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Extensive update of
Middle East refining and
petrochemical industries | MAY 2015

Thorough review explores
ways to optimize hydrogen
compressor operations

Improve sizing of emergency
relief devices for olefins units


and Reliability
Proper maintenance and inspection programs
support safe and reliable plant operations


Your hydraulic and instrumentation tubing might pass the test. But how well does it
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MAY 2015|Volume 94 Number 5


41 Reduce maintenance and production losses
by benchmarking asset performance
M. Naik


Consider new labyrinth seals to optimize compressor operations

T. Gresh and J. K. Whalen


Maximize energy recovery with small steam turbines

K. Kaupert, R. Krull and R. Iles



Industry Metrics
Advertiser Index

Lubrication update for rotating equipment

H. P. Bloch

65 The Middle Easts strategic expansion of refined products exports
M. Rhodes

79 Use new methods to optimize energy efficiency
of hydrogen compressors


Change is redefining
the petrochemical industry




HP staff


93 IRPC 2015: Advancing the global HPI
by sharing knowledge and best practices
HP staff
Cover Image: Photo courtesy of Linde Gases.

Project Management
Build a better bid, or how to achieve
a competitive advantage
in capital projects


Uganda proceeds with new refinery

D. Smith and J. Burgess


T-97 Safety and environmental updates for HPI storage tanks

Automation Strategies
Developing the best practices
for operator effectiveness
in the age of collaboration

F. Sadeghi, S. Sadeghi and U. Sundararaj

91 Improve relief-device sizing under supercritical conditions

Reassessing and updating
electric motor bearing lubrication

M. Vila Forteza

87 Improve measurement of heavy oil viscosity

Editorial Comment


M&A deals rise as investors push
petrochemical leaders to restructure


Engineering Case Histories

Case 84: Remaining service life
of plant equipment can be determined


Methanol takes on LNG
for future marine fuels


P. O. Box 2608
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31 May3 June 2015

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Attend the HPIs Premier Event

for Senior-Level Engineering and
Management Professionals: IRPC 2015
Keynote Speaker:

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Executive Vice President, Research
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eni - Rening & Marketing Division

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Co-hosts, TAKREER, Hydrocarbon Processing, and dmg:events Middle East (organizers
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Select 95 at



Change is redefining the petrochemical industry

At a recent downstream conference, a
speaker urged attendees to embrace the
volatility of the hydrocarbon processing
industry (HPI). This is odd advice, considering that most HPI companies labor
very hard to minimize volatility from their
business plans and plant operations. Another way to view this advice would be:
Expect change (good or bad) and run
with it. The petrochemical industry is
embracing more change that is largely
due to the recent drop in crude oil prices.
Bellwether chemical. Global demand

for ethylene is expected to grow slightly

above the GDP, according to Steve Lewandowski, global business director at
IHS Chemical. On a global annual average, ethylene capacity increases are barely
keeping up with demand.
Change is a constant. The ethylene

industry is changing, and forecasting the

next demand/supply cycle is becoming
more complex.
Naphtha remains the No. 1 steam
cracker feedstock, accounting for more
than 50% of the global demand. Ethane
and other NGLs make up about 30%,
said ExxonMobil Chemical Senior Vice
President Matt Aguiar at the 2015 IHS
World Petrochemical Conference.
Changes are unfolding due to abundant supplies of shale oil and gas and
associated NGLs. Rising production
of NGLs is driving a global shift toward
NGLs as a chemical feedstock, Aguiar
said. ExxonMobil sees demand for NGL
feedstocks rising by about 125% through
2014, compared to 70% for naphtha. We
expect NGLs to surpass naphtha as the
top feedstock in the chemical sector.

Investment drivers. New construction

activity for North American (NA) petrochemical projects is driven by abundant
low-cost natural gas. These investments
are focused on ethylene, propylene and
methanol-based derivatives.

27Project management.

How can operating and E&C

companies plan and develop worldscale projects successfully?

Too many megaprojects are over

Capitalizing on innovation. Other

changes are unfolding in the production of

ethylene. For example, Siluria and Braskem
America have successfully launched a
large-scale demonstration plant of the first
gas-to-ethylene process using the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) process.
This process directly converts natural gas
(methane) to ethylene.
OCM is not a new technology. For
over 30 years, several companies have researched how to efficiently convert methane into ethylene. Siluria has achieved a
breakthrough in the OCM process.
Siluria is working with the Linde
Group to develop ethylene technologies
for both world-scale and revamp projects based on the OCM technology. For
NA ethylene producers, the OCM process can provide more process flexibility.
A commercial unit is planned for 2017
An expanded version of Editorial
Comment can be found online

budget or behind schedule. Ron

Beck, director of industry marketing,
engineering and construction,
AspenTech, explains how better and
transparent communication
is needed between operating and
E&C companies.


Methanol may
be the marine fuel of the

future, according to Gregory Dolan,

CEO of the Methanol Institute. New,
strict rules on NOx and sulfur emissions
for emission control areas require
shipowners to use lower-sulfur fuels.
Dolan shares how methanol has a viable
place in the marine fuel market.



and reliability programs create value.

In the modern HPI, they should not
be viewed as services. HPI facilities
constantly investigate new monitoring
and conditioning systems, along
with preventive maintenance and
inspection programs to add value to
their organizations.

The Middle East.
The Middle East is transforming its
downstream business to be both
vertically integrated across the value

Cost is everything. Feedstocks are as

much as 70% of the manufacturing cost

for ethylene. At higher crude oil prices,
other feedstocks and ethylene technologiescoal-to-olefins and methanol-toolefinsoffer processing advantages.


chain and horizontally integrated across

diverse geographies. The region is
making decisive moves to become a
FIG. 1. The OCM demonstration unit at
Braskem Americas La Porte, Texas, complex.

manufacturing center for the global

downstream industry.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 20159

| News
Shell to become largest LNG player
with 47-B BG Group acquisition
Royal Dutch Shells agreement to purchase BG Group for approximately 47 B
in cash and shares is the oil and gas industrys biggest deal in at least a decade.
Shell saw its 2014 worldwide production drop to the equivalent of 3.08 MMbpd,
the lowest in at least 17 years, while BG boosted reserves in six of the past
seven years, 78% of which were gas, compared with 47% for Shell.
Shell expects the acquisition to accelerate its growth strategy, adding
approximately 25% to the companys proved oil and gas reserves and 20% to
production, each on a 2014 basis. The deal will also provide Shell with enhanced
positions in competitive new oil and gas projects, particularly in Australia LNG
and Brazil deepwater areas.
Shell said that the merged company, led by Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, will
boast a market value twice the size of BP.



Neste Oils Porvoo

refinery begins massive
maintenance turnaround
Hailed as the largest refinery maintenance turnaround to date, the Neste Oil
Porvoo, Finland, maintenance project
will cost nearly 100 MM and involve
4,500 employees and some 3,500 outside
The facility began unit shutdowns in
April, and, during the scheduled eightweek turnaround, Neste Oil will sell
products from its storage. The Finland
refinerys oil terminal and road transportation of products will continue to operate normally. Investment projects related
to refinery developmentsuch as the installation of new furnaces in the crude oil
distillation unit, the significant replacement of automation in several areas and
the connections to prepare for upcoming
projectswill also be completed.
Regular maintenance turnarounds every four to five years play an important
part in keeping Neste Oil refinery operations safe and running at peak efficiency
(FIG. 1). Statutory pressure vessel inspections and maintenance also call for shutdowns at regular intervals. The previous
major turnaround at the Porvoo refinery
took place in 2010.

ing in International Maritime Organization

(IMO) emission control areas (ECAs),
MeOH is a solution for complying with
S-emissions legislation. MeOH can also
be stored in normal, unpressurized tanks:
delivery by train, truck and/or ship is already in place in many areas globally, and
establishing and expanding the existing
MeOH infrastructure is feasible, even for
individual ships operating in remote areas.
The MAN B&W ME-LGI engine design (FIG. 2) overcomes the challenge of
low-cetane-number fuels, such as MeOH,

which has a characteristically poor selfignition quality that utilizes the ME-LGI
principle of pilot injection of MGO or
HFO. Fuel injection is accomplished by
a fuel booster injection valve (FBIV), using 300 bar of hydraulic power to raise the
fuel pressure to an injection pressure of
approximately 600 bar.
To date, MAN Diesel & Turbo has
received orders for seven ME-LGI enginesa mixture of 7S50ME-LGI and
6G50ME-LGI variantsfrom Mitsui
OSK Lines, Marinvest and Westfal-Larsen.

FIG. 1. The Neste Oil maintenance project at its Porvoo, Finland, refinery will cost 100 MM.

MAN methanol engine

achieves successful
At its diesel research center in Copenhagen, Denmark, MAN Diesel & Turbo
successfully demonstrated the ME-LGI
(liquid gas injection) concept, expanding the companys dual-fuel portfolio and
enabling the use of more sustainable fuels
such as methanol (MeOH), ethanol and
LPG. For the purpose of the event, the
company rebuilt its 50MX test engine to
accommodate an ME-LGI unit.
MeOH is viable as a ship fuel because
it does not contain sulfur (S) and is liquid
in ambient air conditions, which makes it
easy to store aboard ships. For ships operat-

FIG. 2. MAN customers and partners take part in the demonstration of its ME-LGI concept.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201511

The first engine will be produced by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
(MES) for a vessel currently under construction by Minaminippon Shipbuilding
Co. Ltd. for Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. MAN
has previously stated that it is working toward a Tier 3-compatible ME-LGI version
that can meet IMO NOx limits with the
aid of secondary measures. More information about this technology can be found in
the Viewpoint article on page 37.

Reliance commissions
two new plants
Reliance Industries Ltd. has successfully put into operation two plants in Dahej,
Gujarat, India.
The first is a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin plant that consists of two
lines with a combined manufacturing capacity of 650 metric Mtpy. The plant has
been built with Invista technology for con-


High performance, advanced separation and

filtration systems dramatically decrease or eliminate
contamination downstream. High efficiency means
increased profits, safety measures and environmental
impact. Reduce or eliminate:

tinuous polymerization and Buhler AG

technology for solid-state polymerization.
This is one of the largest bottle-grade
PET resin capacities at a single location
globally. PET resin from the new capacity would find application in packaging
for water, carbonated soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, and other food and beverages. Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and
monoethylene glycol (MEG)the two
feedstocks for the new PET plantare
available within the Dahej complex, offering the advantages of lower freight costs
and consistent product quality due to inhouse raw material linkages.
The second facility is a new PTA plant
that provides a capacity of 1.15 MMtpy.
With the commissioning of this plant,
also built with Invista technology, Reliances total PTA capacity will increase to
3.2 MMtpy, and its global capacity share
will rise to 4%.
Paraxylene, the key feedstock for the
PTA plant, is sourced from Reliances Jamnagar refinery (FIG. 3). The PTA plant is
also forward integrated with the 650-Mtpy
PET plant in the same complex, lowering
operating costs and capturing full chain
margins. Another PTA plant of similar capacity is under construction at the same
location, placing Reliant among the top
five PTA manufacturers globally.
India is the second-largest producer
of polyester, with estimated production
of 5.4 MMtpy. The Indian polyester market is growing at 8%10% annually. The
Indian market is deficient in PTA by over
1.5 MMtpy.

Mitsubishi unveils $1-B

Trinidad methanol project


Japans Mitsubishi Group will build a

methanol (MeOH) and dimethyl ether
(DME) plant in Trinidad and Tobago at
an investment cost of roughly $1 B, project officials have confirmed.
The project will be operated by Caribbean Gas Chemical, and will be jointly owned
by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. (25.26%),


(936) 788-1000
FIG. 3. Reliances Jamnagar refinery will
supply the key feedstock, paraxylene, for the
companys new PTA plant in Dahej, India.


Select 152 at

This water wash injector uses

an offset flange and a WhirlJet
hollow cone nozzle. A CFD study
determined that this design provides
the best coverage without heavy
wall impingement.


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Design validation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI).
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Mitsubishi Corp. (26.25%), Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries (MHI) (17.5%), and
Trinidad and Tobagos state-owned National Gas Co. (NGC) (20.0%) and Trinidadbased Massy Holdings Ltd. (10.0%).
The project, scheduled to begin by October 2018 and to be completed by June
2018, would have a capacity of 1 MMtpy
of MeOH and 20 Mtpy of DME. The
MeOH will be sold worldwide, according
to the partners.

The companies will work closely with

the government of Trinidad and Tobago to
promote the use of DME as a substitute for
diesel. The partners said they have already
concluded contracts for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), as well
as for gas supply and relevant land leases.
Discussions are underway with a syndicate
of Japanese banks to finalize the loan agreement. The plant design and construction
will be undertaken by MHI.

Amec Foster Wheeler wins

Orpic services contract
Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum
Industries Co. (Orpic) has awarded a technical services agreement contract for the
companys Mina Al Fahal and Sohar refineries, and its aromatics and polypropylene
plants in Oman to Amec Foster Wheeler.
Under the contract, Amec Foster
Wheeler will provide specialist process
and technology engineering support, process safety improvement and maintenance
program support for the refineries and
chemical plants. This includes a help-desk
service to troubleshoot plant processes;
optimize production; reduce energy and
utilities costs; and improve plant reliability, safety and environmental performance.
Amec Foster Wheeler said the contract will be executed using skills from its
Reading, UK, hub, along with local expertise in Oman.

Impact of changing
US crude export policy
Wood Mackenzie is examining the
impact a potential policy shift may have
on US export crude oil flows and differentials. Ultimately, while eliminating the
US export ban would narrow the Brent
WTI differential and raise the wellhead
price for US crudes, it would be unlikely
to transform the supply outlook, Wood
Mackenzie suggests.
Wood Mackenzie, which is being acquired by Verisk Analytics, points out
that the quality of a US barrel that might
be exported is not obvious. The greater
narrowing of Brent to Louisiana Light
Sweet (LLS) crude oil would depend on
US exports of light-sweet crude oil to the
growing Asian market, with long-haul
large parcels. Asia would also have the
greatest appetite for crude oils similar
to Mars crude, whereas Europe places a
relatively higher value on condensate, but
would have a limited appetite for US light
barrels because much of its light-sweet
crude oil requirements are satisfied by
production in the North Sea or Mediterranean regions.
Wood Mackenzies outlook suggests
that the best value for Eagle Ford condensate is to split the barrel locally and sell cuts
to a variety of markets. The company suggests that the policy debate needs to move
beyond the generic notion of US crude

Select 153 at

Select 55 at

exports to a more substantive discussion
of potential destinations and types of US
crude oil that might be exported.

ABS offers roadmap

to regulatory and
technical issues
ABS, a provider of classification services to the marine and offshore industries,
has updated its guidance on LNG bun-

kering in North America (NA) to support

the transport sectors increasingly rapid
transition to the use of cleaner fuels.
The second edition of ABS Bunkering of Liquefied Natural Gas-Fueled
Marine Vessels in North America report
has been released, offering advice to shipowners and operators seeking to develop
bunkering infrastructure in response to
new emissions regulations and to showcase their environmental stewardship.







Select 154 at

Major updates in the second edition

include important lessons learned from
first adopters of LNG-fueled vessels and
LNG bunkering projects, a project roadmap guide of the associated regulatory,
stakeholder and technical issues, and an
in-depth port directory highlighting ongoing projects and local development
ABS has won the classification contracts for the worlds first LNG-fueled
containership, NAs first LNG barge, the
worlds first very large ethane carrier, the
worlds first compressed natural gas carrier and the first dual-fueled offshore support vessel built in NA.

Motiva creates Louisiana

Refining System
Motiva Enterprises LLC plans to integrate its two Louisiana refineries, Norco
and Convent, to create the Louisiana
Refining System. The company said the
multi-phased project creates significant
operational opportunities, including
growing access to advantaged light oil,
optimizing inter-plant intermediates and
conversion units, increasing distillates
yield and reducing operating costs.
With an integrated crude capacity of
over 500 Mbpd, Motivas Louisiana Refining System (FIG. 4) will rank in the
top five of North American refineries in
capacity. The Maurepas pipeline system,
which comprises three pipelines that will
be built, owned and operated by affiliates
of SemGroup Corp., is the first step in the
project. The Maurepas crude pipeline will
connect the existing LOCAP terminal in
St. James, Louisiana, to the Norco refinery via a 34-mi pipeline, improving access
to advantaged domestic crude oil. The
Maurepas 35-mi and 34-mi intermediates
pipelines will directly connect the Norco
and Convent refineries, supporting optimization of both plants conversion units
while improving logistics efficiency, alleviating dock congestion and allowing additional product exports.

FIG. 4. Motiva, owned equally by Shell and

Saudi Aramco (through subsidiaries), owns
three refineries located in Convent and Norco,
Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas.

When the pipelines are complete, Motiva plans to idle the fluid catalytic cracker
(FCC) at its Convent refinery and to reconfigure the existing hydrocracker unit at
its Norco refinery to process 30 Mbpd of
additional gasoil into high-quality diesel.
On a combined basis, the Louisiana Refining System is expected to drive incremental
annual benefits of $350 MM of EBITDA.

Pentair valve facility

expands Korean
Pentair Valves & Controls Anseong
manufacturing facility in South Korea will
now also produce trunnion-mounted ball
valves under Pentairs FCT brand, helping
to satisfy the demand for Korean-manufactured products.
The expanded facility enables Pentair
to supply ball valves for local projects, offering Korean EPC customers high-quality
products, shorter lead times and cost savings. Operations at the plant include valve
manufacturing, assembling and testing for
critical applications in the on- and offshore
oil and gas, marine and LNG industries.
The plant will produce forged carbonsteel and FCT-branded stainless-steel ball
valves, certified to API 6D and API 607,
in sizes up to 24 in. Design features, such
as an anti-blowout stem shouldered inside
the body and a three-barrier stem sealing,
ensure complete fire safety and fugitive
emission control for maximum protection
and reliability. In addition, the valves true
double-block-and-bleed control at full rating with high trim resistance helps to provide a longer service life in critical process
application, such as water hammer.
The Anseong facility expansion builds
on Pentairs FCT valve technology and
expertise from its FCT flagship plant in
Saint Juery, France, and from its other
plants in Rescaldina, Italy; Sharjah, UAE;
and Chengdu, China.

Elliott Group supplying

compressor string
for refinery
Phillips 66 has selected Elliott Group
to supply a compressor string for a major
project at its Sweeny refinery in Old Ocean,
Texas. The project will enable the refinery
to meet the requirements set forth by the
US EPAs Tier 3 clean fuels standards. Jacobs Engineering Group is the engineering

procurement contractor for the project.

Elliott will provide a recycle compressor designed to increase clean product
yield. The equipment string includes a
25 MB motor-driven compressor similar
to the unit shown in FIG. 5. The contract
also includes a master service agreement
between Elliott and Phillips 66. The unit
will be built and tested in Elliotts Jeannette, Pennsylvania factory, with delivery
scheduled for early 2016.

Heat Transfer Research, Inc. (HTRI) began its real-world

thermal process research more than 50 years ago.
These proprietary data and countless studies using
industrially relevant research rigs led to the development
of Xchanger Suite 7 its acclaimed heat exchanger design,
rating, and simulation software. To ensure your equipment
meets your requirements, Xchanger Suite provides nine
specific modules that offer access to the most advanced
performance prediction methods available.

When you need accurate heat

exchanger performance prediction,
you can count on HTRI.

FIG. 5. An Elliott compressor similar to

the 25-MB unit the company will supply to
Phillips 66.
Select 155 at


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Remaining Life:
Next Inspection Date:
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28.6 years


Industry Metrics

Cracking spread, US$/bbl

Mar. 15

Feb. 15

Jan. 15

Nov. 14

Oct. 14

Sept. 14

July 14

June 14

May 14

Aug. 14

Mar. 15

Feb. 15

Jan. 15

Dec. 14

Mar. 15

Feb. 15

Jan. 15

Dec. 14

Nov. 14

Oct. 14

Sept. 14

Aug. 14

Mar. 14

Global new project announcements, April. 2014Mar. 2015

Mar. 15

Feb. 15



Jan. 15


Dec. 14


Nov. 14


Source: EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook, April 2015.

Oct. 14


Gasoil, 10 ppm S
Fuel oil, 1% S

Mar. 14


Prem. gasoline unl. 98, 10 ppm S


Sept. 14


Aug. 14



July 14


June 14



May 14


April 14


Rotterdam cracking spread vs. Brent, 20142015*

Cracking spread, US$/bbl


Stock change and balance, MMbpd

Singapore cracking spread vs. Dubai, 20142015*


Source: Hydrocarbon Processing Construction Boxscore Database

Mar. 15

Feb. 15

Jan. 15

Dec. 14

Nov. 14

April- May- June- July- Aug.- Sept.- Oct.- Nov.- Dec.- Jan.- Feb.- Mar.14

Gasoil, 50 ppm S
Fuel oil, 180 cSt, 2% S

Oct. 14

Prem. gasoline unl. 92


Sept. 14


Aug. 14



July 14



June 14


Mar. 14

Cracking spread, US$/bbl


May. 14

Supply and demand, MMbpd

World liquid fuel supply and demand, MMbpd

Stock change and
World demand
World supply

Gasoil/diesel, 0.05% S
Fuel oil, 180c




Prem. gasoline unl. 93


July 14

Source: DOE


June 14

W. Texas Inter.
Brent Blend
Dubai Fateh



May 14


April 14


April 14

Oil prices, $/bbl



New projects


US Gulf cracking spread vs. WTI, 20142015*



Nov. 14

Selected world oil prices, $/bbl

EU 16

Oct. 14

Mar. 14

Production equals US marketed production, wet gas. Source: EIA.


Sept. 14



Aug. 14



July 14

June 14

Monthly price (Henry Hub)
12-month price avg.
12-month price avg.

Global refining utilization rates, 20142015*

May 14

Brent, Rotterdam

Utilization rates, %

April 14

Arab Heavy, US Gulf

LLS, US Gulf

WTI, US Gulf
Dubai, Singapore

Dec. 14


Mar. 14


Gas prices, $/Mcf

Production, Bcfd

US gas production (Bcfd) and prices ($/Mcf)


April 14

An expanded version of Industry Metrics can be found

online at

Global refining margins, 20142015*

Margins, US$/bbl

Global product markets and refinery margins, particularly in the

US, have seen steady improvement since January. Worldwide gasoline
demand has soared in recent months in both OECD and non-OECD
regions. New refinery capacity coming onstream in the Middle East
could lead to increased competition in the global gasoil market.

* Material published permission of the OPEC Secretariat; copyright 2015;

all rights reserved; OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, April 2015.
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Reassessing and updating electric motor

bearing lubrication
Over the past 25 years, this column has often dealt with electric motor lubrication. As listed in the recommended reading
list, this subject is often asked and, of course, there are updates
to the recommendations. Many of the updates commingle with
important new technologies.
Case 1. Not long ago, the author was contacted by a major US

oil refinery. The author had visited this site in late 2012 or early
2013 to address electric motor lubrication matters. At this refinery, the electrical department was in charge of everything
regarding motor maintenance. The leaders at that location had
taken the position that oil mist was unsuitable for electric motorsan incorrect notion, which is solidly refuted by 27,000
electric motors lubricated and operating elsewhere.
Some of the elsewhere locations include both horizontal
and vertical electric motors in countries around the world. At
a competitors ethylene plant in Texas, oil-mist-lubricated motors range from 1.5 hp to 500 hp. On many of the 107 vertically oriented oil-mist-lubricated motors in the Texas facility,
no motor bearings needed to be replaced over a 37-year period
from 1977 to 2014.
One problem at a major oil refinery located in a northern US
state was that, when solving technical issues, solutions were often based on opinions instead of on solid facts. These opinions
were then passed down to younger staff members, who, without input or mentoring from more experienced individuals,
had no incentive to replace anecdotes with facts. The corporate
engineering group claimed that oil mist could not be cost-justified. Corporate had neglected to factor in the remarkable labor
savings and total life extension of oil-mist-lubricated electric
motors. As a consequence, the refinery specified and purchased
grease-lubricated electric motors. They also stipulated voltage,
speed, service factor, hp, insulation grade and other parameters.
Yet, nobody at this refinery showed any interest in specifying
the bearing style and grease path that are considered equally
important by reliability-focused competitors.

asserting that their motors could not be lubricated by oil mist.

Two of the four bidders explained that oil mist would get past
the internal seals located between bearings and motor internals. Note: V-ring seals will leak after two years of operation;
this has been known for five decades. Also, motors from all four
vendors included styles or models of vertical motors at a location in the same area. These vertical motors had been successfully lubricated with oil mist for many decades. An informed
user quite obviously knows more than suppliers that choose to
remain uninformed. In some cases, the suppliers decline to sell
long-life equipment for a host of different reasons.
Due to the position taken by the four motor vendors,
grease and liquid oil would be allowed for the 20142015
Texas project. However, the grease had to be dispensed differently for the different bearing housings and grease paths.
Some users try to push grease into the reservoir, as shown in
FIG. 1, without first removing the drain plug. Consequently,
the rolling elements will scrape on the (pressure-deflected)
shield. When the shield is moved to the other side, re-greasing
will over-fill the bearing. Remember: Bearings should have
only about one-third of the void space between rolling elements filled with grease.

1. Lubrication entry
4. Bearing
5. Inner cap

3. Shaft
Single-shield motor
bearing with shield
facing the grease cavity

No wisdom without knowledge. Certainly, the project de-

partment at this particular refinery did not insist on an expanded specification. Why engage in a career-limiting battle with
entrenched non-readers when all that truly counts are initial
costs and commissioning schedules? The cost-estimating basis
for electric motors at this refinery reflected only the least initial
cost, and each motor supplier wanted to be the lowest bidder.
Case 2. During a 20142015 project for a large petrochemical

plant in Texas, four out of four motor vendors provided letters

6. Bracket

2. Drain

FIG. 1. During re-greasing, the expulsion port (Item 2) must be open.

