely instead on oil products from local refineries, which it hopes to have running again by 2023, the head of Nigeria’s national oil company NNPC said.

Mexico investment plan's energy projects focus on Pemex refining

A $14 billion investment plan unveiled by the Mexican government focuses energy outlays on the refining business of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), aiming to boost the state oil firm’s ability to process heavy crudes.

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

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.

Executive Viewpoint: How to develop a successful asset management strategy during the coronavirus downturn

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted all sectors of the oil and gas industry, including asset management. Many plants around the world are operating in emergency mode or shutdown. No one knows how long this crisis will last, nor can anyone realistically predict the scope of the economic impact it will have. Therefore, it is crucial to minimize costs, while not compromising the effectiveness of industrial plants.

Editorial Comment: Processing a sustainable future

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Business Trends: Rethinking the refining and petrochemicals industries

Crude oil has been the fundamental element of transportation fuel for many decades. However, market factors are changing this dynamic, creating incentives for some organizations to consider oil-to-chemical complexes to maintain a competitive edge.

Executive Viewpoint: Sustainability: Initiatives, innovation and solutions to crucial challenges

Hydrocarbon Processing’s Editor-in-Chief/Associate Publisher, Lee Nichols, was pleased to speak with Jim Becker (JB), Vice President, Polymers and Sustainability for Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem). The following Q&A provides insights on CP Chem’s sustainability initiatives, plastic waste bans around the world, advances in chemical recycling technologies and solutions to help mitigate plastic waste around the world.

Middle East: Saudi Arabia eyes major growth in petrochemicals market

Saudi Arabia aims to become a major player in the global petrochemicals market within the next several years, with plans to increase domestic and foreign production and expand its exports.

Petrochemicals: Growth, challenges, advancements and the technologies shaping an industry

Over the past decade, capital investments in new petrochemical capacity have skyrocketed. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in capacity expansions, upgrades and grassroots facilities, and the industry is not done yet.

Engineering propylene: Value unlocking with the PDH process

Propylene is at the core of the petrochemical industry, with the synthesis of its numerous derivatives finding greater application in industries from textile to automobile, cosmetics and beyond. Propylene is also a foundation block/intermediate for numerous chemicals, from isopropanol to polypropylene (a widely used synthetic material) to gasoline octane enhancers.

Advances in the OCC process for propylene production

Driven by rising demand for polypropylene, cumene, acrylonitrile and other derivatives, increasing global demand is seen for propylene.

Business Trends: The downstream dilemma: Past, present and future of downstream energy

The oil industry’s interest in the downstream segment of the business has known ups and downs. This article reviews the past, present and projected future of the downstream sector and its companies.

Safe and sustainable alkylation: Performance and update on composite ionic liquid alkylation technology

Market and regulatory factors are pressuring refiners to adopt safe and sustainable processes for the production of clean-burning and environmentally friendly fuels.

U.S. modularization—Keep an eye toward the most economical approach

Modularization has been discussed extensively as a means to facilitate the construction of significant projects. Many benefits exist for modularization, including controlled construction and schedule improvement. Due to the controlled environment for module construction, quality is more easily achieved and weather is not an issue. In addition, construction in remote areas (where field labor is a concern) is minimized.

Industry Perspectives: Petrochemicals surge despite possible future roadblocks

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.

Adopting digital technologies to enhance operations

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.

Ultra-low-sulfur fuels: The evolution of clean fuels production

One of the most significant trends affecting the refining industry over the past 30 yr is the drive toward clean fuels production. A major aspect of “clean fuels” focuses on mitigating pollutants—carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter—from vehicle exhaust.

Business Trends: Application of blockchain technology in the petrochemical industry

A JV between Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons and Marathon Oil plans to build a modular refinery on Bioko Island. In late April, the JV signed a contract to VFuels to conduct a feasibility study for the 5,000-bpd facility. The project involves dismantling a methanol plant and converting it into a refinery. If built, the facility—part of Equatorial Guinea’s Year of Investment 2020 initiative—would provide refined products to satisfy increasing domestic demand.

Construction begins at massive polymer plant

A construction site in the Amur Region saw the sinking of the first test pile in the foundation of Amur Gas Chemical Complex, a facility set to become one of the world’s largest and most advanced basic polymer producers. The official ceremony was held online and was attended via video conference by Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, relevant Ministers, Vasily Orlov, Governor of the Amur Region, Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board at SIBUR Holding, and other representatives of government authorities, the Company and its partners.

Despite pandemic driven demand declines and slashed capital expenditures, petrochemical activity is still expected to rebound

Petrochemical investments have dramatically risen in the last ten years due to growing demand for plastic products and other chemicals, most notably in developing nations. The International Energy Agency’s “The Future of Petrochemicals” has stated that upcoming demand will increase by nearly 200 million tons per year (MMtpy) by the year 2050, and that petrochemical activities will be responsible for one third of oil demand growth in the next ten years.

ADNOC and Abu Dhabi-Based Group 42 launch AI joint venture

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced the launch of AIQ, its Artificial Intelligence (AI) joint venture (JV) company with Group 42 (G42), an Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud computing company.