Failure to remove the plug can quickly ruin a bearing. On singleshielded bearings, the shield must be located as shown here.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201521


Recommended reading
list for oil-mist lubrication
1. Bloch, H. P., Dry sump oil mist lubrication for electric
motors, Hydrocarbon Processing, March 1977.
2. Bloch, H. P., Oil mist lubrication: Is it cost-justified?,
Hydrocarbon Processing, October 1990.
3. Bloch, H. P., When to use lifetime lubricated ball
bearings, Hydrocarbon Processing, July 1991.
4. Bloch, H. P., Storage preservation of machinery,
Hydrocarbon Processing, August 1991.
5. Bloch, H. P., Oil mist proven for electric motor
lubrication, Hydrocarbon Processing, August 1994.
6. Bloch, H. P., Implementing modifications on pumps
and motors, Hydrocarbon Processing, September 1994.
7. Bloch, H. P., Identifying electric motor bearings,
Hydrocarbon Processing, November 1995.
8. Bloch, H. P., Lubricationnot an afterthought,
Hydrocarbon Processing, February 1997.
9. Bloch, H. P., Select better bearings, Hydrocarbon
Processing, June 1995.
10. Bloch, H. P. and A. R. Budris, Pump Users Handbook
Life Extension, 4th Ed., The Fairmont Press, Lilburn,
Georgia, 2013.
Again, purchasers with proper lube specifications will avoid
calamity, whereas others will invite distress. An alert reader of
technical texts and information sources will outperform any
non-reader. A company with no budget for technical information, books or training will have more repeat failures than a
company that invests in the knowledge of its maintenance staff
and engineers. Several decades of observation support these
disturbing facts, but talking about the situation could prove
career-limiting for some.
Sealed bearings and smart greases. Assume a refinery

entrusts motor lubrication to individuals who do not exactly

know bearing configurations and grease paths, although motor nameplates do contain that information. In their misguided
desire to save time by not removing the drain plug, workers often curtail bearing service life. Flawed motor lubrication negatively impacts refinery safety and reliability. Many refineries
may be much better off installing sealed bearings throughout
plant electric motor population. These sealed bearings would
benefit from a perfluoropolyether (PFPE) synthetic grease,
which, according to FIG. 2, has an L-10 life at least 10 times
that of mineral-oil-based electric motor greases.
Of course, it may be the best course for the Case 1 refinery to closely observe its competition. This refinery could
extend its existing oil-mist systems at minimal incremental
cost to cover not only pumps but also electric motors. If that
is impossible because management prefers to act on outdated
opinions rather than on well-established facts, then the refinery may consider reverting to a sensible backup strategy.
22MAY 2015|

Bearings failed, %

Bench bearing lift test ROF+ Krytox lubricant AUT 2E45

Weibull probability plot included lives: L10 L50
conf. interval: 90% two sided 6204 bearing, 10,000 rpm at 177C


AUT 2E45
Polyurea #1
Polyurea #2


3 4 5


2 3 4 5
Bearings grease life, hr

3 4 5


FIG. 2. Weibull life comparisons for different greases. Source: DuPont.

Such a strategy might involve teaming up with companies

maintaining application engineering ties to DuPont. Application engineering leader Boulden Co. or DuPonts lube marketers can introduce users to Krytox PFPE synthetic grease as a
lube for life solution in both (small) pumps and (mid-size)
electric motors. A document available from both companies
shows standard test results of Krytox vs. synthetic hydrocarbons where Krytox lasts 5060 times longer. This author believes that Krytox can serve as a lube-for-life solution in electric
motors and pumps with shafts up to 3 in. in diameter operating
up to 3,600 rpm on a continuous basis (DN of about 400,000).
Service life considerations. It is likely that grease life with
sealed bearings in these applications will approach 10 years of
continuous service. PFPE-base oil cannot oxidize, and no solids
or varnishes are formed. Because electric motor and pump bearings run at far lower than the evaporation temperature of the base
oil, the lubricant will last the service life of an average bearing.
There is a high probability that bearings with Krytox sealed
in offer oil-mist averse plants significant benefits in eliminating
routine maintenance and potential failure modes associated with
over-greasing bearings, using the wrong grease, or having grease
oxidize/solidify due to excessively long re-greasing intervals.
Subject to the concurrence of Texas A&Ms International
Pump User Symposium (TAMU) advisory board, I am planning to elaborate on pump lubrication matters at TAMUs 31st
International Pump Users Symposium in Houston, Sept. 14-17,
2015. As part of a newly developed tutorial, I will update pump
and motor bearing lubricant application matters. A different
and highly experience-based ranking will be offered 30 years
after a more generalized ranking was published by a bearing
manufacturer in 1985.
HEINZ P. BLOCH is the reliability/equipment editor
of HP. The author of 19 textbooks and over 600
papers or articles, he was a senior engineering
associate for Exxon Chemicals. He is in his 53rd year
as a reliability professional and continues to advise
process plants worldwide on reliability improvement,
failure avoidance and maintenance cost reduction
opportunities. He holds BSME and MSME degrees
from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and
is an ASME Life Fellow.

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ARC Advisory Group

Developing the best practices for operator

effectiveness in the age of collaboration
Multiple converging trends make operator effectiveness
even more important today than ever before. These include:
loss of expertise in industrial plants and the transition to a new
workforce, business imperatives to do more with less, increasing regulatory compliance pressures, and new information
technology (IT)-based enabling technologies moving into the
operational technology (OT) space.
Todays plant operators must collaborate effectively with
other operators and operations supervisors within their own
plants; with plant maintenance staffs and engineering and IT
groups; and with business planners and supply-chain professionals at the corporate level. These converging trends and associated business imperatives make it critical for owner/operators
across a broad range of industrial sectors to identify best practices for operator effectiveness and to support benchmarking,
knowledge transfer, onboarding and continuous performance
improvement initiatives.
Owner/operators searching for answers. Based on discussions with a large number of technology end-user clients across a
variety of upstream and downstream process industries, ARC Advisory Group acknowledges that owner/operators are struggling
to identify best practices for how their operations staffs can best
interact with the production process to improve performance.
Operators must also be able to take advantage of the tremendous amount of data and information now available from control
systems, asset-management systems, alarm-management systems and historians to make better decisions. Increasingly, plant
operations staffs must collaborate with others inside and outside
the plantand become more attuned to the total business.
While ARCs ongoing research into collaborative process automation systems (CPAS) and related industry initiatives such
as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrie 4.0 and
Smart Manufacturing provides some guidance, TABLE 1 summarizes questions about some basic issues.
New IT-based collaboration tools offer potential. Effec-

tive collaboration requires a high degree of situational awareness, including operational window compliance and a good
overview of the status of procedural automation, process control and any abnormal situations.
New collaboration toolsmany based on Internet Protocol
(IP) and concepts of the emerging IIoToffer significant potential to improve operator effectiveness through increased access
to sensor-based data, new cloud-based data analysis tools and
better collaboration, both within plants and across multi-plant
enterprises. However, many of these tools remain unproven in

TABLE 1. Common issues regarding operator effectiveness

and best practices
What are the most important collaboration points for plant operations
What data are most important for eld and control room operations
staff, and what is the best way to present this information?
How do you prevent overloading operators with too much data?
What factors create the most effective work environment for operators?

demanding industrial environments in which downtime is unacceptable and occasional glitches can have serious repercussions.
Many end users in the heavy process industries still also have
serious concerns about hosting critical data and applications in
the cloud due to the persistent threat of cyber security intrusions.
Information overload is another concern. Present control
systems already provide operators with more raw data and information than they often know what to do with. The newer
information and collaboration tools can only exacerbate the situation. Rather than more data and information, it is important
for operators to quickly and easily access the right information,
in the right context, and in a time frame that makes it useful for
real-time decision support. The operators themselves are often
in the best position to determine this.
Help identify best practices. Clearly, new IT-based technologies and IIoT concepts offer significant future potential to improve operator effectiveness and collaboration. However, many
of these technologies and concepts remain unproven in industrial environments, driving owner/operators to wonder what their
peer organizations are doing in this area.
To help identify best practices, ARC Advisory Group has
launched a confidential web survey on this topic.1 Qualified survey participants will receive a detailed summary. ARC will also
update HP readers in a future column.

For more information, visit
PAUL MILLER is a senior editor/analyst at ARC
Advisory Group and has 30 years of experience in the
industrial automation industry. He continues to follow
the increasing adoption of IT in the OT area and its
various ramifications for industrial organizations.

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Director of Industry Marketing Engineering & Construction, AspenTech

Build a better bid, or how to achieve

a competitive advantage in capital projects
As backlogs and revenues continue
to be strong and on an upward path for
most global engineering and construction
(E&C) firms, competition for the best
projects has increased. The energy industrys turbulence and new sense of urgency
have imposed aggressive schedules in the
bidding phase. Result: E&C companies
are responding with more aggressive bids,
which, in turn, create more uncertainty
over cost estimates and project scopes.
Resource shortages and other factors have played a major role in elevating
project costs, and owners have responded
by pushing E&C companies to provide
lump-sum bids. In addition, owners have
compressed the front-end engineering
and design (FEED) stage of projects,
which has led to more midcourse corrections in the project scope, thus taxing
the project execution fluidity. To achieve
a competitive advantage under this environment, leading E&C companies are
applying new powerful and versatile software technologies that empower organizations during the bidding, contracting
and project execution stages.
In addition to the increasing number
of capital projects worldwide, the size
and complexity of these projects have significantly expanded. While a number of
global E&C companies have responded
by increasing the size of their workforces
through acquisitions and organic growth,
some companies are concerned that this
approach may not be the best solution.
According to Chiyoda Corp.s executive, Takashi Kubota, speaking at Rice
University in September 2014, We need
the size, but does bigger mean better? We
are not sure. To remain agile as the size
of projects increases, companies need to
adapt software that provides the ability
for lead estimators and project managers
to have superior visibility over the details
and complexity of the project. Result:
E&C enterprises will have better oppor-

tunities to navigate through the necessary

environment of risk and uncertainty. The
SADARA petrochemical complex, the
worlds largest grassroots petrochemical
engineering project, was successful in cost
estimations and project planning by applying leading-edge technology.1
Additionally, a number of smaller and
agile, boutique engineering companies
have emerged to fill the needs of industry for specialized engineering to manage
small- to mid-sized projects. These emerging companies, often innovative in their
organizational style and business processes, have been able to take particular advantage of new software approaches to project
development, thus enabling them to compete successfully in the E&C business.
Transparency in the estimate. Experienced estimators are among the scarcest resources in the downstream industry.
When time is not a critical factor, bruteforce estimating man-hours can be substituted for experience, but this usually
only masks the importance and value of
an experienced workforce. At the bidding
and very early engineering phases, time is
a gating factor. Additionally, the judgment
and ability to consider contingencies by
an experienced estimator are crucial.
For companies lacking experienced
estimators, one solution has been to integrate proper software systems with the
process, which can be critical in engendering success. The temptation of an estimating group, when under pressure, is
to enumerate quantities by developing
very large supercharged spreadsheets.
Many of the project assumptions are
hidden in formulas within the spreadsheet, and the overwhelming size of such
spreadsheets keeps increasing. The difficulties with this enumeration approach
are that the full project scope is not transparent. There is a challenge in separating
the important cost determinators from

the less important details. Result: The

flexibility to explore scope and process
alternatives is lost.
A more sophisticated and effective approach focuses on providing the correct
project scope and aligning this scope with
the process definition, rather than focusing on enumerating details. Now, E&C
companies can concentrate on getting
major equipment items and metallurgy
correct from the processing point of view.
Bulk details, attained through statistical
and experienced-based engineering approaches, can be built into the estimating
software. This approach has been demonstrated to improve the overall predictability and variance of estimates, and it greatly
reduces the required estimating manpower, while improving the transparency of
the project estimate in communications
between the estimators, the executive
team and the proposal manager.2
Aligning with the owner. A recent Ernest & Young (EY) survey investigated
365 oil and gas megaprojects, where 64%
were identified as running over budget,
and 73% as behind schedule. While there
were 15 key factors responsible for these
problems, during the project development phase, aggressive estimates and inadequate planning contributed largely to
the overly aggressive forecasts.
By utilizing the proper software systems, E&C organizations can attack these
problems. A strong front-end-design collaboration system can make a true and
accurate process flow diagram (PFD) and
key equipment lists available to the proposal team and owner. Such information is
provided in a platform for clear and transparent communication and discussion of
project scope. It ensures that bids and estimates are prepared with the same realistic
basis that the owner is requesting and expecting. This also creates the basis for the
owner and E&C company to confront arHydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201527

Project Management
eas of uncertainty and risk in the proposed
project, required resources, and realism in
the execution plan to make the appropriate decisions early enough in the project
planning and development process.
Breaking down barriers. As global
work sharing and the size and scope of
projects have increased, managers have
become resistant to changing the highly
structured business processes. To meaningfully address both the bidding and
project execution challenges and risks,
these business processes are now being
evaluated and upgraded. The powerful capabilities of underlying systems, together
with wholesale changes in the engineering workforce, present opportunities for
conceiving, developing and executing
projects in new ways.
Specifically, during the bidding process, the opportunity to tie together
process modeling systems, software to
rate major equipment items, front-end
deliverable collaboration solutions, and
estimating and formal risk analyses will
lead to a competitive advantage and bet-

ter company and project performance for

those organizations that embrace it.
Standardized and modular design.
Another key trend being driven by the
energy industry is the standardization
and reuse of designs. These one-of-a-kind
engineering approaches, which have been
used for decades, are increasingly viewed
as a problem in a marketplace where spiraling capital project costs can create significant friction. Energy firms are looking
for E&C companies to lead the way in
proposing standardized rather than goldplated designs.
The same integrated solutions can be
applied, in contrast to the traditional workflow, to capture standard repeatable (or
modular) design components as building
blocks for projects that can be designed
and engineered much more efficiently
and with higher quality. E&C companies
that adopt integrated project modeling
techniques and flexibility into their risk
management or project changes will help
energy companies. This can provide enormous value, and will support large-scale

projects more effectively. When an E&C

firm reduces the cycle time of a project by a
significant amount (i.e., 10%30%), it can
help the client deliver results more quickly.
Additionally, by using the same software between the owner-operator and
E&C company, especially when applied
with a transparent software system, the
scope and resource requirements are clearly communicated. The owner uses this to
evaluate bids on a like for like basis and
ensure that all requested scopes are included. Owners such as ConocoPhillips have
demonstrated improvements in project
timetables, capital predictability and E&C
oversight through the transparent use of
the same model-based software system.
Effective decision-making. The E&C
industry is rapidly changing. Customer
demands are increasing. Being able to
adapt strategy and equip engineering
expertise with a cutting-edge economic
evaluation software platform throughout
the engineering cycle will help to capitalize on project opportunities. By providing cost estimators and project managers
with the right tools, project uncertainty
and risk can be reduced, thus enhancing
the capability for effective decision-making to control capital costs. In the quest
for bid-to-win contracts, better and faster
designs mean better value for customers,
which underpins a successful strategy for
E&Cs to survive and thrive in a rapidly
developing market.
The SADARA petrochemical complexs cost estimations and project planning was aided by applying the Aspen Capital Cost Estimator estimating
Estimating groups, including S&B Engineers,
Linde Engineering, Technip USA and Suncors
engineering organization, have reported a 3:1 to
5:1 estimator productivity gain.

RON BECK is director of

industry marketing at
AspenTech. During six
years at the company, he
has been responsible for
engineering product
marketing, including
Aspen Economic
Evaluation and Aspen
Basic Engineering product
families. He has over 20
years of experience in
providing software solutions to the process industries
and 10 years of experience in chemical engineering
technology commercialization. Mr. Beck has authored
papers on key industry topics and presented at
several public industry events, and is a graduate of
Princeton University.


Select 156 at

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Guest columnist

Uganda proceeds with new refinery

Uganda is proceeding with the construction of a $2.5-B,
60-Mbpd crude oil refinery with approvals from analysts for
this landlocked countrys downstream plans. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been
awarded to RT Global Resources of Russia. Ugandas neighbor
and East Africas largest economy, Kenya, has confirmed the
acquisition of a 2.5% stake in the new downstream complex at
an estimated cost of $60.9 MM.
The construction of the refinery is the first step in monetizing the oil reserves of Uganda, says Chris Bredenhann,
PwC Africa oil and gas advisory leader of the crude processing plant located in the Hoima district of the Albertine Basin.
Project parties. RT Global Resources, a subsidiary of Rus-

sias defense giant, Rostec, is leading a consortium that includes other Russian firms such as Tatneft and VTB Capital,
the investment arm of Russian bank VTB, along with South
Koreas GS and Telconet Capital Ltd. Partnership.
The Russian-firm-led consortium edged out SK Engineering and Construction Co. to attain the deal. However, the
Ugandan government has retained the Korean firm as an alternate preferred bidder after fears emerged due to sanctions
levied by the US and EU against Russian companies and close
allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The new refinery project marks the end to a prolonged
tug-of-war between the Ugandan government and international oil companies over a controversial tax regime and delayed regulatory requirements to govern the exploration and
production contracts for the countrys estimated commercial
reserves of 3.5 Bbbl. Originally, the government had proposed
a 120-Mbpd refinery.
The primary concerns of the oil companies (in Uganda)
today are receiving approvals on their development plans so
that work can go forward, leading to actual production of
crude oil, says Matthew Tallarovic, director of tax services
for Deloitte East Africa. These approvals for developing the
fields are necessary before an export pipeline or refinery can
actually be viable.
The UKs Tullow Oil, Frances Total SA and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) are developing the oil
fields in Ugandas Albertine Basin. Commercial production of
hydrocarbons is expected in 2018 and will coincide with the
completion of the first phase of the new refinery, which will
process 30 Mbpd.
Concerns that the falling global oil prices could constrain
downstream projects, such as the Ugandan refinery, may not
necessarily be founded. As for Uganda, the refinery will only
be the middle man in the picture, says Tallarovic. As long as
there is demand and an available supply, the refinery works off

the margins in between, and so it is somewhat insulated from

the price fluctuations.
Refining in Africa. Ugandas new refinery is being developed
at a time when many refineries in Africa are characterized by
low utilization rates, underfunding, inability to modernize
and political uncertainties. All of these challenges could easily
be circumvented in favor of a new refinery in Uganda.
It is true that African refineries suffer technical and operational challenges, says Bredenhann. But it must be recognized that many of the African refineries are old, and, as
a result, they are not able to operate at the efficiency levels
that we see in other parts of the world where investments have
been made in newer technologies. However, with the right approach to partnering and skills development, it could provide
a unique and wonderful opportunity for Uganda.
Growing demand. Uganda, with an estimated petroleum
product consumption of 27 Mbpd, could also take advantage of the growing demands for cleaner fuels, which many
of the older African refineries cannot produce. East African
countries consume an estimated 200 Mbpd of refined products with an annual demand increase of 7%. Kenya Petroleum
Refineries Ltd. met this demand until shutting down in the
last quarter of 2014 after Essar Energy Overseas Ltd., a wholly
owned subsidiary of Indias Essar Energy, pulled out of a 50-50
partnership with the government of Kenya.
The Kenyan government has since approved a $5-MM
acquisition of the Essar stake in the Mombasa refinery. The
35-Mbpd refinery is designed to process Murban heavy crude
from Abu Dhabi and other Middle East heavy crude grades.
In East Africa, refining capacity is completely inadequate
to meet the liquid fuel demand, resulting in the entrance of
large traders in the region, says Bredenhann. Even with the
construction of the Ugandan refinery, there will still be a need
for imports.
The refinery project will also include crude oil and product
storage facilities onsite, along with a 205-km oil pipeline to a
terminal at Buloba, 15 km from the capital Kampala.
SHEM OIRERE has reported widely on the business
beat for Kenyan newspapers The Daily Nation, Kenya
Times and The People. He also freelances, reporting
extensively on Africas energy, construction and
chemical industries for various international
publications. He graduated from journalism school
in London.

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201531

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Contributing Editor

M&A deals rise as investors push

petrochemical leaders to restructure
Oil and petrochemical companies are
seeking strategies to remain competitive as
their cash flows continue to take direct hits
due to depressed oil prices. This is resulting in significant restructuring and simplifying of balance sheets to curb the negative
impacts of market turbulence, and that, in
turn, creates a ripe environment for mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
A. T. Kearney, a leading global management consulting firm, predicts that
the global chemicals industry will witness
increased M&A during 2015, according
to the firms Chemicals Executive M&A Review. About 60% of executives surveyed
see rising M&A activity in 2015, with deal
values in the chemical industry having
spiked 13% since 2013.
Rise of shareholder activism. Man-

agement, however, has not been the primary driving force behind this company
restructuring. Instead, shareholders are
giving their voice, pushing for more attractive, simplified corporate structures
that are agreeable for M&A.
Activist investors are putting pressure on the management of some of
the most prominent chemical majors
to streamline their business portfolio,
said A. T. Kearney partner Joachim von
Activists are primarily facing off with
North American companies at the moment, but increasing fund sizes and a
scarcity of underperforming assets in
the region have also led A. T. Kearney to
forecast stronger shareholder activism in
Europe and Asia.
Targeted companies. In the US, activists have already targeted upstream
companies such as Chesapeake Energy,
SandRidge Energy, QEP Resources and
Hess. In the downstream chemical sector,
activist investors have recently taken aim
at Dow Chemical (FIG. 1) and DuPont.

Richard Forrest, co-author of the A.

T. Kearney study, said the window of
opportunity for M&A may be short,
and companies with strong cash flow
and healthy balance sheets will be able
to leverage opportunities. This is the
road on which activist investors are trying to push companies forward. Much
of shareholder demand consists of companies de-leveraging underperforming
business sectors and simplifying complex business structures for a more finetuned composition.
Dow Chemical began implementing
divestitures of lower-return operations
to the tune of $5 B, to help it improve
profitability and streamline processes.
However, activist shareholder Dan Loeb
of Third Point LLC is pushing for more.
Loeb has requested Dow management
to separate its commodity petrochemical and specialty chemicals businesses
to maximize shareholder value. However, as of the time of publication, Dow
has rejected this course of action.
Third Point has acquired $1.3 B
worth of shares in Dow since late 2014.
After Loeb announced his investment,
stock prices increased by approximately
14%, as of the end of March.
For the foreseeable future, A. T. Kearney believes that strategic investors will
drive M&A activity in the chemical industry. Strategic deals streamlining portfolios could lead to a resurgence of the
US chemical industry, with help from
low-cost feedstock and high-level fragmentation of Asian chemical markets.
Activist investor Nelson Peltz is
similarly challenging DuPont, initially
targeting the replacement of four of
the companys directors. Peltzs radical
approach also calls for the companys
breakup. This aggressive push, however, could cause corporate America to
draw a line on how much power to give
to investors.

Successful history. Peltz is not necessar-

ily out of line with his demands. Air Products & Chemicals bent to the will of William Ackman in 2013, a credit to the power
that an activist approach can have in swaying a companys leadership and direction.
Ackmans investment group, Pershing Square Capital Managementwhich
holds a 9.8% share in Air Products &
Chemicalsdislodged the company of
its former CEO, John McGlade. In 2014,
board members agreed to enter discussions to hear out Ackmans views on enhancing the companys performance by
changing its corporate culture and improving investment decisions. As of late
March, the companys shares have increased 40% since Ackmans involvement.
DuPont, however, is better positioned
to challenge Peltzs hedge fund, Trian
Fund Management. The hedge fund has
an approximately 2.7% stake in DuPont,
which makes it the fifth-largest company
Ultimately, what all activists have in
common is the goal to strengthen each
companys balance sheet and limit exposure to poorly performing assetsespecially in light of changing breakeven oil
prices. A. T. Kearneys study believes
those factors will put independent oil
companies in prime positions to find
success in the upcoming M&A wave.

FIG. 1. Dow Chemical is one of many chemical

companies for which activist investors are
seeking change.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201533

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Case Histories


Case 84: Remaining service life of plant equipment

can be determined
For new plant machines and equipment, the life expectancy is determined by the original equipment manufacturer
(OEM). Yet, different analysis techniques are often required
in a failure analysis. In a processing facility, the reliability or
project engineer may be asked if damaged equipment can be
safely operated until a controlled shutdown is possible. This
requested time is usually days, not months. In the real world,
careers are not enhanced by mandating immediate equipment
or unit shutdowns without supporting data.
Solutions. Engineers have the analytical tools available to
make decisions based on an educated and thorough analysis.
Here are some examples:1
Bearings. The service life of new ball and roller bearings
can be determined by the loads, speeds, lubrication method,
cleanliness and other factors. The number of cycles that the
bearings will endure before evidence of metal fatigue occurs
determines the length of service (life). For new designs, the
engineer will consider the L10 life or the life that 90% of the
bearings will exceed before failure. Exceeding the L10 life will
usually not result in a failure. For a failure analysis, engineers
should be interested in knowing under what conditions failures are most likely to occur. A 90% chance of a failure occurs
at about 14 times the L10 life.2
Shafts, rotors, pressure vessels and structures. With
the various loads and stresses, material properties, surface finishes and stress concentrations known, the fatigue life in axial,
bending, shear and torsion can be determined in cycles. Using certain techniques (e.g., the Palmgren-Miner linear damage rule), the life reduction due to excessive periodic loading
can also be determined. A metal remembers when it has been
overstressed, as its remaining service life will have been permanently reduced. The damage rule will approximate how much.
Steel parts with cracks. When cracks are present, traditional fatigue calculation methods may not be applicable. This
is because 90% of the fatigue life of a part is exhausted by the
time a crack develops. Other techniques, such as fracture mechanics, must be applied. When the crack size is known along
with the material type and the stresses opening and closing
the crack, the growth rate can be determined.
A life assessment can then be done by assuming that a very
small crack is present and then determining how fast it will
grow, or if it will grow at all. When the part is a brittle material,
meaning certain low-ductility materials, the crack growth can
be fast (such as 7,000 ft/sec). This crack should never be allowed to materialize! Growth of such cracks is dangerous, and
it is difficult to monitor as these cracks are unstable.

Use this rule with brittle materials: In critical equipment

constructed of old brittle material that has cracks, shut it
down and repair it or assess by using fracture mechanics techniques. Even if the equipment has run successfully over the
years, one major upset or shock loading could cause cracks to
grow rapidly.
Part wear. Wear equations make it possible to determine
the wear rate of two materials sliding together dry or with lubrication between them. The wear of gear teeth, extruder barrels/
screws or the wear of a rotating shaft in a bore are examples in
which service life calculations in cycles are possible.
Gear life due to pitting, bending, wear and scoring failures. Load calculations will allow service life assessments on
new gears with different lubricants, loads, speeds and tooth
profiles. Service life will be in cycles or the probability of failure. Pitted gears will not provide useful life assessments, but
a sensitivity analysis may show the root cause for the pitting.
Creep life. The service life of furnace tubes and other components under high temperature can exhibit creepan elongation due to failure under a constant stress. The stress could be in
a pressurized tube in a high-temperature environment. The furnace tube material can thin out and rupture at any given time.
This service time can be calculated and estimated in hours.
Best advice. All service life calculations are approximations

since the data are scattered, and probabilities are used. Users
must understand that the equipment service life could be longer
or shorter. However, if the life calculations indicate that a threeyear life is remaining and that only a day run is required, then
this is valuable data to use in the decision-making process.
Case 83 was published in HP in March. For past cases, please visit
Sofronas, A., Analytical troubleshooting of process machinery and pressure vessels,
John Wiley & Sons, 2006.
Palmgren, A., Ball and roller bearing engineering, Burbank and Co., pg. 74, 1959.

TONY SOFRONAS, D. Eng, P.E., was worldwide lead

mechanical engineer for ExxonMobil Chemicals before
retiring. He now owns Engineered Products, which
provides consulting and engineering seminars on
machinery and pressure vessels. Dr. Sofronas has
authored two engineering books and numerous
technical articles on analytical methods.

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201535

Select 99 at



Methanol Institute, Washington, DC

Methanol takes on LNG for future marine fuels

EU programs. From 20102014, two

European programsEfficient Shipping with Low Emissions (EffShip), and
Alcohol (Spirits) and Ethers as Marine
Fuel (SPIRETH)identified MeOH
as an alternative fuel that could reduce
emissions and improve the environmen-

tal performance of marine transport.

The technology development work from
these programs contributed to the IMOs
draft IGF code (International Code of
Safety for Ships using Gases or other
Low-Flashpoint Fuels), which governs
the safe handling of LNG and MeOH fuels onboard ships.
New MeOH-powered ships ordered.
In December 2013, Methanex Corp., the
worlds largest MeOH producer and distributor, announced an agreement with
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) to build seven new 50,000-dead-weight-ton ships
with MAN Diesel & Turbos ME-LGI
flex-fuel engines running on MeOH,
fuel oil, MDO or MGO. The ships are
being built for delivery next year by Japans Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co.
and South Koreas Hyundai Mipo Dockyards Ltd. The ships have been chartered by Canadas Waterfront Shipping
Co., a subsidiary of Methanex.
In January, Lloyds Register announced plans to design a whole new
generation of cruise ships and RoPax
ferries powered by MeOH, ushering in
a low-emission, fuel-efficient revolution
in todays marine fleet. Partnering in
the project are German shipyard Meyer
Werft, German shipbuilder Flensburger-Schiffbau-Gesellschaft and German
MeOH distributor HELM AG. Funded
by the German government, designs for



















EU in ports






On Jan. 1, a major change occurred

as ships entering within 200 miles of US,
Canadian, Caribbean and northern European waters began to face a 0.1% sulfur (S)-fuel limit (FIG. 1). National and
regional environmental agencies in these
areas have established emission control areas (ECAs) under pollution rules
adopted by the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), an agency of the
United Nations. Shipowners can comply by shifting to low-S marine gasoil
(MGO) or marine diesel oil (MDO), but
can expect a 50% increase in fuel costs.


Lets look at the global efforts to demonstrate MeOH as a marine engine fuel:

Marine fuel sulfur limits, %

GREGORY A. DOLAN has held a variety of

senior management positions with the Methanol
Institute (MI) over the past 17 years. He is CEO of
the global methanol industry trade association.
Mr. Dolan manages MIs offices in Washington,
DC, and in Singapore and Brussels, while
directing international governmental relations,
media relations, public education and outreach
efforts. Mr. Dolan came to MI after spending
a decade in a variety of public information
positions in New York State, including the
Department of Environmental Conservation,
the Department of Transportation, and the
Energy Research and Development Authority.
Mr. Dolan holds a BA degree in political science
from Boston University, and did extensive postgraduate work in political communication at the
State University of New York-Albany.

They can also install onboard emissionsscrubbing equipment and continue to

use heavy fuel oil (HFO). However,
these technologies are complicated,
costly and unproven. Complicating the
situation even further, new vessels built
after Jan. 1, 2016, will also have to meet
stringent nitrogen oxide (NOx ) emission
regulations if they want to enter or operate in the North American ECA. Simply
taking the S out of fuel oil will not allow
shippers to comply with these NOx emissions regulations.
For the existing fleet of some 100,000
commercial vessels plying the worlds
oceans, and the 2,000 new keels laid each
year, the option of adding dual-fuel capability for diesel-liquefied natural gas
(LNG) or diesel-methanol (MeOH) is
increasingly seen as the smart course.
While there are already some 5060 ships
using LNG as a bunker fuel, interest in using MeOH fuel is quickly gaining speed.

FIG. 1. New sulfur limits for marine fuels, 20082020.

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201537

the new MeOH-powered ships will be
developed over the next three years.
On March 27, Swedish ferry operator
Stena Line relaunched the Stena Germanica, featuring the worlds first dualfuel MeOH propulsion system. The
240-m-long, 1,500-passenger RoPax ferry features four Wrtsil engines, with
one of the engines converted to MeOH
operation while in dry dock in Polands
Remontowa shipyard in January. Once
the owner is satisfied, the other three
engines will be converted one by one
while the vessel is in service. Running
on MeOH, SOx emissions are expected
to be cut by 99%, NOx by 60%, particulates by 95% and carbon dioxide (CO2 )
by 25%. Funding of 11.2 MM for the
work was provided under the EUs
Trans-European Transport Networks
(TEN-T) program.
Conversion developments. The ef-

fort by Wrtsil is particularly significant, as it is converting existing engines

by adding a new fuel rail and injector

system, while changing nothing inside
the ships engine (FIGS. 2 and 3). The
ship operator simply presses a button on
the bridge, and the fuel delivery system
switches over from diesel to MeOH operation in seconds. Existing ballast tanks
on the Stena Line ferry are being used to
store MeOH fuel, with the addition of
nitrogen blanketing to inert the MeOH.
The cost of conversion is estimated to
be 300/kW of engine capacity. These
costs are comparable to adding a scrubber system. The addition of LNG dualfuel capability is expected to be more
than 1,000/kW, with the need to install
special storage facilities for the cryogenic fuel. These storage facilites are expected to be expensive and impinge on cargo
or passenger space.


In a broader viewpoint, MeOHs
cost advantage over LNG is not limited

FIG. 2. Wrtsils MeOH-diesel retrofit solution-engine piping.

FIG. 3. Stena Line will relaunch the Stena Germanica, featuring the
worlds first dual-fuel MeOH propulsion system.

38MAY 2015|

to the shipping industry. MeOH is one

of the most widely shipped commodity chemicals in the world, with present
global MeOH demand at approximately
65 metric MMtpy. Much of this MeOH
supply is shipped from one continent to
another, with the worlds major shipping
hubs handling hundreds of thousands
of tons of MeOH each year, and smaller
ports handling thousands of tons. Since
MeOH can be stored in mild steel tanks
and is already present at just about every chemical port/terminal, it would be
very simple to make the infrastructure
adjustments to offer MeOH as a bunker
fuel. By comparison, LNG projects will
be much more capital intensive, complicated and challenging from a safety
perspective. LNG also has a tendency
to allow MeOH to boil off, creating a
potential carbon footprint concern. As
a bonus, MeOH is readily biodegradable
and soluble in water, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to oilbased fuels.
On the supply side, global MeOH
production capacity exceeds 100
MMton, which provides an overhang of
20 MMton to 40 MMton to meet marine
fuel demand. While most MeOH is made
from the steam reformation of natural
gas, MeOH can be produced from a wide
range of feedstocks, including coal, biomass and even CO2. MeOH is a unique
molecule that offers wide pathways to
renewability that are not open to LNG.
As the lifecycle economics of using
MeOH compared with other emission
compliance options become more evident, we will see the tide rising on the
use of MeOH as a marine engine fuel.

FIG. 4. Stena Line will operate MeOH powered ferries to reduce


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| Special Report
The service life of an HPI facility is approximately 30 years. During this time, operating
companies use maintenance programs to protect their capital investments. In 2015, the HPI
will spend over $95.2 B globally on various maintenance projects.
Since equipment failures can result in expensive unit and plant shutdowns, as well as in
environmental and/or safety incidents, best-of-class companies maintain the mindset
that spending to improve reliability and equipment conditioning is a great benefit to the
organization. HPI facilities constantly investigate new monitoring and conditioning systems,
along with preventive maintenance and inspection programs.
In the modern HPI, maintenance and reliability staff should not be viewed as services, but
rather as equal partners of operations in the creation of business value. The May special
report explores innovative methods and programs to keep HPI facilities operating as designed.

Special Report

Maintenance and Reliability

M. NAIK, Meridium, Roanoke, Virginia

Reduce maintenance and production losses

by benchmarking asset performance
In the production-intensive manufacturing world, the most evident asset failures are those that significantly impact
maintenance costs and cause lost production. While it is important to focus efforts
on preventing such events from occurring, it is equally important to focus on
seemingly low-impact, but high-frequency, failuresi.e., chronic failures.
Chronic failures typically consume
many worker hours, although they may
not cost significant cumulative maintenance dollars. Also, due to their repeated
occurrence, they might give a false appearance of being normal or part of required maintenance.
In light of these masked losses, benchmarking can help identify assets with
chronic failures, and it can drive failure
elimination efforts to improve reliability and availability and to reduce costs.
Assets having chronic failures can be
identified by combining insights from
benchmarking with the bad actor list.
Benchmarking also provides tools to help
organizations understand the nature of
failures and direct the use of root cause
analysis (RCA) to eliminate failures.
In this case study, an investment of
$200,000 eliminated chronic failures at
a major chemical manufacturing facility. It also increased availability, saving
$250,000/yr in maintenance costs and another $400,000/yr in production losses.1
For one particular asset, the mean time
between failures (MTBF) was measured
in days. Over a period of 10 years, outages
had cost the company millions of dollars in
maintenance and lost opportunities. However, the expenditures did not come from
a large-impact item event; rather, a succession of chronic failures was responsible.
Establishing asset performance
benchmarking. Benchmarking of assets

can help identify a specific type of equipment that is having chronic failures. It
also can identify the bad actor assets of
the equipment type that may be experiencing chronic failures, as well as identify
the most common failure mode for these
chronic issues. Finally, asset performance
benchmarking can help build the case for
a failure elimination program.
The key ingredient of any useful endeavor to determine the remaining life of
machinery is often hidden within the client plants own past failure history. Where
such history exists and where the root
causes of failures have been analyzed, au-

thoritative answers on remaining life are

possible. Conversely, where these data
are lacking, applicable comparison data
from others may need to be substituted.
On stationary equipment and piping,
corrosion data should be available from
coupons or from non-destructive testing
records. In the case of rotating machineryin particular, process pumpsthe
equipment owner would submit to the
asset management service provider both
failure history and past repair or maintenance data.
Lube application strategies often have
considerable impact on overall compari-

FIG. 1. Benchmarking asset performance using the MTBF metric.

FIG. 2. Benchmarking performance by equipment taxonomyMTBF of vessels.

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201541

Maintenance and Reliability

Benchmarkings baseline benefits:

Benchmarking similar asset types and identifying uncharacteristically
low-performing assets can determine operating conditions
Benchmarking identifies assets having chronic failures in a quick and
simple way by combining software analysis with a bad-actor list
Asset performance management tools can be used to understand the nature
of failures, and root cause analysis can be used to eliminate failures
Benchmarking drives the need for failure elimination, showing that constant
reactive maintenance without proactive strategies can lead to significant
maintenance costs and production losses

FIG. 3. MTBF for pressurized vessels.

FIG. 4. A bad-actor list identifies the specific assets affected by chronic failures.

sons, as do the extension of oil replacement intervals made possible by better

lubricants and superior bearing housing protection measuresi.e., advanced
bearing housing protector seals.
Mechanical seal life must be assessed
and compared against best available sealing technology. This may require that the
client demands a seal alliance partners
active cooperation and the divulgence
of what some partners in name only
claim to be proprietary information. For
instance, the extent to which superior
42MAY 2015|

dual-sealing technology from smaller seal

manufacturers is used elsewhere by bestof-class competitors must be explored by
the asset management service provider.
Who needs to be a part of the benchmarking effort? First, engineering personnel should be involved because they
are responsible for equipment selection
and design. They must also monitor
equipment performance. Second, operations personnel must have an active role,
as they are responsible for monitoring
and controlling production losses. Final-

ly, maintenance personnel have a vested

interest in both maintenance costs and
asset reliability.
One chemical manufacturing company
implemented asset-level benchmarking in
February 2013. It started by comparing
its operational experience against that of
other specialty and commodity chemical
companies. The company gained several
important insights:
It experienced twice as many
failures as its peers, with an MTBF
of 93 months for all types of assets
for the 20112012 period (FIG. 1)
If the company could increase its
MTBF to the peer average of 220
months, it could save approximately
$26 MM/yr in maintenance costs
alone, due to the reduction in failures
Analyzing the asset performance by
equipment taxonomy, it was found
that the equipment class of vessel
in the fixed equipment category has
the maximum opportunity for cost
savings (FIG. 2)
The companys vessels fail almost
six times more often than those of
its industry peers, with an MTBF
of 18 months
Reducing failures and increasing
the MTBF of vessels to the peer
value of 113 months would enable
the company to save $6 MM/yr in
maintenance costs (FIG. 2)
Adding another level of detail to
the equipment taxonomy, of the
type pressurized vessels, showed
an MTBF of two months, compared
to a peer MTBF of 13 months,
offering an opportunity to save
$2 MM/yr (FIG. 3).
Tackling failure reduction. With comparative failure information in hand, the
company now knew that pressurized vessels were a prime target for failure reduction. To best determine how to minimize
those failures, it needed to identify the
specific assets that were affected by chronic failures. To accomplish this task, a badactor list was generated, as shown in FIG. 4.
The specific asset identified in the badactor list was coalescer pressure vessel 17PV-1. This asset is used in the finishing
process of manufacturing synthetic resins.
It uses a mechanical filter element to separate the emulsion into its components.
Through the combination of benchmarking and bad-actor evaluation, the engi-

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and New Business Development

Maintenance and Reliability

neering team identified this asset as critical
to operation, since failures and downtime
here result in severe production losses. The
coalescer pressure vessel experienced 116
failures between 2011 and 2012, which
cost $500,000 in maintenance expenses to
replace plugging filter elements.
An operations review also showed that
no proactive strategies, such as condition
monitoring, inspections or preventive
maintenance, have been applied to this asset. However, the work order descriptions
for the asset show a chronic failure mode
of plugged filter elements (FIG. 5).
Issue resolution and operational
change. A reliability growth analysis was

conducted using proprietary asset performance management software for the failures encountered since the installation of
the equipment in January 2004.
The MTBF trend shows a peak in
mid-2006 due to a unit turnaround, during which time the asset was not in operation. Excluding this turnaround, it
was observed that, since its installation
in 2004, the MTBF of the asset has remained the same, with a frequency of 35
days. This scenario had led the company
to believe that filter replacement at this
frequency was normal, and simply a part
of required maintenance.
However, with the help of proprietary
software analysis, it became clear that the
failure rate was too high, justifying investment in a failure elimination program. A
root cause failure analysis (RCFA) was
undertaken using a decision-making model. The main reason behind the frequent
filter plugs was identified as the accumulation of emulsion on the filter surface.
Engineering, operations and maintenance found that the emulsion hardens
over time and completely restricts the
pores on the steel-knit mesh filter element. This caused plugs, which, in turn,
triggered the high differential pressure
alarm. After the root cause was fully understood, a high-pressure backwash system was installed in March 2013 to remove the residue remaining on the filter
after the coalescence operation. A highpressure stream of hot water was run every hour during the low-demand period
of the asset, and the residue was collected
from an outlet at the bottom of the vessel.
opportunity. After the improvement was implemented, an as-


FIG. 5. Work order list for coalescer pressure vessel 17-PV-1.

FIG. 6. Reliability growth analysis for coalescer pressure vessel 17-PV-1.

FIG. 7. Asset opportunity for asset 17-PV-1.

set opportunity (FIG. 7) was created

to monitor and track the maintenance
costs for the asset.
Based on historical work orders between 2011 and 2012, the program automatically calculated that the company
spends an average of $20,000/month
on maintenance and $32,000/month

on lost production. After installing the

filter backwash system, the predicted
maintenance cost will go down to $500/
month, with no production losses.

The proprietary software program used to pinpoint
and resolve chronic failures in this case study is
Meridiums Asset Answers.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201543




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Special Report

Maintenance and Reliability

T. GRESH, Flexware Inc., Grapeville, Pennsylvania;
and J. K. WHALEN, John Crane Engineered Bearings,
Houston, Texas

Consider new labyrinth seals

to optimize compressor operations
The pressure ratio is approximately 1.12, so the pressure following the first wheel is 224 psia (15.4 bara). Assume that the

FIG. 1. Damaged labyrinth seal.


Degradation of labyrinth seals in centrifugal impellers can

have a significant impact on not only compressor power consumption but also on plant production rate. Upgrading to rubtolerant seals can be beneficial in not only making improvements to the present efficiency and capacity, but, even more
importantly, maintaining new operating levels. With damaged
labyrinth seals, the head and efficiency are reduced. The performance curve is shifted down and to the left, and the capacity
of the compressor is reduced, thus limiting plant output.
As shown in FIG. 1, such damage can occur in an instant as
the compressor goes through the critical speed on startup. This
then results in the remaining run of the compressor (two to
four or more years) with increased clearances and resulting efficiency losses.
With rub-tolerant seals installed, the shaft may deflect during a vibration excursion, such as passing through a critical
speed, and contacting the seal. The seal teeth deflect and then
return back to as-installed when the vibration level settles back
to normal levels. Seal clearances remain at design clearances,
thus maintaining compressor performance.
For a closed impeller with a labyrinth seal at the impeller eye,
the leakage through the impeller eye seal is recirculated through
the impeller. This leakage is recompressed, and the compressor
efficiency is affected in proportion to the amount of flow being
recycled. The same is true for the impeller shaft labyrinth and
the balance piston labyrinth.



Example. Assume the compressor is designed with four impel-

lers. The compressor main inlet pressure is 200 psia (13.8 bara),
and the discharge pressure is 315 psia (21.7 bara). For simplicity, the pressure ratio for each impeller is the same:
Rp = (P2 /P1 )1/x
Rp = Pressure ratio across each compressor stage.
X = Number of impellers
P1 = Inlet pressure
P2 = Discharge pressure
For this example:
Rp = (315/200)1/4
Rp = 1.12


Rpx = P2 /P1

Base (clean)
Damaged labyrinth seals


FIG. 2. Compressor performance with new and damaged

labyrinth seals.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201545

Maintenance and Reliability

pressure development through the impeller is approximately 60%
of the stage pressure rise (the rest of the pressure rise is in the diffuser, as shown in FIG. 5), thus, a pressure of 214.4 psig (14.8 bara)
is possible at the impeller tip and at the impeller eye seal area.
Design condition. FIG. 2 shows the operating conditions for a
clean compressor with the labyrinth seals per design specs. With
damaged labyrinth seals, the head and efficiency are reduced.
The performance curve shifts down and to the left. Result: The
capacity of the compressor is reduced, thus limiting plant output. Rub-tolerant seals can be installed with clearances that are
smaller than the original aluminum labyrinths, as shown in FIG. 3.
Both the head (pressure rise), efficiency (power) and compressor through flow will be improved over the original equipment.
The shaft may deflect during a vibration excursion, such as
passing through a critical speed, and rub the seal. Since the
seal material is flexible, the angled seal teeth deflect and then
return back to normal when the vibration level settles back to
normal levels, as shown in FIG. 3.
Efficiency issues. Leakage through the impeller eye seal, Q L ,
is recirculated through the impeller. The compressor efficiency

is affected in proportion to the amount of flow leaking through

the impeller eye labyrinth seal, Q L , relative to the main gas flow,
Q i . The same is true for the impeller shaft labyrinth and the
balance piston labyrinth. For a closed centrifugal impeller, the
efficiency loss for the increased eye labyrinth seal clearances is
about one percentage point for each percent increase in Q i (as
a result of Q L increasing and the inlet flow to the compressor
constant). For closed centrifugal impellers with labyrinth seals
at the eye, the following rule of thumb may be used:
% %Q i
Q i = Impeller flow
Using a software program based on the Adolf Egli procedure
(free download), the seal leakage for the impeller eye seal for the
standard seal and proposed rub-tolerant seal can be calculated.
Clearance issues. From the original equipment manufacturer
(OEM) manual, the radial seal clearance for the first-stage impeller and the eye seal diameter can be found. This information
and the gas analysis can be entered into the labyrinth seal leakage program. The approximate value for the radial seal clearance for the new rub-tolerant seals is:

CLRT = CLbrg + DEye /8,000

Deected shaft




FIG. 3. Rub-tolerant seal cross-sectional view.

CLRT = Radial clearance for the new rub-tolerant seals, in.
CLbrg = Radial clearance for the compressor journal
bearings, in.
DEye = Impeller eye diameter at the eye seal, in.
For this example:
CLRT = 0.0025 in. + 14/8,000
CLRT = 0.004 in.
A rule of thumb used by one OEM is that approximately 60%
of the pressure is developed in the impeller. The rest of the pressure rise for a stage is developed in the diffuser, as noted previously. This is a crude rule of thumb, and it is not a precise calculation. This value can vary depending on the stage design and
operating conditions. Accurate values can be obtained from software prediction programs that model the compressor in detail.






FIG. 4. Closed impeller with labyrinth seal at impeller eye.

46MAY 2015|

FIG. 5. Velocity/pressure development through a centrifugal
compressor stage.

Maintenance and Reliability

If the compressor through flow is 2,500 lb/min, then the efficiency improvement is: (4811)/2,500 = > 1.5% if the impeller eye seals are changed out to rub-tolerant seals. Note: This is
relative to aluminum seals in the as-new condition. Often, aluminum seals may be worn out, and they may be more than two
or three times the normal spec clearances.

Monitoring the compressor before and after changeout of

the labyrinth seals can demonstrate the improvement in compressor performance (FIGS. 7 and 8). With the changeout, a 5%

More improvements. Changing out the impeller shaft seals

and balance piston seals will result in even greater improvement.

For an accurate assessment, use a software program that properly models the compressor aerodynamically to confirm both the
efficiency and power improvements and the capacity enhancement. Use a software program to continuously monitor the compressor before and after the changeout of the labyrinth seals to
demonstrate improvements in compressor performance.
FIG. 6 shows that the leakage rate for the first-stage impeller
with standard aluminum labyrinth seals is 48 lb/min, as calculated based on the Egli procedure. Assume that the other three
stages are similar. Recalculating the leakage rate for the firststage impeller with rub-tolerant labyrinth seals gives 11 lb/min.
If you assume that the aluminum labyrinth seals will eventually
open to two times the normal clearance (leakage = 71 lb/min),
then the efficiency improvement for the changeout to rub-tolerant seals will be: (7111)/2,500 = > 2.5%. This calculation is
based on the changeout of all of the impeller eye seals. Changing out the impeller shaft seals and balance piston seals will result in even greater efficiency improvement, as shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 6. The calculated leakage rate for the first-stage impeller with
standard aluminum labyrinth seals is 48 lb/min. The leakage rate
for the first-stage impeller with rub-tolerant seals (0.004 in. clearance)
gives 11 lb/min.

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Select 157 at

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201547

Maintenance and Reliability

or more improvement in capacity can be achieved depending
on the slope of the head curve, where the machine is operating
on the curve and how the compressor chokes. Changing out the
impeller shaft seals and balance piston seals will result in even
more capacity (plant output).



Change out to
rub-tolerant seals



FIG. 7. Plot of compressor efficiency vs. time.

Rub-tolerant seals

Gresh, M. T., Compressor Performance: Aerodynamics for the User, Flexware, 2011.
Whalen, J. K., et al., Polymer seal use in centrifugal compressors-Two users experiences over 15 years, Proceedings of the Second Middle East Turbomachinery
Symposium, 2013, Doha, Qatar.
TED GRESH is president of Flexware Inc. in Grapeville,
Pennsylvania. He has been involved in the design of highefficiency centrifugal compressor staging, field-testing of
compressors and steam turbines, and troubleshooting field
performance problems for over 40 years. While most of this
time was with Elliott Co., he is presently with Flexware Inc.,
a company focused on turbomachinery engineering consulting
services, training seminars and software for turbomachinery performance
analysis. Mr. Gresh received a BS degree in aerospace engineering from the
University of Pittsburgh. He has published a book on compressor performance,
and holds several patents related to turbomachinery. He is a registered
professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.
JOHN K. WHALEN, PE, is the chief engineer for John Crane.
He is a member of STLE, ASME and the Vibration Institute.
Mr. Whalen is also a member of the Turbomachinery Symposium
Advisory Committee and is a registered professional engineer
in the state of Texas. He holds a BS degree in mechanical
engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
He worked for Dresser Rand, where he was involved in large
turbine engineering and rotordynamics. Mr. Whalen joined Centritech Corp.
in 1988 and helped form Turbo Components and Engineering in 1991.

Original OEM aluminum seals

FIG. 8. Compressor efficiency improvement.

Drier Steam Means Higher Prots

Steam drum design is critical to maintain steam dryness
and water quality for optimum performance of your boiler.
If water is allowed to carryover, then damage can occur
and energy is lost. Carryover is your boilers enemy.
Dyna-Therms high performance steam drums
have been protecting downstream equipment
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We offer proven designs for the following:
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48MAY 2015|

Select 158 at

Tower Technical Bulletin

3-Pass Trays: Protable niche designs
Over approximately 60 years of supplying trays to the industry,
Sulzer has found that only 0.5% of those trays have been
3-Pass trays. However, in light of several articles on the topic,
there has been a renewed interest in 3-Pass trays.(1,2)
3-Pass trays have an economic advantage over 2 and 4-pass
trays because they employ only a single tray layout in any
given column section, where 2 and 4-Pass trays have a totally
different tray design for the odd and even numbered trays in a
tower. Also, 3-pass trays can handle more liquid than 2-Pass
trays because of their longer weir length. There is an optimum
diameter range for the use of 3-Pass trays. This is between 7
(2.1m) and 12 (3.6m) ID. In this range, 3-Pass trays can have
sufcient ow path length to allow placement of tray manways
on the tray deck where 4-Pass trays cannot.

3-Pass tray application

In 2012, Sulzer provided a set of 3-Pass trays into a 102 (2.6m)
ID Renery Debutanizer Tower. The tray decks employed
the UFMTM valve, our latest development in High Capacity/
High Turndown tray technology. The plant has been operating
successfully with excellent tray efciency and capacity for 2
years now.
As with all multi-pass designs, once you take the necessary
measures to balance the vapor and liquid ows, the number
of passes becomes a non-issue. For those in-between
applications where weir loads are too high for a 2-Pass tray
and the column diameter is too small for a 4-Pass tray, 3-Pass
trays can be a reliable and protable option.

(1) D.R. Summers, Three Pass Trays Friend or Foe?, Paper 21a AIChE
Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, Nov, 2009
(2) H.Z. Kister and M. Olsson, Understanding Maldistribution in 3-Pass
Trays, Distillation and Absorption 2010, Eindhoven, Netherlands,
September 2010

Design Considerations: Balance is the Key

Knowledge of the column thermodynamic and hydraulic
functions is the key starting point. Any problem that develops
that does not allow the vapor and liquid to contact each other
in the manner for which the device was designed, or keeps the
vapor and liquid from separating after contact, will adversely
affect column performance. For example, the packing shown
below will not provide good ow or vapor/liquid contacting
efciency because some of the packing is blocked off by fouling.

The Sulzer Applications Group

Sulzer has over 150 years of in-house operating
and design experience in process applications. We
understand your process and your economic drivers.
Sulzer has the know-how and the technology to design
internals with reliable, high performance.

Sulzer Chemtech, USA, Inc.

8505 E. North Belt Drive | Humble, TX 77396
Phone: (281) 604-4100 | Fax: (281) 540-2777

Select 89 at
Legal Notice: The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and reliable, but is not to be construed as implying any warranty or guarantee
of performance. Sulzer Chemtech waives any liability and indemnity for effects resulting from its application.





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Select 88 at

Special Report

Maintenance and Reliability

K. KAUPERT, R. KRULL and R. ILES, Energent Corp.,
Santa Ana, California

Maximize energy recovery with small steam turbines

Steam systems are common in the hydrocarbon processing
industry (HPI). In the past, system design was on large steam
turbines. However, using smaller turbines (50 kW to 300 kW)
can also increase system efficiency and help conserve energy.
This article investigates examples in which the application of
smaller steam turbines provided return on investment within
two years.
Introduction. Steam systems are an integral part of large hydrocarbon processing facilities. Such systems are used with large
steam turbines that, in turn, drive other plant equipment. Steam
systems are also used to provide heat for chemical processes
and building environments. Furthermore, steam may also be required in the chemical refining process, such as in steam cracking facilities where vast quantities of steam are used.1 For steam
systems in HPI plants, the cost of steam generated by the boilers
is significant; thus, these systems must be optimized.
Typically, steam systems have pressure reduction valves
(PRVs) installed in some line locations to reduce the steam
pressure. While the PRVs do perform the function of dropping
the steam pressure in a steam line, PRVs also waste available
energy by dissipating steam pressure. Installing small efficient
steam turbines in the power range of 50 kW to 300 kW can recover some of the wasted letdown energy.

plant, approximately 5.2 MMtpy of steam is required in addition to the 100 MW of steam power used for the steam turbines.
As an example, FIG. 1 is a general process diagram for the ethylene cracking process that is greatly simplified. Ethylene production is used as an example here, as it is a common petrochemical. Ethylene itself has no direct use, but it is a building block for
a wide variety of petrochemical products such as polyethylene,
ethylene oxide, ethylene dichloride and ethylbenzene (styrene).
With regard to the turbomachinery technology, the requirements for steam turbine power are estimated at 100 MW for a
large ethylene plant with a capacity of 1 MMtpy. In the past, the
focus of turbine technology has appropriately fallen on the engineering of large steam turbines. However, in present steamcracking plants, opportunities exist to economically optimize
the steam network using smaller steam turbines (50 kW to
300 kW). Such smaller turbines are installed where PRVs are
located on steam lines, thus effectively recovering wasted energy to generate additional electricity.
Small turbines in steam pressure letdown (replacing
PRVs). The operating principal of pressure letdown turbines

is simple. Available energy, which is otherwise dissipated dur-


Steam in HPI facilities. Steam systems are used in a wide variety of HPI processes. For example, large steam systems drive
turbines in steam-cracking ethylene plants to power process
gas compressors, refrigerant compressors, pumps and electric
generators.2, 3 In a large ethylene plant, a rough estimate of turbine power requirements is 1 MWh/t of ethylene product.4 For
a 1-MMtpy ethylene plant, this means that approximately 100
MW of steam power is needed from the steam turbines.
In addition to the steam supply used by steam turbines, it
is also used within the steam-cracking process. Steam is mixed
with the hydrocarbon feedstock (e.g., naphtha); the feedstock
and steam are heated in the furnace to a temperature where
hydrocarbon molecules thermally decompose to produce
lighter hydrocarbons. The final product obtained from the
cracking process depends primarily on the feedstock composition, steam-to-hydrocarbon ratio, cracking temperature and
residence time in the furnace. Steam-to-hydrocarbon ratios
typically range from 0.3:1 to 1:1.5 Reports from several large
ethylene plants indicate that the average amount of steam used
for cracking is 5.2 ton of steam/ton of ethylene product with
a steam-to-hydrocarbon ratio of 0.6.4 For a 1-MMtpy ethylene

HP steam
for cracking

To fractionation for C6, C5,

C4, C3, C2, C1, H, ethylene
Condensate ash

Heat exchanger





Process steam consumption


Pyrolysis furnace

HP steam

Steam turbines drive

Process gas compressor
Ethylene compressors
Propylene compressors

Process steam


FIG. 1. A simplified flow diagram for the stream system in an ethylene

plant illustrating the many locations where steam is used.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201551

Maintenance and Reliability

ing the pressure letdown of steam in a PRV is instead used to
drive a small efficient turbine and generate electricity. The
power range of 50 kWe to 300 kWe is commonly possible.
Electric power grid
Turbine outlet

Such pressure-letdown turbines are installed in parallel to existing PRVs so that, during maintenance, the PRVs can be used
instead of the turbine on a temporary basis.
When started, the small turbine automatically takes over
the steam flow control from the PRV. When taken offline, the
PRV automatically resumes control of the steam flow. FIG. 2
shows an installation. Since the available energy was previously wasted in the PRV, the electricity is essentially generated at
a low operating cost. However, the capital cost of the turbine
and economic feasibility studies must be reviewed to determine the viability of installing a small steam turbine.
Design of pressure-letdown turbines. When designing

Small steam turbine

Steam inlet

Steam outlet


FIG. 2. Schematic to generate 275 kWe from an existing steam line

that uses a double PRV arrangement.









Wet vapor region


FIG. 3.The steam expansion on the P vs. h state diagram shows that
the steam flow is entering into the wet vapor region.

FIG. 4. A sectional view of the radial outflow steam turbine used to

expand the wet steam.

52MAY 2015|

pressure-letdown turbines for steam, the low-pressure (LP)

steam flow at the turbine outlet is wet. Conventional turbine
technology for small steam turbines tends to use radial inflow
or even small axial flow turbines, which cannot efficiently expand into the wet-gas regime of a steam flow.
For example, FIG. 3 shows the P vs. h expansion of steam
into the wet-gas region. The expansion proceeds from Location 1 at the turbine inlet, which is dry steam. The flow
then passes into the turbine stationary nozzles, as seen in the
cross-sectional sketch of FIG. 4. As the flow passes through
the stationary nozzles, the pressure decreases and the flow
velocity increases as a large tangential velocity is imparted to
the steam flow. However, the steam becomes wet at Location
2 (FIG. 3). At Location 2, the flow enters the turbine impeller
(rotor). The impeller begins to extract the angular momentum from the flow, which results in torque on the turbine impeller, as torque is the rate of change of angular momentum.
The flow then leaves the turbine impeller at Location 3 and
passes through a diffuser (draft tube) for pressure recovery
and eventually leaves the turbine outlet.
At Location 2, the steam flow inside the vapor dome is wet.
If a conventional radial inflow-style steam turbine were used
for this duty, then the centrifugal field in the turbine would

FIG. 5. A radial outflow turbine impeller.

Maintenance and Reliability

Small steam turbine performance envelope. The per-

formance envelope for a small steam turbine used to replace

a PRV is shown in FIG. 6. The electric power output produced is given as a function of steam flowrate and inlet to
outlet pressure (pressure ratio). FIG. 7 shows the influence
of the pressure ratio (Pin /Pout ) on the isentropic efficiency of
the turbine. Note: For pressure ratios above the optimum of
2.5, the efficiency decreases gradually, while, for pressure ratios below the optimum of 2.5, the efficiency drops off more
rapidly. This has implications for off-design performance

and the general design of such turbines. The figure shows

that engineers should never design turbines conservatively
for lower pressure ratios. Better to over-design the turbine
for higher pressure ratios and accept any deviations in the
steam process conditions.
FIG. 8 shows an example of measured performance for a
pressure-letdown steam turbine with varying flowrate. The
inlet and outlet pressure were near 8 barg and 3 barg, respectively, although these pressures did vary by 25% during test300




n /P




Power, kWe

trap the heavy wet liquid drops at the larger radius and only
pass the lighter gas, acting somewhat like a centrifuge for the
liquid. This heavy liquid would be trapped in the machine,
causing efficiency losses and even damage to the turbine due
to liquid impacting the turbine impeller blades at the inlet.6
For this reason, the turbine style needed to expand wet
steam is a radial-outflow turbine; due to such a geometry, any
heavy liquid drops will move in the direction of the centrifugal
field, which is in the downstream radial outward direction and
will eliminate possible blade damage. FIG. 5 shows a photo of a
radial outflow turbine wheel made of titanium. Radial-outflow
turbines are slightly less efficient than conventional radial-inflow turbines for single-phase flows, 7 but are needed for additional reliability when expanding a wet steam flow to ensure
that the centrifugal field created in the turbine impeller moves
the heavy liquid drops downstream and out of the turbine.



g: 4


P out
g: 4 b
10 bar
P in/P out rg
= 16
g: 6 barg
P out P in/P out = 10 bar
P in/

= 10

P ou
P in/

g: 2

P in




Steam owrate, kg/hr



FIG. 6. A performance map example of a small steam turbine used in

pressure letdown energy recovery.

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Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201553

Maintenance and Reliability


Efficiency, %





Pressure ratio





FIG. 7. An example of measured isentropic efficiency for a small steam

turbine used in pressure letdown energy recovery as a function of the
pressure ratio = Pin /Pout.

Isentropic efficiency

FIG. 9. A typical small steam turbine will operate in parallel with a

PRV to generate electricity. The installed small steam turbine package
at an industrial facility includes the controls cabinet to the right and
the small 275-kW steam turbine to the left.








Efficiency, %

Power, kWe







Steam owrate, kg/h




FIG. 8. The measured performance of a small steam turbine showing

the electric output power and efficiency vs. flowrate.

ing, as evidenced by the scatter in the data. Due to the high

velocity found in the steam flow, the formation of two-phase
flow and the potential for foreign debris in the steam, the small
steam turbine needs to be erosion resistant. As such, Ti-6Al-4V
impellers are used in the construction.
FIG. 9 Shows a 275-kW steam turbine in parallel service with
a PRV. The turbine, gearbox and generator are of a vertical orientation in this configuration.
Small steam turbine economics. Typically, small steam
turbines that replace PRVs have a return on investment within
two to four years to pay for the capital expenditure and operating costs. For example, if the steam flowrate is 6,000 kg/hr and
the pressure drop is from 10 barg to 2 barg, then such a turbine
will generate 275 kWe of electricity. Using an electricity cost of
0.07/kWh and running for 8,000 hr/yr provides 154,000/
yr worth of electric power that otherwise would have been
wasted. However, the cooling effect as the steam flow passes
54MAY 2015|

through the turbine is also heat loss to the steam system that
must be compensated. This heat loss is steam-system dependent, and is based on experience. It is estimated as 44,000/yr.
This results in a net benefit of 110,000/yr for such a turbine.
Overall, such economic assessments need to be made for each
HPI plant, with a clear view of the economic optimization for
the plant operating costs and benefits.
Moulijn, J. A., M. Makkee and A. E. van Diepen, Chemical Process Technology,
Wiley Publications, 2nd Ed., 2013.
Lee, J. J., et al., Reduce revamp costs by optimizing design and operations,
Hydrocarbon Processing, April 2007, pp. 7781.
Li, Z., L. Zhao, W. Du and F. Qian, Modeling and Optimization of the Steam
Turbine Network of an Ethylene Plant, Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering,
Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 520528, 2013.
Verde, L., R. Riccardi, D. Pedretti and A. Nava, Energy Conservation, Ethylene
Plants, Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing Design, Marcel Dekker Publishing, Vol.
18, pp. 171180, 1983.
Matar, S. and L. F. Hatch, Chemistry of Petrochemical Processes, Gulf Publishing
Company, 2nd Ed., 2001.
Wilson, D. G., The Design of High Efficiency Turbomachinery and Gas Turbine, 1st
Ed., MIT Press, 1984.
Aungier, R., Turbine Aerodynamics: Axial-Flow and Radial-Flow Turbine Design and
Analysis, ASME Publishing, 2006.

KEVIN KAUPERT has 25 years of detailed turbomachinery design experience for

the aerospace sector and the oil and gas industry. At Energent, he is responsible
for two-phase turbomachinery design involving wet gas and flashing liquid flow.
Dr. Kaupert holds a doctorate from the ETH Zurich Turbomachinery Laboratory.
ROBERT ILES has 30 years of high-speed turbine machinery experience, 15 of
which have been in the field of steam turbines. At present, he is Energents
field service manager.
RIK KRULL directs the sales and marketing activities for steam turbines at
Energent. He is the former president of Mafi-Trench Turboexpanders. Mr. Krull
has also held several executive management positions with BOC, Mafi-Trench,
Cryogenic Industries and Energent.

Process Insight:

Air Emissions Modeling Advances for Oil

and Gas Production Facilities

A perfect storm has dramatically changed the way oil

and gas production facilities are designed and permitted for
air quality compliance.
Air quality regulations have been strengthened due
to rule changes in the Clean Air Act (40 CFR 60, Subpart
OOOO), drastically reducing the allowed emissions of
VOCs from well sites. These changes were made along with
new regulations of Green House Gas emissions (40 CFR
98, Subpart W). Due to the more stringent and complex
permitting regime, it is now important to accurately predict
VOC emissions rates from oil and condensate tanks. More
recovery towers, and vapor recovery compressors are now
commonplace. This calls for design-class process simulation
Along with more stringent rules, the shale revolution
has caused the number of wells drilled in the US to skyrocket. Each of these new wells requires a permit with
emissions estimates, dramatically increasing the work load
for compliance. Along with the calculation requirements
for permits, annual inventory reports are also required for a
variety of emissions sources and contaminants. Examples
include Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Flashing Losses, as
well as Working, Breathing, and Loading Losses from
therefore necessary to keep up with changes to calculation

Figure 1

Another result of this more rigorous air permitting

environment is closer coordination between well site facility
design, air permitting, and air quality compliance personnel.
Air quality parameters are considered in early design phases
and now typically drive the design process. The resulting
process simulation is then used by air permitting and
compliance functions throughout the life of the well. Use of
a design-class process simulation tool helps bring the work of
these two groups together in seamless fashion.

Well Site Air Emissions a Brief History

Until recently, well head or compressor station
were typically vented to the atmosphere. (See Figure 1)
With the new regulations, a comparable well is now
equipped with additional features designed to mitigate,
recover, or convert VOCs in gases that were previously
vented. Designs similar to Figure 2, in conjunction with a
emissions. To achieve such designs, a high-quality process
simulator like ProMax is necessary for evaluating and

Figure 2

ProMax brings these new and necessary capabilities to

the design, permitting, and compliance teams. Additionally,
an EPA AP-42 Working, Breathing, and Loading Loss
calculation tool has been added to ProMax so that all
enables compliance teams to run hundreds- even thousandsof well site inventory calculations in a fraction of the time and
with greater accuracy than was ever possible before!
Select64 at

For more information about this study, see the full article at
ProMax process simulation software by Bryan Research & Engineering, Inc.
Engineering Solutions for the Oil, Gas, Refining & Chemical Industries

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customers with the latest diagnostic and system integrity
technologies but also offers exible solutions and all-round
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Special Report

Maintenance and Reliability

H. P. BLOCH, Professional Engineer, Westminster, Colorado

Lubrication update for rotating equipment

API-610 is the most widely used pump standard in the petrochemical and refining industries. It includes experience-based
recommendations for lubricant applications and one of those
recommendations relates to oil-mist systems. The API standard
asks for oil mist to be routed through the bearings, as shown in
FIG. 1, instead of past the bearings (FIG. 2). Although intended for
pumps, this same recommendation will work equally well for
electric motor rolling element bearings. The resulting diagonal
through-flow route guarantees adequate lubrication; however,
oil mist entering and exiting on the same side may allow some
of the mist to leave without first wetting the rolling elements.
Through-flow is one of the keys to a successful installation.
Background. Major electric motor manufacturers, includ-

ing the former Reliance Electric Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, were

fully aware of this fact. Representing best technology, their
mid-1970s bearing housings were configured for through-flow.
Moreover, a very wide oil-mist suitability range is documented
for electric motors. Another industrial giant published technical bulletins discussing pure oil mist as a superior technique for
electric motors ranging in size from 18 kW to 3,000 kW.
Bearing size constraints and synthetic lubricants. De-

cades of experience confirm the success of oil mist for rolling

element bearings in the operating speed and size ranges used in
motors for process pumps. Since 1960, empirical data have been
applied to screen the applicability of oil mist. The influences of
bearing size, speed and load have been recognized and are part
of a rule-of-thumb oil-mist applicability formula. The limiting

FIG. 1. Oil mist routed through electric motor bearings.

parameter, DNL, is defined as D = bearing bore in mm, N = inner ring in rpm and L = load in lb, with values ranging to 1 trillion (1T or 109). An 80-mm electric motor bearing, operating at
3,600 rpm with a load of 600 lb, would have a calculated DNL of
172 MMless than 18% of the allowable threshold value. As of
2014, approximately 26,000 oil-mist-lubricated electric motors
are operating flawlessly in reliability-focused plants. Capitalizing on this favorable experience, the procurement specifications
for both new projects and replacement motors (with rolling element bearings) at many of these plants require oil-mist lubrication in sizes 15 kW and larger.
Although it was well known that synthetic lubes reduce friction, little quantitative work has been done before 1980. Morrison, Zielinski and James quantified how diester fluids reduce
the frictional power losses of industrial equipment; their findings are summarized in TABLES 1 and 2.1 The potential cost savings through power loss reductions are quite substantial. It has
been estimated that industrial machines consume 31% of the
total energy in the US.2 As much as 5% of the mechanical losses
of these machines could be avoided through a combination of
improved equipment design and lubricant optimization.
Motor sealing. Motor sealing and mist drainage are well understood. Although oil mist will neither attack nor degrade
the epoxy insulation on electric motor windings manufactured

FIG. 2. Oil mist applied to the center of a bearing housing is not

providing optimal lubrication. Much of the mist is simply flowing
from the entry to the drain.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201557

Maintenance and Reliability

since the mid-1960s, mist entry and related sealing issues merit
inclusion in this overview. Regardless of motor type, i.e., totally
enclosed, fan cooled (TEFC), X-Proof or weather-protected
(WP) ll, cable terminations in junction boxes should not be
made with conventional electricians tape. The adhesive in this
tape will last a few days and then become tacky and unravel. Inferior products are replaced by superior materials that are often Teflon-based. For termination leads (T-leads), competent
motor manufacturers use an irradiation cross-linked polymeric
TABLE 1. Overview of power loss with different oils and
application methods1
Power loss per bearing, kW
L = 8.9 KN (2,000 lbf)

Oil sump

Oil mist

MIN 68



SYN 32



TABLE 2. Overview of power loss and loss reduction

percentages with different oils and application methods1

Power loss

insulation system that is highly resistant to oil mist. At present,

irradiation cross-linked polymeric insulation systems have consistently outperformed the many almost equivalent systems.
Most important, oil mist is neither a flammable nor an explosive mixture. It would be unsightly to allow a visible plume
of mist to escape from the junction box cover. The wire passage from the motor interior to the junction box should be
sealed with a high-quality two-part epoxy potting compound.
Sealing will prevent oil mist from entering the junction box.
Finally, it is always good practice to verify that all electric motors have a small (3-mm) weep hole and that XP-motor drains
are given closer attention. The latter are furnished with either
an explosion-proof-rated vent or a suitably routed weep-hole
passage at the bottom of the motor casing or lower edge of the
motor end cover. Intended to drain accumulated moisture condensation, the vent or weep-hole passage will allow coalesced
or atomized oil mist to escape. Note: Explosion-proof motors
are still explosion-proof with this passage. A motor with its
interior slightly pressurized by non-explosive oil mist cannot
ingest any explosive vapors from the surrounding atmosphere.
The suitability of oil mist for Class 1, Groups C and D locations
was specifically reaffirmed by Reliance Electric in July 2004.

per bearing

Total reduction, %

Sump: MIN 68 to SYN 32


Mist: MIN 68 to SYN 32


TEFC vs. WP ll construction. For TEFC motors, there are

Sump MIN 68 to Mist MIN 68



Sump SYN 32 to Mist SYN 32



Sump MIN 68 to Mist SYN 32



documented events of liquid oil filling the motor housing to the

level of almost contacting the spinning rotor. TEFC motors are
suitable for oil-mist lubrication by simply routing the oil mist



Contact us to learn more I I 1-724-327-6100 I 800-545-5001

58MAY 2015|

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\ 0
$)305 Q









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Maintenance and Reliability

through the bearing, as has been explained in a comprehensive
text on lubrication. There are numerous other references, including API-610. No special internal sealing provisions are needed
with pure oil mist filling a TEFC motor as long as the pressurized
mist prevents dirty atmospheric air from entering the system.
On WP ll motors, merely adding oil mist has often been
done, and it has generally worked surprisingly well. In this instance, however, it was important to lead the oil-mist vent tubing away from regions influenced by the motor fan. Still, WP ll
electric motors do receive additional attention from reliabilityfocused users and knowledgeable motor manufacturers.
Air is constantly being forced through the windings, and an
oil film deposited on the windings could facilitate dirt accumulation. To reduce the risk of dirt accumulation, suitable sealing
means should be provided between the motor bearings and interior. Since V-rings and other elastomeric contact seals are subject to wear, low-friction face seals are considered technically
superior. The axial closing force on these seals could be provided either by springs or small permanent magnets.3 Also, many
modern motors use advanced rotating labyrinth seals with closure O-rings that travel axially.4, 5 Note: The author does not
advocate rotating labyrinth seals with O-rings that could potentially make contact with the sharp-edged grooves.
The user must make intelligent choices. Some low-friction axial seals (face seals) may require machining of the motor
end caps. But long motor life and the avoidance of maintenance
costs will make up for the added expense. Double V-rings using
Nitrile or Viton elastomeric material are sometimes used because they are considerably less expensive than face seals.
Sealing to avoid stray mist stressing the environment.
Even when still allowed under prevailing regulatory environmen-

Average temperature rise, K


MIN 68
SYN 32

Converting from grease-lubricated electric motors.

When converting operating motors from grease to oil-mist lubrication systems, consider these additional measures:
1. Perform a complete vibration analysis. The analysis
will confirm or rule out preexisting bearing distress.
It will indicate if such work as realignment or base-plate
stiffening is needed to avert incipient bearing failure.

Oil sump

tal regulations (e.g., OSHA or EPA), air quality and environmental concerns reinforce minimizing stray oil-mist emissions. It is
helpful to recall that state-of-the-art oil-mist systems are fully
closed, i.e., they are configured to permit any and all mist not to
escape. The various bearing housings are sealed with the magnetic seals incorporated in the motor end bells, as shown in FIG. 1. Alternatively, advanced rotating labyrinth seals can be installed.4, 5
For many decades, combining effective seals and a closed
oil-mist lubrication system has represented a well-proven solution. The combination not only eliminates virtually all stray
mist and oil leakage, but it facilities nearly 97% recovery of oil
for purification and reuse. These recovery rates enable using
more expensive, superior quality synthetic lubricants.
For many years, polyalpha olefins (PAO) and diester-based
synthetic lubricants embodied most of the properties needed
to extend bearing life and provide the greatest operating efficiency. These oils excel in the areas of bearing temperature and
friction energy reduction. Synthetic lubricants in closed systems
and reusing filtrated lubricant can offer economic benefits.3
Closed systems and oil-mist-lubricated electric motors can
offer reliability-focused users several important advantages:
Compliance with actual and future environmental
Extended bearing life and reduced electric motor
maintenance budgets
Technical and economic justifications to apply highperformance synthetic oils in plant operations.
PAO and diester-based synthetic lubricants provide
benefits to extend the service life of bearings. As shown in
FIG. 3, synthetic lubricants can reduce bearing temperature
and greatly extend bearing service life. As shown in FIG. 4,
these oils excel in reducing friction. FIG. 5 is a composite plot
of different changes and power reduction percentages. This
figure illustrates the quick return on investment (ROI).

Oil mist


FIG. 3. Average temperature rise plot for the ball bearing test.1




Total reduction, %

Power loss per bearing, kW

MIN 68
SYN 32




Oil sump

Oil mist

FIG. 4. Power loss plot for the ball bearing test. Two different oils are
used at two different viscosities.1

60MAY 2015|

Sump: MIN 68
to SYN 32

Mist: MIN 68
to SYN 32

Sump: MIN 68
to mist MIN 68

Sump: SYN 32
to mist SYN 32

Sump: MIN 68
to mist SYN 32

FIG. 5. Plot of different changes and power reduction percentages

that resulted.1

Maintenance and Reliability

2. Measure the actual efficiency of the motor. If the motor
is inefficient, consider replacing it with a modern highefficiency motor, using oil-mist lubrication in line with the
mentioned recommendations. This will allow capturing
all benefits, and it will yield a greatly enhanced ROI.
3. Evaluate if the capacity of the motor is the most
suitable for the application. Most suitable typically
implies driven loads that represent 75% to 95% of
nominal motor capacity. Result: Operation conditions
are at the best efficiency.
Note: Converting an overloaded, hot-running electric motor
to an oil-mist lubrication system will only provide marginal improvement at best.
Oil-mist systems. The required volume of oil mist is often expressed in bearing-inches (BIs). A BI is the volume of oil mist
needed to satisfy the demand of a row of rolling elements in a
1-in. (25-mm) bore diameter bearing. One BI assumes a rate
of mist containing 0.01 fl oz, or 0.3 ml, of oil per hour. Other
factors must be considered to determine the necessary oil-mist
flow, and these are known to oil-mist system providers and bearing manufacturers. The various factors are also extensively documented in several references; they are readily summarized as:
Type of bearing. The different internal geometries
include different types of contact (point contact at
ball bearings and linear contacts at roller bearings),
amount of sliding contacts (between rolling elements

and raceways, cages, flanges or guide rings), angle of

contact between rolling elements and raceways, and
prevailing load on rolling elements. The most common
bearing types in electrical motors are deep-groove ball
bearings, cylindrical roller bearings and angular contact
ball bearings.
Number of rows of rolling elements. Multiple row
bearing or paired bearing arrangements require a simple
multiplier to quantify the volume of mist flow.
Size of the bearings. It is related to the shaft diameter
and is inherently expressed in Bls.
Rotating speed. The influence of the rotating speed
should not be considered as a linear function. It can
be linear for a certain intermediate speed range, but,
at lower and higher speeds, the oil requirements in the
contact regions may differ from straight linearity.
Bearing load conditions. It includes the preload,
minimum or even less-than-minimum load, heavy axial
loads and more.
Cage design. Different cage designs may affect mist
flow in different ways. It has been reasoned that stamped
(pressed) metal cages, polyamide cages or machined
metal cages can create different degrees of turbulence.
While different rates of turbulence may cause varying
amounts of oil to plate out on the various bearing
components, the concern vanishes when oil mist is
applied in the through-flow mode.


Managing turnarounds on time and on budget can present

many challenges. Cudd Energy Services helps you meet

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Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201561

Maintenance and Reliability

Using the right bearing and proper installation methods.
Very significant increases in bearing life and overall electric
motor reliability have been documented. Oil mist cannot
eliminate basic bearing problems. However, it can provide a
reliable means of lubricant application. Bearings must be:
Adequate for the application, i.e., deep-groove ball
bearings for coupled drives, cylindrical roller bearings
to support high radial loads in certain belt drives or
angular contact ball bearings to support the axial
(constant) loads in vertical motor applications
Incorporating the correct bearing-internal clearances
Mounted with correct shaft and housing fits
Installed carefully and handled correctly, using the
proper tools to avoid damaging the bearings
Correctly assembled and fitted to the motor caps,
thus carefully avoiding misalignment or skewing
Part of a correctly installed motor, avoiding shaft
misalignment and soft foot, or bearing damage incurred
while mounting either the coupling or drive pulley
Subjected to a vibration spectrum analysis. This will
indicate the lubrication condition (lubricating film),
bearing condition (possible bearing damage) and
general equipment condition, including misalignment,
lack of support (soft foot), unbalance and more.
Sealing to avoid stray mist releases to the environment.

Closed systems and oil-mist-lubricated electric motors give

62MAY 2015|

reliability-focused users several important advantages:

Compliance with environmental regulations
Proof that oil-mist lubrication will benefit electric
motors and the maintenance budget
Technical and economic justifications to use highperformance synthetic oils.
Modern additives technology has further strengthened
wear protection. They offer reduced energy consumption with
other synthetic base oils. All are worthy considerations.
Morrison, F. R., J. Zielinsky and R. James, Effects of synthetic fluids on ball
bearing performance, Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Energy Resource,
Technology, Vol. 104, pp. 174181, 1982.
Pinkus, O., O. Decker and D. F. Wilcock, How to save 5% of our energy,
Mechanical Engineering, September 1997.
Bloch, H. P., Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities, 2nd Ed., The Fairmont
Press, Lilburn, Georgia, 2009.
Bloch, H. P., Statistics to think about, Hydrocarbon Processing, July 2006, pg. 9.
Bloch, H. P., Pump Wisdom: Problem Solving for Operators and Specialists, John
Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2011.

HEINZ P. BLOCH resides in Westminster, Colorado. His

professional career began in 1962 and included long-term
assignments as Exxon Chemicals regional machinery
specialist for the US. He has authored over 600 publications,
among them 19 comprehensive books on practical machinery
management, failure analysis, failure avoidance, compressors,
steam turbines, pumps, oil-mist lubrication and practical
lubrication for industry. Mr. Bloch holds BS and MS degrees in mechanical
engineering and is an ASME Life Fellow.

Select 162 at

Tier 3 gasoline standard of 10 ppm becomes effective
January 1, 2017 and the EPA implemented a credit averaging,
banking and trading (ABT) program for transition purposes from
Tier 2. Are these options secure and sustainable for your refinery?
It is not too early to develop a solution to Tier 3 using Merichems
patented non-dispersive caustic treating technologies.
Merichem Company optimized several caustic treating technologies to support
Tier 3 gasoline production. These technologies have been chosen for multiple Tier 3
projects since 2013. Merichems technologies, THIOLEX and REGEN, were chosen
to extract mercaptans from various refinery streams. Merichems REGEN platform
is a key component of the final processing solution that allows treating options to bring
product sulfur levels down to 2 PPMW.
Merichem has licensed over 350 THIOLEX and REGEN units worldwide. To learn more
about how these technologies can benefit you ahead of the Tier 3 transition visit
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Regional Report

M. RHODES, Technical Editor

The Middle Easts strategic expansion

of refined products exports
Already a leader in crude oil exports, the Middle East (ME)
is making a deliberate move to increase its participation in the
refined and petrochemical products markets. It is likely that
the ME will continue to add downstream projects. Refining capacity will center on domestic demand and export opportunities to Asia-Pacific (AP) and Europe.
The ME refining industry varies greatly from other regions,
as exemplified by its average utilization rates, which generally
run at maximum and regularly exceed 90%. Since 87% of the
approximately 8 MMbpd of existing refining capacity is owned
by national oil companies (NOCs), refining margins do not
play a significant role in operations. These NOCs process
their own crude oil and condensate, and they operate to meet
growing domestic demand and strategic objectives to expand
refined product exports.
The regions overall refining capacity is forecast to increase
by nearly 2 MMbpd through 2020, exceeding 10 MMbpd,
despite potential delays in the commissioning of several projects.1 Incremental products output from new refinery capacity
is expected to outpace demand growth in the region, resulting
in higher net product exports. Some products are expected to
be absorbed domestically as the region moves into compliance
with tighter environmental fuel regulations, such as the Euro 4
and Euro 5 quality standards.
Traditionally, ME refineries have had simple configurations
and high fuel oil yields, partly due to strong power generation

requirements. This condition is changing; a new generation

of highly complex plants, combined with upgrades at existing
refineries, is radically altering the product mix. New unit configurations include hydrocracking, catalytic cracking and hydrotreating capacities designed to minimize fuel oil output and
maximize middle distillate, diesel and gasoline production.
Refinery integration. The ME is transforming its down-

stream business to be both vertically integrated across the value

chain and horizontally integrated across suitable geographies.
The goal is to add greater value to hydrocarbon supplies while
building a more robust and resilient portfolio to withstand market turbulence. Top-tier refining companies are investing significantly to secure the regions position as the hub of the global
downstream industry (FIG. 1).
World and ME oil demand. In 2014, world oil demand grew

by just under 1 MMbpd to average 91.2 MMbpd. World oil

demand in 2015 is anticipated to rise by 1.17 MMbpd to average 92.37 MMbpd. Correspondingly, oil demand growth for
the ME in 2014 was 250 Mbpd, while 2015 oil demand is proOngoing construction at the 3-MMtpy Sadara complex (left), winner
of HPs Top HPI Projects of 2014, Petrochemical. (Photo courtesy of
Sadara Chemical Co.) The Qatofin project in Qatar (right) includes
one of the worlds largest ethane crackers. (Photo courtesy of TOTAL
Petrochemicals France.)
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201565

Regional Report

FIG. 1. HPI facilities in Saudi Arabia, including refineries, petrochemical complexes, and ports and terminals.

jected to increase by 280 Mbpd over 2014 levels. Most of this

growth shown in FIG. 2 is expected to come from Saudi Arabia,
with a forecast increase of 150 Mbpd, or more than half of the
regions expected growth.1

Saudi Arabia holds 16% of the worlds proved oil reserves,
more than half of which are contained in eight fields. The giant
Ghawar field, with an estimated remaining reserve of 75 Bbbl,
has more proved oil reserves than all but seven other countries,
according to the US Energy Information Administration.3 Saudi
Arabia is the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in the
worldand the second-largest petroleum exporter to the US
and it maintains the worlds largest crude oil production capacity.
Of Saudi Arabias total crude oil production capacity, more
than 70% is considered light gravity, which is generally produced
onshore, with the remaining crude considered to be medium or
heavy gravity, mainly from offshore fields. The country is moving to reduce its share of the latter two grades. Most Saudi oil
production, except for extra-light and super-light crude oil, is
considered sour, as it contains relatively high levels of sulfur (S).
The regions petrochemical capacity is expected to rise from
127 MMtpy in 2012 to over 145 MMtpy by 2018.2 However,
66MAY 2015|

natural gas feedstock restraints will propose hurdles to capacity

expansion plans. Saudi Arabia has the worlds fifth-largest natural gas reserves, but most natural gas fields in Saudi Arabia are
associated with petroleum deposits, and increases in gas production remain linked to oil production increases.
To minimize the use of crude oil for power generation, gas
supplies remain reserved for domestic use. The petrochemical
industry, among others that use gas-fired power generation, is
contributing to a looming regional gas shortage by 2016. This
is especially vital because the country plans to increase its electricity generating capacity to 120 GW by 2032 to meet demand.
However, natural gas production remains limited, as the costs
of natural gas production, exploration, processing and distribution have squeezed supply.3
Expanding the gas, refining, petrochemicals and power
industries. To comply with mandatory S specifications for gas-

oline and diesel between 2013 and 2016, Saudi Arabia is constructing multiple clean-fuel projects aimed at reducing the S
content in diesel and gasoline to 10 ppm and lowering the benzene content in gasoline to 1%.
NOC Saudi Aramco has invested in excess of $100 B in the
last decade to support long-term sustainability of oil demand.2

Select 83 at

Regional Report
In the near term, Saudi Aramco will operate 8 MMbpd10
MMbpd of refining capacity, much of which will be directed to
high-demand and growth markets of AP, Europe and the ME.
The NOC is upgrading the countrys domestic refineries to
produce lower-S transportation fuels, and several projects have
been designed to produce near-zero-S fuels by 2016:
Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Co. (YASREF),
a JV between Saudi Aramco (62.5%) and Sinopec
(37.5%), began export operations at its 400-Mbpd
Yanbu Industrial City refinery in January 2015. The
refinery has been designed to process heavy and medium
crude oils and maximize gasoil (GO) and gasoline
production. It includes process units for the separation
and conversion of the feed crude into finished products;
utility and offsite systems to support the refinery
Saudi Arabia




Iran, I.R.









FIG. 2. Oil demand growth in the ME, year-on-year, 20122014.


operation; and associated feed, intermediate and product

storage facilities.
Dow Chemical (35%) and Saudi Aramco (65%) are
constructing a fully integrated refining complex under
the JV Sadara Chemical Co. The 3-MMtpy facility will
consist of 26 chemical manufacturing units and produce
1.5 MMtpy of ethylene and 400 Mtpy of propylene. The
complex will also produce a variety of chemicals, such as
ethylene, propylene oxide, propylene, benzene, toluene,
polyethylene, propylene glycol, polyolefin elastomers and
more.4 The Sadara complex will use ethane and naphtha
as feedstock, which will be supplied from Saudi Aramco
Total Refining and Petrochemical Co.s (SATORPs)
refinery. Full operations are expected to begin in 2016.
Rabigh 2 is an expansion of the existing PetroRabigh
refining and petrochemicals complex, which produces
18 MMtpy of refined products and 2.4 MMtpy of
petrochemical products. Phase 2 will add 15 MMtpy of
refined products and 5 MMtpy of petrochemicals, and
is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2016.
Rabigh 2s development will include the expansion of
PetroRabighs existing ethane cracker, the construction
of a new aromatics complex and an expanded facility
to process 30 MMcfd of ethane and approximately
3 MMtpy of naphtha as feedstock. The total project
investment is projected to reach approximately $8.5 B
(an increase from the original $7 B).4


Its times like these you need people like us.

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Offices in Washington, D.C., Houston, Beijing, Singapore, Dubai, and Rio de Janeiro. Representatives available worldwide.

877.562.5187 (Toll-free U.S. & Canada) | +1.202.682.8041 (Local & International) | |
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68MAY 2015|

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Regional Report
Despite its relative size (18 Mkm2), Kuwait has the thirdlargest refining capacity in the ME and consumes only a small
portion of its total crude production. The national oil company,
Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC), is investing more
than $31 B in projectsthe Clean Fuels Project (CFP) and
the New Refinery Project (NRP)to overhaul the countrys
refining sector and diversify its oil-heavy economy. The countrys petroleum export revenues account for nearly 60% of its
GDP and approximately 94% of export revenues, which were
estimated at $92 B in 2013, according to EIA data.5
Once completed, these ambitious modernization/expansion projects will place the country as the third-largest exporter

FIG. 3. Night view of the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait. Photo

courtesy of Kuwait National Petroleum Corp.

of liquids among OPEC producers, behind Saudi Arabia and

Iran, and as one of the top 10 oil exporters worldwide.2
Clean fuels project. The $17-B CFP is designed to upgrade
and integrate the Mina Abdulla and Mina Al-Ahmadi (FIG. 3)
refineries, while the Shuaiba complex will be shut down. The
Mina Al-Ahmadi refinerys capacity will decrease from 466
Mbpd to 346 Mbpd, and Mina Abdullahs throughput will increase from 270 Mbpd to 454 Mbpd (TABLE 1). The newly integrated refineries will act as a single merchant refining complex,
boosting their domestic capacity from 736 Mbpd to 800 Mbpd.4
New refinery project. KNPCs clean fuels initiative also includes the construction of what will be the MEs largest refineryAl Zour (615 Mbpd). The $14.5-B project will produce
high-quality petroleum products for export, supply power generation plants in Kuwait with environmentally friendly fuel, and
provide alternatives to gas imports and heavy fuel use. Startup
of the Al-Zour refinery is scheduled for early 2018.
KNPC received EPC proposals for all packages (1, 2, 3 and
4), but the bids for package 4, which includes the construction
of oil tanks and pipelines, have been higher than expected. This
package and package 5, which includes an export terminal and
other marine facilities, are estimated to cost approximately $1.1
B. KNPC has announced that it may re-tender packages 4 and 5;
if it does, this process will delay the project by up to six months.
As of March, the project is still ongoing.4

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Regional Report
The CFP and NRP projects will produce high-quality, low-S
fuels for export to various markets around the globe, and they
are part of Kuwaits goal to increase its total domestic refining
capacity to 1.4 MMbpd of refined fuels by 2020.2
Expanding olefins cracking capability. Petrochemical Industries Corp. (PIC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Co., is
developing the countrys third olefins cracker, Olefins 3. The
first olefins cracker began operations in the Al-Shuaiba Industrial Area in 1997 as part of a petrochemical complex owned
and operated by PICs joint venture, Equate. In 2009, it was
joined by a second cracker, owned by the Kuwait Olefin Company (TKOC) and operated by Equate.
PIC is looking to place the cracker at the new Al-Zour refinery, which would lower costs as it would potentially utilize
the refinerys feedstock. The project will contain a 1.4-MMtpy
TABLE 1. Kuwaiti reneries current capacities and future
expansion plans
Present capacity,

Planned capacity,

Mina Abdullah



Mina Al-Ahmadi










Total installed capacity

cracker and produce ethylene derivatives like 1 MMtpy of polyethylene and 400 Mtpy600 Mtpy of polypropylene.
Initial feasibility studies conducted in 2010 put the total cost
of the project at nearly $5 B; with changing market conditions,
that price has ballooned to $7 B$9 B. The project remains in
the early planning stages, and will likely push back the initial
completion date of 2018. The feedstock source is still being analyzed, but it will include ethane, offgases, propane and combinations of LPG, naphtha and condensate.

Iraq. To alleviate shortfalls in refined fuels and to meet increas-

ing domestic demand, Iraq has laid plans to double its refining
capacity to 1.5 MMbpd by 2017. The plan includes $20 B in
investments to construct several new refineries with a total capacity of 740 Mbpd. Due to fighting with ISIS and continued
economic and political instability, the majority of these projects, except for the Karbala refinery that is presently under construction, have been delayed indefinitely. The Kirkuk refinery
plan was revived in late 2014 after continuous delays, and the
Iraq oil ministry announced it will rebid the Nassiriya refinery
contract in 2015. Shells $11-B petrochemical complex in the
southern oil hub of Basra is being called Nibras, Arabic for beacon of light, and it envisions an ethane cracking unit that would
produce ethylene to make plastics. The project is expected to be
completed in 2020 or 2021.

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Regional Report
Shell is developing the huge Majnoon oil field near Basra
that is pumping approximately 200 Mbpd. Shell also signed a
$17.2-B deal last year to collect natural gas from Iraqs southern
oil field production. The gas has traditionally been flared, and
Iraq has long had ambitions to collect and use the gas to meet
domestic energy demand.
Qatar. While several large projects have been canceled recently,
Qatar is still investing in its refining and petrochemical sectors.

FIG. 4. A Qatar Petroleum-led JV is constructing Laffan Refinery 2

(LR2), a $1.5-B refinery that will process untreated condensate
produced from Qatars North field.

74MAY 2015|

Qatar Petroleum has entered into a JV agreement with Total,

Idemitsu, Cosmo, Marubeni and Mitsui, to build Laffan Refinery 2 (LR2), a $1.5-B condensate refinery in Ras Laffan Industrial City (FIG. 4). Qatar Petroleum will hold an 84% interest
in the project, while Total will hold 10%, Idemitsu and Cosmo
will each hold 2%, and Marubeni and Mitsui will each own 1%.
The plant will be operated by Qatargas Operating Co. and developed similarly to Laffan Refinery 1(LR1). The LR2 facility
will process untreated condensate produced from the countrys
North field, and it will have a processing capacity of 146 Mbpd
and a daily production capacity of 60 Mbpd of naphtha, 53
Mbpd of jet fuel, 24 Mbpd of GO and 9 Mbpd of liquid petroleum gas. Additionally, LR2 will include a diesel hydrotreater
unit that will be able to process all light GO from LR1 and LR2.
A Chiyoda and CTCI JV has been contracted for the engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning
(EPSCC). The project is expected to be commissioned in 2016.
United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will expand its existing Ruwais refinery (400
Mbpd) with an adjoining 417-Mbpd capacity refinery.4 The
complex produces LPG, premium unleaded gasoline (98 octane) and special unleaded gasoline (95 octane), as well as naphtha, Jet-A1, kerosine, GO and granulated S. The latest expansion
comes on the heels of ADNOCs other capital intensive projects
in Ruwaissuch as the Borouge expansion projects (Borouge 2
and 3) as shown in FIG. 5and will include the addition of crude

Select 166 at

Regional Report
distillation and sulfur recovery units, a residue fluidized catalytic
cracker (RFCC) and a carbon black delayed coker (CBDC) unit,
which will have a production capacity of 40 Mtpy of carbon black
and 30 Mbpd of crude. It will consist of two trains with a designed processing capacity of 700 Mt of anode green petroleum
coke. The $10-B project is expected to be completed in 2015.
Iran. Despite being hampered by economic sanctions, approxi-

mately 360 Mbpd of new condensate splitting capacity is expected to come onstream in three phases, starting at the end of 2015
or early 2016. This project is likely to transform the country
from a gasoline importer to an exporter.2 A signed 2013 agreement to begin exporting natural gas to neighboring Iraq has been
delayed due to security concerns and fighting between Islamic
State militants and Iraqi troops.
Completion of the pipeline would initially allow delivery of
4 MMcmd of gas to feed three power plants in Baghdad and Diyala. That volume could rise to 35 MMcmd. Iran has huge gas reserves and exports small quantities to Turkey, but it has been unable to increase production fast enough to meet its own demand.
Northern Iran relies heavily on gas imports from Turkmenistan,
especially for winter heating.

The Liwa Plastics project is being built to enhance both fuel and
plastics production in Oman, and it includes the construction of a
gas extraction plant in Fahud. Total costs for the complex, extraction plant, infrastructure and other facilities could top $5 B. Plastics production will increase from 200 Mtpy to 1.4 MMtpy from
20132018, while fuels production will grow from 7.3 MMtpy to
11.3 MMtpy from 20132018.4 The project will be constructed
in tandem with the Sohar refinery expansion and upgrade project.
Global engineering firms are eyeing the mega-refinery
scheme at the Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated

Oman. As part of a program to reduce its reliance on the export of

crude oil and natural gas in developing its downstream industry,

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Co. (Orpic) plans to construct a greenfield petrochemical complex near the Sohar refinery.

FIG. 5. ADNOC is expanding its existing Ruwais refinery following

previous projects at Borouge 2 and 3.

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Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201575

Regional Report
Complex on Omans Al-Wusta coast. Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Co. LLC (DRPIC), an equal JV of Oman
Oil Co. (OOC) and International Petroleum Investment Co.
(IPIC), respectively the energy investment arms of the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is jointly
developing the refinery project with an investment of approximately $6 B. Plans for an associated petrochemical complex in
the second phase could add a further $9 B to the total project
cost. One of the projects main goals is to facilitate the export
and import of hydrocarbon products in a region still underdeveloped compared with the north of the country. The project

also holds strategic importance, as imports and exports will not

have to travel through the Strait of Hormuz.
Turkey. The planned Socar Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR)

will be integrated at the Petkim petrochemicals site on the Aegean coast. It will process medium-sour crudes (Azeri light,
Kerkuk and Urals oil) into low-S transportation fuels, meeting
Euro 5 specs. The products will be mainly sold to the domestic
market and will provide feedstock for the Petkim Petrochemical
complex, part of Socars downstream activities and its most important production unit outside Azerbaijan. The $5-B project,
which is expected to be commissioned in
2018, is a JV between Azerbaijan state oil
firm SOCAR and Turkey Enerji AS.

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Bahrain. The $5-B expansion of Bahrain

Petroleum Co.s (BAPCOs) Sitra refinery
will increase processing capacity by 35%
to 360 Mbpd.4 The project includes a
$360-MM expansion, from 120 Mbpd
350 Mbpd, of a pipeline that supplies the
refinery with light crude from Saudi Arabia. The refinery imports approximately
85% of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia
and is connected by a 54-km pipeline for
pumping the feedstock. BAPCO sells 8%
of the refinery production to the domestic
market and exports the remaining 92% to
India, the ME, the Far East and to Africa.
National Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA)
is planning to install an LNG floating storage unit (FSU) that will have an initial capacity of 400 MMcfd and be expandable
to 800 MMcfd. The project will consist
of a floating storage unit connected to a
regasification unit on an island jetty. The
$600-MM terminal will combat the trend
of domestic demand outpacing supplies.
Looking forward. The ME is witnessing a unique combination of consistently
high local demand growth, secure feedstock supplies, dominant NOC investors
and a shift from crude oil to refined product exports. These trends suggest that
the ME will remain detached from the
economic woes overshadowing the international refining business for the foreseeable future.

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23971 2015 A.W. Chesterton Company.


Select 164 at

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries,
Monthly Oil Market Report, March 2015.
Nichols., L. and S. Romanow, Hydrocarbon Processings
HPI Market Data 2015, Global Construction and
Investment and Refining.
US EIA, Saudi Arabia Analysis Brief, September
10, 2014.
Hydrocarbon Processings Construction Boxscore
Database, April 2015.
US EIA, Kuwait Analysis Brief, October 24, 2014.

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Monday, June 1 Tuesday, June 2

Focused sessions will feature more than 30 industry experts who will
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Tuesday, June 2 | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

George R. Brown Convention Center | Exhibit Hall E

Dont miss this great opportunity to network with

terminal industry colleagues! This reception is
open to all ILTA attendees and exhibitors. Enjoy
live jazz or take a picture in our 80s-themed
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Exhibitor Presentations Series

Tuesday, June 2 | 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Short presentations provide trade show attendees with the opportunity
to hear directly from vendors about some of the products and services
available at ILTAs trade show.

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Wednesday, June 3 | 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


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different strategies for prevention and mitigation. This session is open
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ILTAs Post-Conference Training.

JUNE 1-3








Rotating Equipment
M. VILA FORTEZA, Repsol SA, Petronor, Spain

Use new methods to optimize energy efficiency

of hydrogen compressors
Hydrogen (H2 ) is a key to efficient operation of refinery desulfurization units (DSUs). Process H2 , both pure and recycled
from DSUs, must be compressed to pressures up to 85 kg/cm2.
Centrifugal compressors and reciprocating compressors are used
depending on the flow and pressure requirements of the process.
Reciprocating compressors are often used for low to medium
flow conditions under a wide range of pressure rates.
Leak mitigation and efficiency. Several elements can be analyzed to reduce leaks and energy consumption for reciprocating
compressors. FIG. 1 shows an energy balance for a typical reciprocating compressor and ways to maximize energy savings.
Oil refineries must also implement carbon dioxide (CO2 )
emissions programs while improving energy efficiency. This
article will provide guidelines to help reliability and process engineers make better decisions on the operation of reciprocating
compressors. This analysis is from the users viewpoint and will
address three different topics: control of process and machine
operating parameters; capacity control; and energy-efficient design of valves and packings, as well as piston rings and bands.


It is not difficult to find reciprocating compressors that are in
good mechanical condition but not working efficiently due to
excessive wear, off-design operating conditions or other external
issues. In these cases, new investment or upgrades/revamps of
the machine are not necessary to increase efficiency or operating
performance. With thorough machinery knowledge, experience
and improved technologies, engineers can detect inefficiencies
in these compressors. Some common operational issues and
process parameters are identified to help optimize energy performance of reciprocating compressors.

Conversely, modern monitoring systems have great potential

in planning predictive/preventive maintenance of the machine,
as well as to detect energy inefficiencies. Leakage and internal
recirculations or inefficiencies can be determined by analyzing the PV diagram and other related performance parameters,
such as valve temperatures and packing (FIG. 2).
Periodic inspection, by qualified technicians, on parameters
that are sensitive to energy consumption can justify maintenance work based on energy savings obtained from the repair.
Inefficiencies that can be diagnosed with monitoring systems
are: valve leakages (suction or discharge), leaking packings and
internal recirculations due to wear of piston rings. Also, some
monitoring systems include useful tools to calculate the approximate economic impact due to these inefficiencies. The savings
achieved with predictive maintenance repairs will depend on
the installed capacity of the machine, as well as on the magnitude of the leak or gas recirculation detected.
Compressor design and process conditions. Compres-

sors operating away from design conditions can cause serious

inefficiencies.2 Although it is not obvious, assessing the state
and process conditions of reciprocating compressors can be
opportunities to optimize operations.
The compression efficiency of a reciprocating compressor
depends on many factors, including valve efficiency, compression ratio, gas composition, machine size and internal clearances. These factors can be divided into groups that depend on
process conditions and those related to inappropriate designs.
Conversely, mechanical efficiency is a function of size and mechanical design of the machine. Several interesting aspects to
consider when assessing the energy efficiency of a reciprocating compressor are:

pressor manufacturers and specialized companies have developed sophisticated software for continuous monitoring of reciprocating compressors. The related analyses are obtained in real
time and can be overlapped to do more complex studies when
required. Newer monitoring systems can survey more online parameters that allow the engineers the ability to assess the compressors status and successfully anticipate failures that formerly
could not be detected. The primary justification to install a monitoring system is based on early fault detection and protection of
the machine against breakdowns. Without such systems, it would
be very difficult to detect a catastrophic or high-cost failure.

Energy used by the compressor

Continuous monitoring systems. In recent years, both com-


Valve Leaks from piston

losses rings and packings Packing friction




Bypass energy


Indicated compression energy

Energy balance for a typical (1 MW4 MW) reciprocating compressor operating in a renery.
Sources: C. Bouch and K. Wintterline, Kolbenverdichter, Springer Verlag.

FIG. 1. Energy balance for a typical refinery reciprocating compressor.

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201579

Rotating Equipment
Gas composition. The PV diagram will vary according
to the process gas compositionthus, the energy used in the
compression cycle will also vary. It is essential to know the gas
composition when assessing energy efficiency to achieve consistent conclusions and formulate effective actions.
Suction temperature. The hotter the gas entering the cylinder, the hotter the discharged gas after compression. The cooling
system may become ineffective and not qualified for actual working conditions. Also, the colder the gas entering the compression
chamber, the denser the gas will become, and more pumped mass
per volume unit is achieved, thus increasing compressor capacity.
Valve design. When the process conditions differ considerably from the original design, the performance of the valves
could decrease significantly. It is easy to install new valves to
meet new process conditions or to modify the existing ones. The
efficiency and performance of the compressor can be improved.
Cylinder, packing and frame lubrication. It is important
to control the oil viscosity, pressures, temperature and other
oil properties because they do affect the mechanical efficiency
of the machine.
Clearance volume. In a reciprocating compressor, the clearance volume is a residual space at the end of the stroke between
the head end or crank end when the piston is located at TDC
or BDC, plus other remaining spaces inside the compression
chamber. Clearance volume typically ranges between 4% and
16% of the swept volume, and it can essentially decrease or increase flow capacity. A higher clearance volume can result in
lower volumetric efficiency and lower compressor capacity.
It is very important to understand the impact of clearance
volume on the capacity of the machine. Compressor capacity
can be modified by changing the uncompressed volume of gas
inside the cylinder. Fitting the machine capacity to the flow required by the process will allow minimizing the quantity of gas
through the recirculation valves and energy consumption.
Compression ratio. Depending on the original process
conditions, the compressor is designed to work efficiently over
a specified range of temperatures and pressures. When varying
Safety analysis

Wear monitoring
acquisition protection

Performance optimization


Lubrication monitoring


Process data analyses


Component tracking

FIG. 2. (a) Analysis capabilities of VISU NT, PROGNOST Systems.

Suction valves
Crank end

Head end

Gas recirculation. The process conditions impact the flow of

compressed gas that is recycled to the compressor suction or
sent through the process unit even when this gas it is not necessary to be processed. Both conditions can lead to significant
energy consumption because excess gas is compressed without
any process benefits. It is possible to achieve savings in both the
energy used to compress the gas and in the energy required in
the furnaces, coolers and other heat-transfer equipment.
Reciprocating compressors, even older machines, usually
have unloaders on the intake valves and clearance pocket valves
on/off in the cylinder head to achieve some flow regulation.
This regulation is usually controlled manually. With this capacity control feature, some gas recirculations/bypasses can be
minimized by just adjusting the compressor capacity when the
bypass valve is open to recirculate the gas. Periodically checking
the required flow by the process vs. the loading in which the
compressor is operating can yield significant savings in both the
power consumed by the compressor driver and the energy required for other plant equipment.

Early failure detection


pressures, the machine may work with excessive compression

ratios at any of its stages. Apart from mechanical problems, this
operating method will involve excessive heating of the gas and
sometimes a decrease in compression efficiency. It is important
to check the operating pressures of each cylinder, so that all
stages work without high discharge temperatures or excessive
mechanical stresses.
Gas cleanliness. Particles and dirt in the gas can lead to accelerated wear of the bands and segments. Result: It materializes as inefficient operation of the valves and other problems.
Clean gas will help achieve better performance of the compressor and optimize the reliability of those elements that impact
energy consumption of the machine. Minimizing excessive
wear will improve the compressors efficiency and reliability.
Any modifications to the machine should be done under
strict adherence to the design specifications and verified by the
original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or authorized component manufacturer. The goal is to ensure safe design and desired results.

Discharge valves
100% capacity

50% capacity
(suction valves held
open crank end)

0 capacity
(suction valves held
open both ends)

FIG. 3. Example of valve unloading in a cylinder with three load steps.3

80MAY 2015|

Cylinder cooling. Another important energy efficiency issue

is cooling the cylinders and gas being compressed. In those
cases, where the cylinder is partially loaded, fresh gas flow is reduced, so the cooling system must be checked and controlled.
The fundamental advantages obtained from good cooling of the
cylinders include:3
1. Dissipating heat due to friction and caused by the
piston rings
2. Improving the cooling system of the cylinder to prevent
excessive temperature rises in those parts subject to
friction in the compression chamber
3. Improving the cooling system will maintain the
oil viscosity in the cylinder at appropriate values,
thus reducing friction and wear.
Likewise, while good cooling is important, excessive cooling
of the process gas may cause condensation and lead to other problems, including corrosion and wear on pistons, bands and rings.
The effects from cylinder cooling efficiency during the
compression cycle are usually studied from the temperature-

Rotating Equipment
entropy (TS) diagram of the cycle. Good heat transfer through
the cylinder walls is important, as the polytropic exponent (actual parameter compression process) is reduced. This effect
involves a lower ratio of the polytropic work and isothermal
compression and, therefore, a greater compression efficiency.4
API 618 has good information and recommendations on the
design of cooling systems. Other valuable literature references
are listed at the end of this article.

In reciprocating compressors, the major energy inefficiency
source is the capacity control of the machine. Flow control of the
pumped gas according to the specific needs of the process has
been broadly developed as the cost of energy and CO2 emissions
have increased. There are different capacity-control methods
used for reciprocating compressors. Some have been used for
years, and the control range is very limited. More modern technologies have been developed that offer higher flexibility and,
therefore, significant energy savings. The range of working loads
and the compression ratio will often determine the control system selected. All working cases and loadings of the machine must
be verified by the OEM to obtain the optimal capacity control
in terms of energy savings and reliability. Several typical capacity
control systems in reciprocating compressors are described here:
Gas recirculation to the suction line. The simplest method
to control gas flow to the process is the recirculation of excess

compressed gas to the compressor suction. Through an automatic valve, normally commanded by the suction pressure set
point, excess gas is recirculated to the suction line. Although a
simple method, recirculation of compressed gas is very inefficient, because a certain amount of gas that has been compressed
is expanded again when it returns to the compressor inlet pipe to
be recompressed. Depending on other factors, the compressed
gas must be cooled before going back to the machine; sometimes
additional coolers may be necessary.
The gas recirculation valve to the inlet pipe is usually installed on compressors, regardless if it is used as a primary capacity control system. This method helps other flow-control
systems to ensure finer control, or it can be used for emergency
flow recirculation if the main control system fails.
Throttling of suction gas valve. Another simple technique
to control reciprocating compressor capacity is to use pressure reduction at the inlet pipe through a manual or controlled
valve. This method will reduce the volumetric efficiency by
lowering the gas density, thus the mass of compressed gas (capacity) decreases.
The major disadvantage of this method is that a significant
decrease in suction pressure is necessary to achieve effective
flow control of the machine. Also, due to the suction pressure
reduction, the compression ratio increases, and the discharge
gas temperature can substantially increase as well as the rod
loadings. In some cases, it may not be a noticeable decrease in

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ISO 9001:2008
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201581

Rotating Equipment
power consumption due to the higher compression ratio and
discharge temperature.
Unloaders on suction valves. This method is the most
widely used to control the load on double-acting reciprocating
compressors (FIG. 3). Load control is achieved by loading or unloading the suction valves with pneumatic actuators, which are
usually operated manually, depending on the required capacity.
The unloaded valves are open during the compression cycle,
so that the gas moves in and out of the compression chamber
through the suction valve. This flow is not sent downstream,
thus reducing the capacity of the machine and energy consumption proportionally to the amount of gas that is not compressed.
This system does not permit a fine control of the load, and
the quantity of load steps that can be achieved depends on the

FIG. 4. Clearance pocket valves, handwheel operated and hydraulic.

Source: Dresser-Rand.
Pocket control valve

Control gas
Fixed volume pocket

number of cylinders and compression stages, along with the

number of valves installed on each cylinder end. Typically, load
stages with which the machine is designed are 0%25%50%
75%100%. As these are fixed steps of load, a certain quantity
of excess gas should be recirculated to the compressor suction
to deliver only the required flow to the process. The efficiency
of this method is good because the adiabatic power is reduced
proportionally to the flow reduction. However, the gas recirculation through the open valves leads to some power losses,
which may be important.
Variable clearance pocket. As pointed out earlier, the clear-

ance volume present in the cylinders of a reciprocating compressor will change the volumetric efficiency. Any change in the
clearance volume of the cylinder will affect the maximum load
capacity of the compressor.
Previously, compressors were designed with clearance
pockets that provided one or two additional steps of loading
on each cylinder, depending on its location (crank end, head
end or both). Later, with the development of electronics, some
manufacturers have designed hydraulic control systems that enable automatic clearance volume with continuous fine adjustments during the compression cycle (stepless-capacity control
systems) at rates from 50% to 100%. FIG. 4 shows a manually
actuated valve that allows one additional load step in the head
end of the cylinder, along with another valve that is hydraulically actuated to permit stepless-capacity control.
FIG. 5 shows a new control system in which the hydraulic unit
is not needed because the capacity control is achieved due to a
reference gas, typically the process gas compressed by the machine. The clearance pocket can be mounted in both cylinder
ends, and it is possible to achieve a regulation range from 70%
to 100%. This system works with a standard valve, and is easy to
install and maintain.




Energy savings
compared to recycle
valve control






FIG. 5. Clearance pocketgas-controlled stepless pocket (GSP).

Source: Dresser-Rand.


FIG. 7. Capacity regulation reverse flow. Source: HOERBIGER.






FIG. 6. HYDROCOM control system.6 Source: HOERBIGER.

82MAY 2015|

FIG. 8. Gas recirculation areas through piston rings.8


Rotating Equipment
Reverse flow capacity control systems. Capacity-control
systems based on a reverse flow effect present an interesting
evolution. While using the traditional unloaders on the cylinder effect where the valve works is unloaded during the whole
cycle, the reverse-flow systems allow the valve to work only
during a part of the compression cycle, thus obtaining a stepless-capacity-control system. This system was developed in the
1990s; it has evolved and is considered very reliable (FIGS. 6
and 7). Several manufacturers have developed their own capacity-regulation system based on the same principle. They all
offer good energy savings because the capacity control ranges
from 20% to 100% capacity.


Other improvements in compressor design include:
Rider bands and piston rings. From FIG. 1, between 2% to 7%
of the energy used in a reciprocating compressor is due to friction losses, and 0.5% to 1% of energy loss is attributed to gas recirculation through piston rings and packings. The losses derived
from internal recirculations have an influence on the volumetric
efficiency (between 0.5% and 3%), thus affecting the flow capacity of the cylinder.7 Using quality rider bands and piston rings not
only influences reliability, but also affects total energy consumption and the pumping capacity of the compressor.
Great advances in plastic materials for the manufacturing of
rider bands and piston rings have increased the service life of
these elements, thus reducing wear and maintenance costs due to
the high-wear. Likewise, internal recirculation through the piston
elements are minimized due to the limited wear, even the nonlubricated, which tend to wear faster. Rider band and piston ring
materials are usually of a combination of PTFE with graphite or
other elements, depending on process gas conditions.
New piston designs allow installing the rider bands with an
appropriate distribution, which minimizes losses and friction
between the liner and piston rings (FIG. 9). For example, distributing the sealing segments in the central part of the piston
will lead to a higher service life, because the elements work at a
lower differential pressure, which is distributed across the piston rings. Internal recirculations are minimized due to new design. Using this configuration, rider bands are grooved to keep
them from acting as seal elements. Sealing should be done by
the piston rings. The efficiency of the sealing elements of the
piston is strongly influenced by gas cleanliness and good cylinder lubrication (on machines where it is required).

Valves. Both suction and discharge valves have traditionally

been a huge reliability problem for reciprocating compressors.
One of the most renowned field studies suggests that 36% of
faults due to unscheduled reciprocating compressor shutdowns
are linked to valve problems.9 The study was done in 1996, and
valve design has evolved. New data shows that a longer service
life is now possible with improved valve design and new construction materials.
When a reasonable lifetime of compressor valves is obtained, manufacturers efforts are directed to reducing losses
by friction. Valve manufacturers have achieved performance
improvements with energy consumption savings up to 2% over
conventional valves.
Simulation tools, such as computational fluid dynamics
(CFD), have enabled redesigning conventional valves to obtain substantial improvements in energy efficiency (FIG. 10). It
is possible to reduce the gas velocity passing through the valve
and the formation of vortexes; both have a great impact on the
efficiency of valve, which can be calculated based on the effective flow area (EFA).10 It refers to the throat area for an ideal
discharge nozzle that can be calculated (for non-viscous in subcritical flow) from the ratio, Ks :






FIG. 9. Piston rings installed in a central position reduce internal

recirculations, as the differential pressure between them is lower
than in other designs. Source: GE Oil & Gas.
Select 170 at


Rotating Equipment
Once Ks is calculated, the valve efficiency can be calculated:
EFA = GFA Ks with: GFA = OP Lift
Ks = Flow coefficient
Lift = Stroke from the closed to the open position
= Measured mass flowrate
P01 = Total pressure upstream of the valve
Ps2 = Static pressure downstream
T = Total temperature upstream
= Ratio of heat capacities
p = Pressure drop across the valve
= Valve diameter
EFA = Effective flow area
GFA = Geometric flow area
OP = Opening periphery


Conventional tangential/radial ring

BCD ring

Energy savings



Supply pressure, bar



FIG. 11. a) Power savings on BCD packings; (b) BCD ring.


Packings. About 3% to 10% of the energy used by reciprocating compressors is generated by friction losses in the packings.
Another 0.5% to 1% of energy loss is due to leaks in the packings and piston rings. The packings also have a high influence on
reliability, as they are subjected to significant wear. Preventing
leaks to the environment and flares has been addressed by new
designs developed by OEMs in energy efficiency and reliability.
Packing does influence energy consumption for compressors.
It is estimated that each standard ring set tangential/radial may
represent an average energy consumption of about 5 kW. This
power value multiplied by all the rings installed on the machine
is not negligible. Manufacturers have developed new designs to
minimize friction between rings and the piston rod. A new design
(FIG. 11) uses a single-ring design with a pressure balancing groove
that reduces friction losses up to 40% over standard packings.a
Packings are responsible for most gas leaks, and have environmental and economic impacts (FIG. 12). To dilute and minimize
leakage of process gas, low-emission packings have been installed

Energy loss, %

Loss by friction, kW

FIG. 10. Simulation CFD of a valve. Typical discharge valve

arrangement.10 Source: GE Oil & Gas.

ID = Inner diameter
OD = External diameter.
The efficiency of the valve increases by increasing the EFA
parameter, so it can be deduced from the listed equations that
valve efficiency will improve by increasing within certain limits
one or more of these parameters:
Opening periphery (OP) is the length of the perimeter of
the gas passage on the seat. It can be calculated for a ring valve as
the sum of the OD and ID of all rings inside the valve.
Lift is the maximum stroke from the closing to opening positions of the rings or plate inside the valve.
Ks is the ratio between the ideal nozzle throat area (EFA)
and the GFA.

Packing leakage erratic and elevated due

to changes in cup pressure distribution

BCD ring
RT ring

FIG. 13. Packing with nitrogen as buffer gas.11 Source: HOERBIGER.

Specially designed oil seals

poil pressurized oil

Average leakage
Average leakage

Service life
(Set of one radial cut ring and one tangential cut ring)

FIG. 12. Comparison of average leakage BCD ring vs. radial/tangent

ring design.11 Source: HOERBIGER.

84MAY 2015|

poil > pgas

FIG. 14. XPerSeal packing.12 Source: HOERBIGER.

Rotating Equipment
equipped with inert gas injection (usually nitrogen). This design
is well-proven and validated by the successive revisions of the
API 618 about reciprocating compressors. FIG. 13 shows a packing system equipped with nitrogen injection.
Another advanced design aims to achieve zero leakage and
minimize friction losses, as shown in FIG. 14.b In this case, pressurized oil is injected into the packing at a pressure slightly higher
than the gas pressure, so the leak is avoided. Oil consumption is
minimal, and, due to oil flow friction losses, the temperatures
reached in piston rod and packing rings are lower than those that
are obtained in other designs.

There is an important improvement margin in terms of energy
efficiency related to reciprocating compressors. Some modifications and best practices can be implemented easily and with very
little investment. Some improvements can be obtained simply
by adjusting the loading of the compressor to the real needs of
the process, thus avoiding unwanted gas recirculation. The daily
work of checking process conditions and machine capacity is critical to improving compressor efficiency and performance. The
reliability engineer must be aware of new developments to take
advantage of solutions and practices that are efficient in terms of
energy and to minimize gas leakages and recirculations.
A new design with reduced friction is the Balanced Cup Design (BCD) made by
XPerSeal, developed by HOERBIGER.

Dimoplon, W., What Process Engineers Need to Know About Compressors,
Compressor Handbook for the Hydrocarbon Industries, Gulf Publishing Company,
Vila Forteza, M., Eficiencia energtica y actualizacin tecnolgica de compresores centrfugos en la actual coyuntura econmica, Revista Mantenimiento,
No. 267, September 2013.
Bloch, H. P. and J. J. Hoefner, Reciprocating Compressors Operation and
Maintenance of Reciprocating Compressors, Gulf Publishing Company, 1996.
EFRC Website,
Faulkner, H. B., An investigation of instantaneous heat transfer during compression and expansion in reciprocating gas handling equipment, Massachussets
Institute of Technology, 1983.
Stachel, K. and M. Wenisch, Improved control concepts for reciprocating compressors in refining processes, ERTC 18th Annual Meeting, November 2013,
Budapest, Hungary.
Hanlon, P. C., Ed., Compressor Handbook, McGraw Hill, 2001.
Liu, Y. and Y. Yongzhang, Prediction for the Sealing Characteristics of Piston
Rings of a Reciprocating Compressor, International Compressor Engineering
Conference, 1986.
Leonard, S. M., Increasing the Reliability of Reciprocating Compressors on
Hydrogen Services, NPRA Maintenance Conference, May 2023, 1997.
Kosla, A. and A. Babbini, Fluid dynamic design of a new generation of reciprocating compressor valves, GE Technology insights, 2013.
Lindner-Silwester, T., and C. Hold, The BCD packing ringa new high performance design HOERBIGER Ventilwerke GmbH & Co KG. 7th Conference of
the EFRC, October 2010, Florence, Italy.
XPerSeal Customer Presentation 2013, HOERBIGER.
Machu, E. H., Valve Throttling, Its Influence on Compressor Efficiency and Gas
Temperatures, International Compressor Engineering Conference, Paper 805,

MARC VILA FORTEZA is responsible for the rotating machinery/reliability

department at Repsol S.A.s Petronor refinery at Muskiz, Spain, since 2009.
He holds an MSc degree in mechanical Engineering and a BSc degree in naval
engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
He has published technical articles on reliability, hydrogen compressors and
lubrication management.

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Process Technology
University of Calgary, Canada

Improve measurement of heavy oil viscosity

This work will study the viscosity behavior of bitumen and
its blends with diluent at different temperatures, as well as
evaluating simulations for prediction of viscosity of the blend.
A blend of bitumen and diluent was prepared, and the viscosities of the bitumen and blend were measured by a viscometer at three different temperatures and compared to simulation results. The effect the diluent (kerosine) addition into
the bitumen had on the viscosity of the blend was also studied
by experiment and simulation. It was found that the addition
of 10 wt% diluent resulted in a viscosity reduction equivalent
to increasing the temperature from 30C to 50C.
The viscosity at low temperatures (such as 30C) showed
a shear-thinning behavior, indicating viscoelasticity; whereas,
at a higher temperature (such as 50C), a Newtonian behavior
was observed over the range of shear rates studied (0.01100
s1). The results showed a structural phase transition at a temperature between 40C50C for both the neat bitumen and
the bitumen-diluent blend.
Viscosities at three temperatures (30C, 50C and 80C)
were measured, and the results were compared with simulation results obtained by a process simulation and optimization tool used for viscosity evaluation that has the ability to
model all processes into one simulation environment. There
was a significant deviation between the simulation tool and
the experimental data for the viscosity of bitumen and its
blend with the diluent. The tools simulations were greatly
influenced by bitumen characteristic inputs. It was observed
that if only the distillation curve of oil (i.e., composition) is
loaded in the simulation tools oil manager, the predicted viscosity would be very different from the experimental value. A
much better match was obtained when bulk properties, such
as density and viscosity at two temperatures, were also loaded
into the simulation tool.
Characteristics of bitumen. Bitumen is considered an ex-

tra-heavy oil that does not flow unless heated or diluted with
a light crude oil or natural gas condensate. It has a high viscosity (10,000 cP) under reservoir conditions. Extraction of
bitumen as a source of crude oil has recently received more attention because of high oil prices and the introduction of new
profitable technologies for extraction and processing. Production, transportation and refining of crude oils, in general, are
significantly dependent on the viscosity.
Viscosity is a significant factor for designing separation
processes. For example, oil, water and gas are separated in a
three-phase separator. Separation of water from oil is highly

dependent on oil viscosity. Separation occurs based on Stokes

law (Eq. 1) in low regime:1
Vt = (1,000 g Dp2) (1 2) / (18)


The terminal velocity, Vt , or settling velocity, of water droplets is inversely proportional to viscosity, , and proportional
to the gravitational constant g. Here, Dp is the droplet diameter, 1 , is the water density and 2 is the oil density. Decreasing
the viscosity tenfold could improve (i.e., decrease) the settling
velocity tenfold and result in much lower residence time and,
consequently, smaller separator size.
Oil viscosity also affects sizing of pipelines because pressure loss in pipelines depends directly on fluid viscosity. For
example, hydraulic calculations show that an increase in viscosity from 1 mPa.s to 10 mPa.s will increase the pressure drop by
10%50% (depending on roughness/friction factor) in turbulent flow,2 resulting in significant costs for pumping equipment
and energy/power to operate. The same increase in viscosity
could reduce the terminal velocity for a water droplet size in a
separator by 10 times (Stokes law), which would be reflected in
a much longer separation vessel.
To facilitate transportation, the viscosity of bitumen can be
reduced either by heating to a higher temperature or by adding
a diluent, or both. Generally, a diluent is added at regular distances along pipelines carrying heavy crude to reduce the viscosity, thus facilitating the flow. This diluted bitumen is called
dilbit, and the method is considered an effective way to transport highly viscous oil.
Naphtha or gas condensates are the usual diluents in dilbit.
The viscosity of bitumen is reduced to meet the pipeline specifications of 19API and 350 cSt at minimum temperature (i.e.,
8C within the pipeline).2 One study examined the dilution of
bitumen using methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) inhibited asphaltene deposition, which can occur when paraffinic hydrocarbon
is used as diluent.3 A liquid viscosity model was used to calculate
viscosity of components as a function of temperature, and then
used the mixing rule to determine blend viscosity as a function
of composition. A distillation test was also performed to assess
separation of diluents from bitumen, and it was found that the
bulk of diluents could be removed without difficulty.
Another article studied different mixing rules for heavy and
light oils.4 It was found that prediction using pure mixing rules
yielded a viscosity with high error. Their analysis showed that
the accuracy of the model in predicting viscosity diminished
as the API decreased. The effect of viscosity and water droplet
size in water/oil emulsion systems was also investigated.5 They
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201587

Process Technology
showed that asphaltenes play an important role in stabilizing
water droplets in the mixture. As a result, a smaller average particle size and higher viscosity were reported with increasing asphaltene content in the emulsion.
An article developed a correlation for predicting the viscosity of heavy oil/diluent systems.6 They proposed a model
that showed good agreement with experiments, especially for
mixtures with higher viscosity ratios (ratio of 20 or above).
The required input for their model was density and viscosity
of the heavy and light components. They used a modified version of the Arrhenius equation and reported a good agreement
between the predicted and experimental data. However, some
limitations were noted for the proposed model, i.e., it was valid
only for mixtures with high-viscosity ratios and should be used

with caution for low-viscosity ratio systems. Additionally, the

effect of temperature was not verified.
The viscosity of mixtures of bitumen with toluene was
studied.7 It introduced a temperature-dependent viscous interaction parameter, Bij , into the formula to improve the viscosity prediction. Toluene was chosen as the diluent because
paraffin-based solvents might lead to asphaltene precipitating
out of the solution; it was observed that aromatic solvents such
as toluene and benzene would dissolve bitumen in all proportions. Viscosity reduction could be achieved using a liquid diluent at any pressure, including ambient pressure.8 A model for
prediction of the viscosity of bitumen/diluent mixtures was
presented.9 However, the model was not in good agreement
with experimental results for diesel/bitumen mixtures and a
large error was reported.

TABLE 1. Distillation curves for bitumen and diluent

Bitumen TBP distillation
curve: SIMDIS, ASTM D7169
Mass wt%












Vol. wt%






























was carried out in a modified gas chromatograph with methodology based on ASTM D7169. The properties of the bitumen
and diluent used in this study are listed in TABLES 1 and 2.
Viscosity measurements were conducted using oscillatory
and rotational rheometers. Measurements were performed using Couette geometry (inner cylinder diameter = 27 mm; gap
= 2 mm) at an elevated temperature and cone-plate geometry
for heavy oil at low temperature (disk diameter = 25 mm; gap =
47 micron; angle = 1). The blend was prepared by adding
10 wt% kerosine to bitumen.




The distillation curve for bitumen. A simulated distillation

Diluent (kerosine)
distillation curve: ASTM D86

Results and discussion. The viscosity measurements for

bitumen were performed using parallel-plate geometry at
room temperature due to high-normal forces exerted on the
measuring system upon lowering the inner cylinder into the
outer cylinder. Viscosities of the samples at other conditions
TABLE 2. Bulk properties of bitumen and diluent





Density at 15C





Diluent (kerosine)

998 kg/m3

Density at 15C

756 kg/m3

Viscosity at 30C

510 Pa.s

Viscosity at 30C

0.00161 Pa.s

Viscosity at 80C

2.09 Pa.s



A) 30C



B) 80C


*, Pa.s

*, Pa.s









Shear rate, 1/s





FIG. 1. Effect of diluent addition on viscosity of bitumen: a) at 30C and b) at 80C.

88MAY 2015|


Shear rate, 1/s




Process Technology
tioned distinctive microstructures, which are highly dependent
on thermo-mechanical conditions, are responsible for the linear
and nonlinear rheological behavior of heavy oil materials.
The results obtained from viscometry are compared to simulation results in TABLES 35. In TABLE 3, the simulation results
based on inputting only the distillation curve of the heavy oil
into the simulation software are presented. There is a significant
difference between these simulation results and the viscometry results in TABLE 3. Changing the thermodynamic property
package did not improve the simulation results. In fact, for both
thermodynamic packages, the simulation tool greatly underestimated the viscosity for bitumen and for the blend.
In another simulation, the density of oil and its distillation
curve were loaded into the simulation software, and the results
are shown in TABLE 4. It is observed that viscosity prediction
slightly increases in this case, but there is still a considerable
discrepancy between the simulation and experimental values.
Therefore, it is concluded that including density in the simulation does not significantly improve the prediction of viscosity.
In another attempt, the density and viscosities of heavy oil
at two temperatures (30C and 80C), along with the distillation curve, were loaded into the software and simulation results were compared to experimental measurements in TABLE 5.

Bitumen, 30C


*, Pa.s



Bitumen, 50C



Shear rate, 1/s




FIG. 2. Effect of viscosity reduction of bitumen by increasing

temperature from 30C to 50C compared to adding 10% diluent.


Modulus, Pa

were measured using Couette geometry at three temperatures

(30C, 50C and 80C). The results for the heavy oil and blend
of heavy oil with 10 wt% diluent at two temperatures (30C
and 80C) are shown in FIG. 1.
The rheological behavior of bitumen is different near room
temperature than at higher temperatures. At 30C, bitumen
shows a viscosity plateau at a lower shear rate and shear-thinning behavior at a higher shear rate. Such behavior has been reported for heavy oil at low temperatures.10 This is likely related
to fraction of high-molecular-weight hydrocarbon molecules
in heavy oil that exhibit shear-thinning behavior, like polymer
molecules. Viscosity drops by about 35% from low to high
shear rate range for heavy oil at room temperature. However,
it is observed that an addition of 10 wt% kerosine diluent has
a more significant effect. Viscosity decreases by more than 10
times and no significant shear-thinning behavior is observed.
The results in FIG. 1B show that the effect of increasing temperature (30C to 80C) on the reduction of bitumen viscosity
is much more significant than the addition of 10% diluent. The
effect of diluent addition on viscosity reduction of bitumen is
also different at 30C and 80C. Adding 10% diluent reduced
the viscosity of bitumen about 10 times at room temperature.
However, at a higher temperature (80C), this reduction was
only about four times.
It is important to notice that no shear-thinning behavior is observed for bitumen upon either adding diluent or increasing temperature (for shear rates below 10 s1). The effect of diluent vs.
the effect of increasing temperature on viscosity reduction was
investigated (FIG. 2). It is observed that the effect of adding 10%
diluent is similar to increasing temperature from 30C to 50C.
The viscoelastic behavior of bitumen and its blend were analyzed further by performing a temperature sweep test with the
rheometer. FIG. 3 depicts elastic modulus and loss modulus vs.
temperature at a cooling rate of 1C/min. The experiment was
conducted at a constant frequency of = 1 rad/sec, a constant
amplitude of = 1%, and zero normal force using parallel-plate
geometry. Considering the multi-phase arrangements proposed
for colloidal microstructure of heavy oils and bituminous materials, it is possible to infer the existence of a structural phase
transition in the temperature range below 50C for both the bitumen and the blend.11, 12
The observed phase transition was signaled by the intensification of elastic response, while viscous behavior is still
dominant for temperatures as low as 30C. It should be noted
that the increase in elastic modulus was less significant for the
blend. These results are correlated with asphaltene micelles
aggregation. Interpretations were proposed using small-angle
X-ray scattering (SAXS) and small-angle neutron scattering
(SANS) experiments.13
The aggregation process originated from Brownian motion
by the so-called reaction-limited cluster aggregation.14 By utilizing characterization techniques like scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), a variety
of multi-phase microstructures were observed that were highly
composition- and temperature-dependent.15, 16 Micron-scale
heterogeneities were also detected by confocal laser-scanning
microscopy (CLSM) in heavy oil and bituminous samples.17
Interestingly, the observed morphologies were comparable in
shape and size with those of paraffin crystals.18 The above-men-



Bitumen, G'
Blend, G'
Bitumen, G"
Blend, G"


Temperature, C




FIG. 3. Elastic modulus (G) and loss modulus (G) of bitumen and
the blend.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201589

Process Technology
TABLE 3. Viscosity of the components and the blend
(without loading bulk properties of heavy oil in simulation tool)
, Pa.s



Simulation tool


0.00164 0.00118 0.00081 0.00156



0.0014 0.00072

Heavy oil







Blend 10%







TABLE 4. Viscosity of the components and the blend

(using density of heavy oil in simulation tool)
, Pa.s



Simulation tool




0.00164 0.00118 0.00081 0.00156 0.00114 0.00072

Heavy oil







Blend 10%







TABLE 5. Viscosity of the components and the blend

[with loading density and viscosities at two temperatures
(30C and 80C) of heavy oil in simulation tool]
, Pa.s



Simulation tool




0.00164 0.00118 0.00081 0.00156 0.00114 0.00072

Heavy oil







Blend 10%







Although the predicted results for heavy oil are very close to
the experimental values in this case, the values for the blend
are still quite different, as the simulation tool underestimates
the viscosity values by at least 50%.
One study 2 examined the viscosity of bitumen blend with
diluents and showed that Cragoes equation provided the best
prediction of the blend viscosity compared to other methods
such as mixing rule, API and Mehrotras methods.8 Cragoes
equation is shown here (Eq. 2):
ln O


Here, m , D and O are the viscosities of mixture, diluent

and oil, respectively; and xD and xO are the mass fractions of diluent and oil, respectively. The viscosities obtained from Cragoes equation at 30C, 50C and 80C are 14.3, 2.4 and 0.51
Pa.s, respectively, and this prediction is better than that seen
from the simulation tool.
The effect on reducing viscosity. Viscosities of bitumen

and 10 wt% blends with kerosine were measured and the results
were compared with the empirical simulation data. The effect
on reducing viscosity by adding 10 wt% of kerosine as a diluent
into bitumen was equal to the effect obtained upon increasing
temperature from 30C to 50C.
Bitumen viscosity at lower temperatures (such as 30C) exhibited shear-thinning behavior. At higher temperatures (such as
50C and 80C) or for blends containing 10% diluent, viscosity was almost Newtonian, i.e., independent of shear rate. Temperature sweep tests revealed the existence of a structural phase
90MAY 2015|

transition in the temperature range of 40C50C for both the

bitumen and the blend.
Viscosities were measured at three temperatures and the results were compared with simulation viscosity results obtained
by the simulation tool and viscosity from Cragoes model. A
significant deviation between the simulation software and experimental data was observed, as the software always underestimated the viscosity of the blend by at least 50%. The simulations were improved by inputting more bitumen characteristics.
If only the distillation curve is used in the simulation tool, the
predicted viscosity is much lower than the experimental value.
However, if other bulk properties such as density and viscosity at
two temperatures are provided, in addition to distillation curve,
this resulted in improved simulation predictions.
Arnold, K. E. and J. P. Koszola, Droplet-settling vs. retention-time theories for sizing
oil/water separator, SPE, 1990, pp. 5964.
Ha, H. Z. and P. Koppel, Accurately predict viscosity of syncrude blends: An evaluation for mixing rules uncovers potential errors in fluid transportation of bitumenbased feeds, Hydrocarbon Processing, July 2008, pp. 8792.
Anhorn, J. L. and A. Badakhshan, Heavy oil-oxygenate blends and viscosity models, Fuel, 1994.
Centeno, G., G. Sanchez-Reyna, J. Ancheyta, J. A. D. Muoz and N. Cardona, Testing
various mixing rules for calculation of viscosity of petroleum blends, Fuel, 2011.
Maia Filho, D. C., J. B. V. S. Ramalho, L. S. Spinelli and E. F. Lucas, Aging of waterin-crude oil emulsions: Effect on water content, droplet size distribution, dynamic
viscosity and stability, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical Engineering Aspects,
2012, pp. 208212.
Shu, W. R., R. Mobil and D. Corp, A viscosity correlation for mixtures of heavy oil,
bitumen and petroleum fractions, SPE, 1984, pp. 277282.
Mehrotra, A. K., Development of mixing rules for predicting the viscosity of
bitumen and its fractions blended with toluene, The Canadian Journal of Chemical
Engineering, 1990, pp. 839848.
Mehrotra, A. K., Modeling temperature and composition dependence for the
viscosity of diluted bitumens, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 1991, pp.
Miadonye, A., N. L. Doyle, A. Britten, N. Latour and V. R. Puttagunta, Modeling
viscosity and mass fraction of bitumen-diluent mixtures, Journal of Canadian
Petroleum Technology, 2001, pp. 5257.
Hasan, S. W., M. T. Ghannam and N. Esmail, Heavy crude oil viscosity reduction
and rheology for pipeline transportation, Fuel, 2010.
Dwiggins, C. W., A small-angle X-ray scattering study of the colloidal nature of
petroleum, The Journal of Physical Chemistry, 1965, pp. 35003506.
Mason, T. G. and M. Y. Lin, Asphaltene nanoparticle aggregation in mixtures of
incompatible crude oils, Phys. Rev., E 67:14 050401, 2003.
Roux, J. N., D. Broseta and B. Demsans, Study of asphaltene aggregation: concentration and solvent quality effects, Langmuir, 2001, 17, pp. 50855092.
Mullins, O. C. and E. Y. Sheu, Structures and dynamics of asphaltenes, Springer,
New York, 1998.
Masson, J. F., V. Leblond, J. Margeson and S. Bundalo-Perc, Low-temperature bitumen stiffness and viscous paraffinic nano- and micro-domains by cryogenic AFM
and PDM, Journal of Microscopy, 2007, 227, pp. 191202.
Loeber, L., O. Sutton, J. Morel, J. M. Valleton and G. Muller, New direct observations of asphalts and asphalt binders by scanning electron microscopy and atomic
force microscopy, Journal of Microscopy, 1996, 182, pp. 3239.
Bearsley, S., A. Forbes and R. G. Haverkamp, Direct observation of the asphaltene
structure in paving-grade bitumen using confocal laser-scanning microscopy,
Journal of Microscopy, 2004, 215, pp. 149155.
Lu, X., M. Langton, P. Olofsson and P. Redelius, Wax morphology in bitumen,
Journal of Materials Science, 2005, 40, pp. 18931900.

FARHAD SADEGHI, PhD, P.Eng, is a senior process engineer with Fjords Processing
(formerly AkerSolutions) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
SOHEIL SADEGHI is a PhD student at the department of chemical and petroleum
engineering, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
UTTANDARAMAN SUNDARARAJ, PhD, P.Eng, FEC, is a professor at the
department of chemical and petroleum engineering, University of Calgary,
Alberta, Canada.

Process Engineering
D. SMITH AND J. BURGESS, Smith & Burgess,
Houston, Texas

Improve relief-device sizing under

supercritical conditions

Details of sizing equations. Per API 520, if the compress-

ibility factor of the fluid is greater than 0.8, then the ideal gas
ratio of specific heats may be used to determine the expansion
coefficient. If the compressibility factor is less than 0.8, then
the expansion coefficient should be based on the isentropic
expansion coefficient. This article shows that the listed guidance can over-predict the capacity of the relief device near the
critical point for light gases. The authors suggest that, when
the fluid critical volume is 2 or lower, a direct integration
method is required to accurately estimate relief-device capacities. If the critical volume is greater than 2 and the compressibility factor is less than 0.8, then using the nozzle equation
with the isentropic expansion factor is acceptable.

Background. The accurate sizing of relief devices is very important. Operating facilities processing such fluids near the
critical locus want to ensure that plant equipment is adequately protected from overpressure and that relief devices are not
oversized. In general, the potential consequence for undersizing relief devices is severe, and is the focus of relevant industry codes and standards.1, 2 Relief-device sizing equations
are based on a modified nozzle flow equation (e.g., Eqs. 27 in
API 520, Part 1) and assume that the expansion of the fluid/
gas (the nozzle capacity) can be predicted by Eq. 1 (for US
customary units):1
C  520 k


k 1





Methodology. The direct integration method (Eq. 3) to size

relief devices provides the most accurate estimates of relief device capacities:



v dP


P dP



To evaluate the effect of different relief-device capacity

estimation methods, four light hydrocarbon gases were sized
using the direct integration method (Eq. 3). The method is
based on the nozzle equation, using both the ratio of ideal gas
specific heats and the isentropic expansion coefficient to determine C (Eq. 1). The predicted capacity of a representative
relief device (a 2J3) was then estimated for a wide range
of relief temperatures (50F350F) and pressures (250 psig
and 2,500 psig) for relief fluids of pure ethane, ethylene and
propane. In addition, mixtures having molecular weights ranging from 2843 were also analyzed. In all cases, the fluid was a
superheated vapor at the inlet to the device.

Integration , %
Ideal k , %
Isentropic , %



Per API 520, K is the ratio of ideal specific heats, CP /CV , if

the compressibility factor, Z, of the relief fluid is greater than
0.8. If not, C should be based on the isentropic expansion factor instead (Eq. 2), API 520, Part 1 5.6.1):1

However, near the critical loci, the very assumption that

Eq. 1 correctly describes the expansion of the gas is potentially
incorrect, and may result in invalid relief-device capacity estimates. The remaining sections of this article show an alternative method for determining if a modified nozzle equation is
valid when estimating the capacity of a relief device near the
critical loci.

Deviation calculated capacity vs. z, %

Properly sized relief devices under supercritical conditions

are vital to processing natural gas and gas condensates into olefins. These processes operate near the critical locus of the process gases used. Relief-device sizing equations that are based
on the nozzle flow equation in API 520 or ASME B&PVC Section I or VIII use the expansion of an ideal gas or a real gas.1, 2










FIG. 1. Percent deviation from direct integration in calculated capacity

vs. z.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201591

Process Engineering
Since equations of state have known issues with predicting
the physical properties needed to size relief devices near the
critical loci of the fluid, all physical properties in this evaluation were calculated using the National Institute of Standards
and Technologys REFPROP property package, version 9.1.
Results. The results of all the relief-device sizing estimates
are shown in FIG. 1 as a function of the compressibility factor.
What is noted for these light hydrocarbon gases is that using
the modified nozzle equation with the expansion factor based
Integration , %


Deviation vs. reduced volume, %




FIG. 2. Percent deviation in calculated capacity vs. reduced volume.

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on an ideal gas (CP /CV ) or the isentropic expansion factor

Eq. 2 does not accurately predict capacity. FIG. 1 shows that
near a compressibility factor, Z, of 0.5, there are cases where
the nozzle equation can over-predict, under-predict and accurately predict the relief-device capacity as compared to a
direct integration method as predicted by Eq. 3. When the
isentropic expansion factor is used in the nozzle equation, the
capacity tends to either accurately predict capacity or overpredict it. When the ideal gas, K, is used in the nozzle equation, the capacity tends to either accurately predict capacity
or under-predict it.
If the capacity estimates are replotted vs. reduced volume,
as shown in FIG. 2, a usable pattern is indicated. The capacity of relief devices with contained fluids with compressibility less than 0.8 and a reduced volume greater than 2 can be
accurately predicted based on the recommendations in API
520. When the reduced volume of a fluid is below 2, the only
accurate means to predict relief-device capacity is to use a direct integration method. The use of Eqs. 27 in API 520, Part
1 will tend to under-predict the capacity of relief devices for
light gases in the fluid-condition ranges studied for this article.
Charts similar to FIGS. 1 and 2 were also reviewed for reduced
temperature and reduced pressure, and the resulting correlations were similar to that of compressibility (FIG. 1).
Observations. The results of all the relief-device sizing estimates for the four light hydrocarbon gases show that the guidance given in API 520 may over-predict relief-device capacity.
When sizing relief devices, these points should be considered:
1. At reduced volumes greater than 2, the advice in
API 520 is sufficient.
2. At reduced volumes less than 2, the direct integration
method should be used to size relief devices.
Further guidance in API 520 is to ensure that the equations
presented are applicable to the system being reviewed. To ensure the most appropriate sizing results, users should establish
the limits of applicability for their own systems.1 However,
from the authors experience, this caveat is often, if not universally, overlooked. The analysis presented here was also done
for octane and pentane, starting at each fluids critical loci with
pressure and temperature increase, and the results were identical to those for light gases.
API STD 520 Sizing, Selection and Installation of Pressuring-relieving Devices in
Refineries, Part 1Sizing and Selection, 8th Ed., December 2008.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2007 ASME Boiler and Pressure
Vessel Code, Section VIII Division I, Appendix II.


DUSTIN SMITH, PE, is the co-founder and principal consultant

of Smith & Burgess LLC, a process safety consulting firm based
in Houston, Texas. His experience includes both domestic and
international projects. Mr. Smith is a chemical engineering
graduate of Texas A&M University and a licensed professional
engineer in Texas.



Select 172 at

JOHN BURGESS, PE, is the co-founder and principal consultant

of Smith & Burgess LLC, a process safety consulting firm
based in Houston, Texas. Mr. Burgess has BS and MS degrees
in chemical engineering from both Texas Tech University
and the University of Missouri. He is a licensed professional
engineer in Texas.

Show Preview

HP Staff

IRPC 2015: Advancing the global HPI

by sharing knowledge and best practices
May 31June 3, 2015
Jumeirah at Etihad
Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE
The sixth annual IRPC features
a four-day forum focused on
the downstream industry
Day 1Full-day workshop
presented by Takreer Research
Centre and Borouge
Day 2Business agenda,
with keynote presentations
and panel discussions on
present day and future issues
inuencing the global and
regional rening industry
Days 3 and 4Technical
agenda with over 65 technical
presentations by high-level
executives, technical experts
and academics on the concerns
impacting the operation and
business planning of reneries,
petrochemical plants, and gas
processing and LNG facilities
Four days of networking
Organized by Gulf Publishing
Company and dmg::events
Middle East, the organizers
Cohosted by TAKREER
Sponsors include Sandvik,
Axens, KBR and Al Mazroui

Leading hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) executives and technical

experts will come together May 31June
3 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to share ideas, innovation and vision for the global downstream industry at Hydrocarbon Processings sixth annual International Refining
and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC).
Leaders and innovation converge.

IRPC 2015 will provide a broader forum

than in the past, and it is organized by Gulf
Publishing Company and dmg::events
Middle East, the organizers of ADIPEC,
and cohosted by Abu Dhabi Oil Refining
Company (TAKREER).
Two additional programs have been
added to the four-day IRPC 2015. First,
the event begins with a full-day downstream research and innovation workshop
sponsored by Takreer Research Centre
and Borouge. The workshop will also
include a tour of the Takreer Research
Centre. Also new to the IRPC program is
the business-day program developed by
dmg::events. The business day includes
several keynote presentations and panels addressing the pressing needs of the
global petrochemical and refining industries and discussions on downstream innovations and technology developments.
Representatives from the Organization
of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OAPEC), Equate, KBR and others will
focus on industry issues that include profitability, risk aversion, workforce problems, and the integration of petrochemical and refining complexes.
The technical agenda is a two-day
event with over 65 technical presentations by company leaders, managers, engineers and other professionals. Continuing in 2015, the forum will feature three

technical tracks to cover the broad spectrum of HPI topics and disciplines. The
tracks are refining/biofuels, petrochemicals and gas processing/LNG.
The refining track will address the
processing of heavy oil into clean transportation and marine fuels. Presentations
will address new technologies to handle
present-day crudes and improved flexibility methods in refining operations.
The petrochemicals track will focus on
olefins and aromatic operations and on
future product and feedstock trends. The
gas processing track will include presentations on gas treating, LNG commercialization and more.
Other technical sessions are dedicated
to energy efficiency, process optimization, corrosion mitigation/prevention
methods, safety, petrochemical/refinery
integration, environmental performance,
advanced catalytic technologies, licensed

FIG. 1. IRPC 2015 comes to the Middle East

and will be held at the Jumeirah at Etihad
Towers in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 201593

Show Preview: IRPC

technologies for refining and petrochemicals, water management, process control,
process modeling/simulation, maintenance and planning techniques, reliability
programs, plant management and more.
The conference will feature several
keynote presentations. Giacomo Rispoli,

A truly
international event

executive vice president of research and

development and projects of Eni SpA,
will discuss developments of Enis heavy
oil conversion technology-EST and the
future of the downstream industry.
Top HPI project award luncheon.
Winners of the 2014 top HPI projects, as
selected by HP readers through an online
survey, will be honored during a special
awards luncheon. Top HPI 2014 project
winners are Sadara Chemical, a JV between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical

IRPC is an international downstream event that is held globally to

bring together industry stakeholders for discussions on high-priority

Rome, Italy
Milan, Italy
New Delhi, India
Verona, Italy
Abu Dhabi, UAE
TBA, Europe


FIG. 2. HPI expansion continues in the

Middle East. Photo shows ongoing
construction at the Sadara Chemical Co.
Photo courtesy of Sadara Chemical Co.

for top petrochemical project; Saudi Aramco and Total Refining and Petrochemical (SATORP) Co. for top refining project;
and Sasol North Americas GTL project in
Lake Charles, Louisiana, for top LNG/gas
processing project. The engineering, procurement and construction companies for
these projects will also receive awards for
their participation. The SATORP, Sadara
Chemical and Sasol GTL projects were selected from 12 HPI projects by an online
survey conducted by HP. These projects
were identified by HP readers as having
the highest impact on the global and regional downstream industry.
The industrys leading edge. The HPI
is a global industry; success hinges on
companies and their staff finding accurate
and vital information in real time to make
informed and profitable decisions. At
IRPC 2015, HPI professionals will have
the opportunity to network and brainstorm with executives and leaders that are
charting the course of the global HPI.
The meeting place for the global
downstream. Companies involved in

the following areas will benefit from attending IRPC: refining, natural gas processing, technology and equipment manufacturing, consulting, construction and
engineering, chemicals and petrochemicals, and oil and gas services and supplies.
Individuals and company officials active
in the following role types will also benefit from attending IRPC: operations and
supply management, business development, engineering, research and development, project management, construction
and design, and more.
For more information about the 2015
International Refining and Petrochemical
Conferenceorganized by Gulf Publishing Company and dmg::events Middle
East, the organizers of ADIPECplease

FIG. 3. Night view of Sohar refinery.

Photo courtesy of Oman Oil Refineries
and Petroleum Industries Co.


Select 173 at

Special Supplement to

Safety and
updates for HPI
storage tanks

CB&I T101


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Storage tanks are common in any hydrocarbon processing
industry (HPI) facility or receiving/shipping terminal. Crude
oil, refined products and petrochemicals are safely stored in
aboveground tanks to facilitate daily operations of HPI facilities. These tanks hold flammable materials for processing and
product distribution. The oversight and maintenance of storage tanks remains a high priority for HPI companies.

tank failures. Such events are a threat to employees, the public

and property.
There are a number of techniques available in the marketplace to qualitatively identify leaks. Tank entry has often been
seen as the only real choice. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to
detect leaks from a tank bottom in the early phase.
How to effectively detect a leaking tank bottom. Leak detec-


Storage tanks are a key part of any HPI distribution operation, according to Li-Chuan Liu of the Logistical Engineering University, China. Notably, tank-bottom plates are very
vulnerable to corrosion, which compromises the integrity of
the tank wall and bottom. Result: Leaks and even complete
failure of the tank are linked to corrosion attacks.
Leaks and containment failures are high-risk events that
impact plant safety and the environment, said Liu. Such
events result in a direct loss of revenue. Contamination of soil
and water can potentially lead to punitive action from federal
and state environmental agencies.
Fires and explosions due to the accidental release of flammable materials are the main catastrophic events from storage

tion methods range from simple visual inspection to automated

electronic-data gathering systems. Most continuous monitoring
systems include automatic alarm capabilities. Other methods are
conducted as part of regularly scheduled maintenance programs
and rely on daily visual inspections. Electronic level gauges or
transducers, along with temperature probes, can be used as part
of a monitoring system.
Other leak-detection systems rely on a wide variety of parameters, from sampling and testing the soil for hydrocarbon
vapors to acoustic emissions monitoring. These technologies
are performed non-invasively and have a reliable track record. Non-invasive leak detection technologies include liquid
sensing cables, soil monitoring or acoustic-emissions testing.
These systems can be programmed to continuously monitor a



TABLE 1. Key API standards that govern AST management.

Std. 620: Design and construction of large, welded, low-pressure
storage tanks

sults of the experiments on both models and actual tanks show

that the leakage from tank bottom could be detected in time by
testing and monitoring vapor in the tank foundation.

Std. 625: Tank systems for refrigerated liquefied gas storage


Std. 650: Welded tanks for oil storage

The American Petroleum Institute (API), through its various committees, has developed standards and best practices to
help downstream companies safely operate their facilities and
pipelines. API standards are reviewed on a regular basis. API
standards for aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are Standards
620, 625, 650 and 653 (TABLE 1), and are developed using API
procedures and standards development. The AST standards
are reviewed on an 18-month basis. Changes in several AST
standards took effect in 2014: API 650 was issued in September 2014 with participant in the API Monogram Program;
the final release was in March 2015. For API Standards 653,
625 and 620, the revisions were issued in November 2014.

Std. 653: Tank inspection, repair, alteration and reconstruction

tank or can be part of the regularly scheduled tank testing and

maintenance programs.
No silver-bullet methods. There is no single leak-detection

system that is best for all sites. Each leak-detection method has
unique characteristics. For example, vapor-detection devices
work rapidly and are most effective in porous soils, while liquid
detectors are only appropriate. Identifying the best leak-detection system depends on many factors including cost, facility
configuration, groundwater depth, soil type and other variables.
Although there are many methods for detecting oil leaks
from storage tanks, it may not be easy to discover the leak.
With the increasing capacity and size of storage tanks, the level
changes from a very slow leak may be too small and not measurable by automatic or manual gauging until a substantial volume of product has been released, said Liu.
Very small level changes due to oil leaking from large storage tanks can occur at an extremely low rate, thus, the leak may
not be detected by gauging alone.
A photo ionization detector (PID) can be used to test oil vapor concentration in a tank foundation, the sensitivity to ppm
levels, which is fine leak detection, according to Liu. The re-





The 2015 API Tanks, Valves and Piping Conference and

Expo will be held October 12-15, 2015, at the Aria Hotel in Las
Vegas, Nevada. This event will give attendees an opportunity
to learn about new and existing industry codes and standards,
and to hear about emerging trends from industry experts. The
two-day conference offers over 65 sessions in three conference
tracks, addressing the needs of individuals involved in production systems, pipelines, terminals, refining and chemical manufacturing, and storage facilities. Each day focuses on presentations relevant to upstream, midstream and downstream. For
more information, visit




CB&I has been awarded a contract valued at approximately

$60 MM by JGSK, a JV between JGC Corp., GS E&C and SK
E&C. The project scope includes the engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of 39 storage tanks and two
spheres for the Clean Fuel Project (CFP), a major initiative of
Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC) to upgrade and expand two existing KNPC refineries.
This award underlines the confidence our clients have in
CB&Is commitment to safety, reliability and on-time solutions
for complex projects, said Luke Scorsone, president of CB&Is
fabrication services operating group. CB&I has a long history
of experience for new construction and reconstruction work in
Kuwait, and our infrastructure and capabilities in the Middle
East will allow us to execute the scope of work outlined for the
CFP at the highest quality.

Honeywells OneWireless Terminal Solution combines a

portfolio of wireless-enabled products, services and productivity tools tailored for terminal operators. The new system
enables operators of oil and gas terminals to increase their
productivity while also complying with stringent health, safety
and environment regulations, all at significantly lower cost
than wired technology.
Unique in the industry, the OneWireless Terminal Solution
includes Wireless ISA100 Honeywell Enraf SmartRadar FlexLine (FIG. 1), the highest-precision wireless radar gauge available.
Requiring no external wireless module, the FlexLines integrated
radio sends tank level measurements securely and wirelessly to
the central control room. The FlexLine is also used as a data concentrator, collecting data from local tank instruments and sending
the data wirelessly through the same ISA100 Wireless network.
The OneWireless Terminal Solution includes additional
applications such as Honeywells mobile productivity tools
(Field Advisor, Mobile Station and Experion Mobile Access),
aiding with the adoption of operator driven reliability (ODR)
programs and enabling operators to complete activities more
efficiently and safely. Other applications include wireless fixed
and portable gas detectors and wireless video, including Honeywells Digital Video Manager to enhance plant security. For a
mid-size petrochemical facility, ODR and these wireless applications can generate more than $1 MM in annual cost savings.
Honeywells OneWireless Network enables all of these applications, which can be tailored to offer either ISA100 Wireless-only coverage or ISA100 Wireless and Wi-Fi coverage.

Intergraphs TANK is a comprehensive, easy-to-use software package for the design, analysis and evaluation of oil stor-

age tanks. It provides quick and accurate designs for new tanks
and evaluation of existing tanks.
Data collection. The menu-driven interface of TANK allows for the quick definition of input and functions for the accurate analysis of oil storage tanks to API standards. Increased
flexibility allows combination of data for analyses or to desired
reports. In addition, unit files are completely user-definable, so
engineers are not bound by program default settings.
Analysis options and codes. TANK performs calculations in accordance with the latest API Standards 650 and 653.
Analysis can also take into account wind, seismic and settlement conditions, plus calculate air venting requirements to
API 2000 Section 4.3.
Output and reports. After completing an analysis, you can
view the results in a tabular report or as a graphic diagram with
associated data. For convenience in verifying the results, the
output reports reference code sections used where applicable.
Material databases. TANK has many databases integral to
the package, which make it easy to select standard data for accurate analysis. A number of US and international structural
steel databases are provided. API materials are available.

International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) 35th

Annual International Operating Conference and Trade Show,
Jun. 13, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas
Phone: +1 (703) 875-2011,,
Active Communications International (ACI) Europes
European Bulk Liquid Storage 2015 Conference,
Sept. 910, Antwerp, Belgium, Phone: 44 (0) 203 141 0623,,

FIG. 1. Honeywell FlexLine Radar Gauge ISA100 Wireless, the latest

and most technically advanced tank gauging system, custody
transfer approved.



As the worlds most experienced tank builder, CB&I supplies complete storage
solutions to meet the needs of leading energy companies around the globe.
We execute many of our storage tank projects on a lump-sum, turnkey basis,
performing every phase of the project with our in-house resources and providing
a single point of contact for our customers. This true EPC approach is possible
because we have a vast global network of engineering, procurement, fabrication
and construction resources that allow us to quickly mobilize people, material and
equipment wherever they are needed.
Our integrated business model translates into shorter project schedules, lower costs,
improved quality control and reduced risk for the customerallowing them to focus
on their core business operations. Contact CB&I for your next storage project.

A World of Solutions

Select 109 at



CB&I is the most complete energy infrastructure focused company in
the world and a major provider of government services. With more than
125 years of experience and the expertise of approximately 54,000
employees, CB&I provides reliable solutions while maintaining a relentless
focus on safety and an uncompromising standard of quality.
CB&I combines proven process technology with global capabilities
in engineering, procurement and construction to deliver comprehensive
solutions to customers in the energy and natural resource industries. With
premier process technology, proven EPC expertise, and unrivaled storage
tank experience, CB&I executes projects from concept to completion.
With over 46,000 tanks built in more than 100 countries, CB&I has
accumulated more storage design and construction experience than any
other organization in the world. In addition to being a leader in engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of storage tanks, we have
also designed and built more than 100 storage terminals. We have the
capability to design and install pipelines for these facilities, as well as
other ancillary equipment.
Many customers draw upon this knowledge and extensive construction experience early in a projects development, enabling us to provide
project-specific solutions that deliver maximum long-term value, lower
up-front costs, and shorter schedules.
Safety is a core value at CB&I and we are proud to have one of the
best safety records in the industry. As the 2014 recipient of the National
Safety Councils Green Cross for Safety medal, every employee world-


wide is committed to safe work practices. Our programs promote a

culture of involvement and dedication with a goal of zero incidents for
everyone involved in our projects.

2103 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77380 USA
Tel: +1 832 513 1000
Fax: +1 832 513 1005




Save the Date October 2728, 2015

Hyatt Regency Houston
Houston, Texas

Make plans to attend the 12th Womens Global

Leadership Conference in Energy (WGLC)
As one of the largest womens events in the industry, and the only one that focuses on discussing key environmental,
economic and professional development issues in oil and gas, this is the perfect forum to network with your peers and
exchange valuable ideas and experiences. Targeted specically to matters of female leadership, WGLC strives to provide
meaningful discussion on all aspects of responsible stewardship ranging from energy security and geopolitics to personal
career development.
We hope youll join us at WGLC 2015 and discover how you can further develop your career in the oil and gas industry.

Visit for more information


Join Womens Global

Leadership Network
on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter


Coatings line wins
innovation award

Explosion-proof light
features dimmer

Hempels HEMPADUR AvantGuard

range of products won the 2014 European Frost & Sullivan Award for the
category of new product innovation. To
be presented on May 14 in London, the
award recognizes the products ability
to provide anti-corrosive protection for
iron and steel structures in harsh environments (FIG. 1).
The AvantGuard activated zinc primers include patented technology to provide better anti-corrosion protection.
The technology uses hollow glass spheres
and a proprietary activator to activate
more zinc and enhance the anti-corrosive
properties of the coating. The coatings
can be applied with standard application
techniques, and they show high tolerance
to dry film thicknesses and different application conditions.
The coatings have been developed to
protect industrial structures and equipment in C4 and C5 corrosive conditions,
where saltwater and high humidity corrode unprotected steel. They can be used
in a range of industries and applications,
from offshore oil and gas platforms to
power plants and wind turbines. The
award recognizes the products ability to
offer reduced corrosion, improved performance in extreme temperatures and
greater mechanical strength.
The increased protection and durability of the AvantGuard coatings have been
proven in salt spray tests (ISO 12944, part
6), cyclic corrosion tests (ISO 20340 and
NORSOK M-501, Rev. 6) and thermal
cycling resistance tests (NACE cracking
test and Hempels welding test).
The HEMPADUR AvantGuard series
includes three zinc primers (AvantGuard
550, AvantGuard 750 and AvantGuard
770). Hempel is developing more AvantGuard technology-enabled products, including products that can be applied on
components offsite and then transported
for onsite installation.

Larson Electronics has released an explosion-proof, two-lamp fluorescent light

fixture that is equipped with a dimmable
ballast (FIG. 2). The EPL-48-2L-T8-D
light is designed for areas where flammable petrochemical vapors and pulverized
dust exist. The 4-ft-long fixture has a T6
temperature rating and comes standard
with two T8 fluorescent lamps.
The lamps are protected by heat-resistant and impact-resistant Pyrex tubes, and
the fixture is constructed of copper-free
aluminum alloy. The lamp reflectors are
corrosion-resistant, heavy-gauge aluminum and coated with a high-gloss reflective finish. The fixture is capable of handling multiple voltages and is equipped
with an Advance Mark 7 dimming ballast.
The light is shipped with surface mount
brackets, unless otherwise specified. Each
bracket is cinched to the bracket mounting peg on each side of the light. The angle
of the bracket is set by tightening two cap
screws on either side of the bracket. The
cap screws act as set screws.

Select 1 at

The bracket itself is mounted with a single bolt hole at the top of the bracket. Once
the brackets are mounted to a surface, the
light can be removed from the brackets
by loosening the cap screws that hold the
bracket to the mounting peg. The fixture
provides operators in hazardous locations
with a reliable lighting solution that gives
explosion-proof protection without sacrificing light quality or fixture durability.
Select 2 at

Calibrator simplifies
process control
A new, handheld pressure calibrator
that delivers deadweight tester accuracy
in an onsite instrument (FIG. 3) is offered
by Crystal Engineering, a unit of AMETEK Test & Calibration Instruments.
The HPC40 series calibrator is designed for process control applications,
such as verification or calibration of
pressure gauges, transducers, transmitters, pressure switches and safety valves.
It is suitable for pressures ranging from

FIG. 1. AvantGuard coatings protect steel

industrial structures and equipment from
saltwater and high humidity.

FIG. 2. The explosion-proof fluorescent light

fixture is equipped with a dimmable ballast.

FIG. 3. The HPC40 handheld pressure

calibrator is designed for process control
equipment, such as gauges, transducers,
transmitters, switches and valves.
Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 2015103

vacuum to 15,000 psi, with accuracy of
0.035% of reading for all ranges.
The calibrator is said to be the first mA
loop calibrator that is fully temperature
compensated from 20C50C. This temperature compensation enables the device to deliver the same accuracy whether
measuring pressure, current, voltage or

FIG. 4. The North Force hard hat has 24%

more back-of-head coverage than standard
Type I hard hats.

Applications for the calibrator include:

Power generation
Nuclear power
Automotive, and others.
A single HPC40 device can typically
replace several gauges or calibrators. The
calibrator also features a full-color display
and a single-layer user interface with no

FIG. 5. The SOLA II flare system is designed

for the EPAs new source performance


deep menu structure, allowing tasks to be

performed quickly. The calibrator can be
used as an individual calibrator, or it can
be combined with AMETEK pressuregenerating products to make a complete
calibration system.
Select 3 at

New hard hat protects

back of head
Honeywell introduced the industrys
first hard hat with 24% more back-ofhead coverage (FIG. 4) than standard
Type I hard hats to protect workers from
potentially catastrophic head injuries due
to slips and falls.
The patented shell design of the North
Force hard hat provides increased rearhead coverage without restricting range of
motion, while a rear-impact attenuator absorbs force to minimize injuries. The hard
hat is ideally suited for upstream oil workers, miners or workers in other industries
where slippery or icy conditions exist.
The hat is constructed of a lightweight
shell material that offers high-impact re-

9 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. CT/ 1 p.m. UTC

Challenges in Renery Control & Optimization User Perspective

Once a plant is commissioned and stabilized, the challenge is to continuously operate the plant reliably at its true economic
optimum. However, the economic optimum point continuously shifts due to changes in feed quality, feed prices, product specication,
product value, marketing constraint and disturbances in upstream and downstream units, feed, intermediates and product storage
limitations, as well as with day and night ambient changes. This requires that the operation and technical staff are as agile as
possible to take advantage of any opportunity and avoid repetitive postmortem studies and retro analysis. This webinar focuses on
Reliances approach to resolving these problems effectively.

Speaker: Fareed Khan, Vice-President, APC/RTO, Reliance

As Vice-President(APC/RTO), Mr. Fareed Khan is in-charge of APCs and RTOs in all of the Renery and Petrochemical
sites of Reliance, more than 60 plants located at 6 different sites. He has been working for about 17 years in
imbibing Advanced process controls (APC) and Real time Optimisation (RTO) systems in the company with the
result that all APC and RTO projects today are implemented in-house for last more than 10 years.
Mr. Khan has a Masters in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Kanpur and a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from
Osmania University, Hyderabad. He joined UHDE India consultancy in 1986, as process engineer doing basic
and detailed engineering for petrochemicals and caustic-chlorine plants. He joined Reliance in 1992 as senior technical support
engineer to new projects, after commissioning those plants in 1997, he shifted to RTOs and APCs implementations and continued
working in this area till date.

Stephany Romanow
Hydrocarbon Processing
104MAY 2015|

Register at:

sistance and accommodates extreme temperature changes from 30F to 120F.
Its patented, six-point suspension system
with five adjustment areas, combined with
an adjustable chin strap, allows for a customized fit. An ergonomically designed
ratchet allows for quick adjustment, even
while wearing gloves. The hat meets ANSI
and CSA Type I Class E requirements.

tions. The system also achieves rapid recovery time, allowing it to respond within
minutes to changing sulfur concentrations
that occur during flare events.
All flares affected by NSPS must be in
compliance on or before November 17,
2015. Total sulfur measurement is a required part of NSPS compliance.
Select 5 at

Select 4 at

Flare analysis
for NSPS compliance
Thermo Fisher Scientific has released
the SOLA II flare system (FIG. 5), an online sulfur analyzer for refineries. The
flare analyzer is specifically designed for
the US EPAs new source performance
standards (NSPS), under subpart Ja,
which apply to all flares that commence
construction, modification or reconstruction after June 24, 2008.
The SOLA II system is based on pulsed
ultraviolet fluorescence (PUVF) technology. The technology allows the system to
measure a wide range of sulfur concentra-

Measure acidic and

polluted gases
Pitot tubes are suitable for measuring exhaust and flue gases, since they are
resistant to dirt and condensates. The
choice of materials for measuring probes
to monitor the combustion of chemical
residues is often a difficult one. As soon as
the exhaust gas falls below the dewpoint,
halogens may turn surprisingly acidic. For
example, a mixture of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid will
soon corrode most metals and make any
subsequent measurements impossible.
Only a few metal alloys can be safely
used under these conditions, since the

material price of these alloys hardly differs from that of precious metals, and
since processing them to obtain probe
components is often time-consuming
and expensive.
A solution developed by Systec Controls for such applications makes use
of synthetic dynamic pressure probes
(FIG. 6). Systec manufactures Teflon
probes with reduced surface resistance
for use in extremely corrosive conditions.
After dosing the material with carbon,
static charging (which could have fatal
consequences in explosive atmospheres)
can be safely avoided.
Select 6 at

FIG. 6. The pitot tube is designed for use with

explosive and acidic gases.

Introducing the



500+ Plants with Information about Name, Capacity, Plant Scope and Detail,
and Owner/Operator Information.
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Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 2015105

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sSpecialty Engineering
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Rotating Equipment
sMetallurgical and
Materials Lab
sField Service

Detailed and up-to-date information

for active construction projects
in the refining, gas processing,
and petrochemical industries
across the globe

Specialists in design, failure

analysis, and troubleshooting of
static and rotating equipment

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Turbomachinery Engineers
A Veteran & Employee Owned Small Business

Turbomachinery Training
Compressors Steam Turbines Gas Turbines
Performance Analysis, Evaluation, Troubleshooting
Problem Resolution, Case Studies, Maintenance, Reliability

Train with the Best

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Super high strength epoxies

Anibal Arias

Anibal (class leader) is a hands-on rotating equipment professional and

good speaker. Questions get answered in class. Plenty of practice on
calculations, and worked out examples. The course material is extensivethey
have hundreds and hundreds of slides on all subjects-more than they can cover
in the class. The book is extremely useful, I use it all the time. Very good
checklist for reviewing compressors for retrofits/revamps. Thank you for the
heat balance methodology for condensing turbines. I can save some money for
Shell with that. Clay Crook, Shell Nigeria

Chemical resistance
Toughness & durability
High/low temperature


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Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 2015107


The first number after the company name is the page on which an advertisement appears. The second number is the Reader Service Number. There are two ways readers can obtain product and service information:
go to, follow the instructions on the screen, and your request will be forwarded for immediate action, or go online to the advertiser's website listed below.




AIGI Environmental Inc. ............................................ 62


Badger Meter ............................................................71




Bluebeam Software Inc..............................................15


Brand Energy And Infrastructure Services .................... 8


Bryan Research & Engineering ...................................55


CB&I ....................................................................T-100


Codeware .................................................................18


ComRent ..................................................................75


CUDD Energy Services ................................................61


Gastech ................................................................... 86
Gulf Publishing Company
Construction Boxscore Database .............................77
EventsGasPro .................................................... 111
EventsGTL ....................................................... 42A
EventsIRPC ..................................................... 67
EventsWGLC .................................................. T-102
Marketplace ................................................. 106107
Subscriptions .................................................... T-96
US Gas Processing Plant Directory .........................105
Webcast .............................................................104
HTRI .........................................................................17
Hermetic ................................................................. 85


Curtiss Wright Company ............................................73


Magnetrol International.............................................32


Maire Tecnimont SpA .................................................53


Merichem Company.................................................. 63


Rosen Swiss AG ........................................................ 56


Roxul ...................................................................... 69


Sandvik Materials Technology ..................................... 2



Sherwin Williams ..................................................... 50


SoCaP SRL ................................................................ 28


Spraying Systems Co .................................................13


Sulzer Chemtech, USA Inc.......................................... 49





Team Industrial Services ........................................... 44



Teikoku USA ..............................................................74


United Electric Controls Co. ........................................72




United Rentals ......................................................... 64



USA Industries ..........................................................81



Weir Minerals Lewis Pumps ....................................... 34


Zeeco ...................................................................... 39


Dresser-Rand........................................................... 26

Pentair .....................................................................12

Pittsburgh Corning Corporation................................. 58



Linde Engineering North America .............................. 59

PARCOL SpA ..............................................................14

Philly Gear............................................................... 67


Pepperl+Fuchs ..........................................................23

Jonell, Inc................................................................ 30

Paharpur Cooling Towers, Ltd. ................................... 36

Idrojet ..................................................................... 83


Hunter Buildings ...................................................... 20



Dyna-Therm ............................................................ 48

Flexitallic LP .............................................................. 5

ILTA ......................................................................... 78
Inpro / Seal Company ............................................... 70

Curtiss Wright Company ........................................... 29

DeltaValve, A Curtiss Wright Company .........................4

Finder Pompe SpA.................................................... 94


Curran International ................................................. 92


Axens ......................................................................112

BARTEC BENKE GmbH ................................................ 47

DeltaScreens .............................................................16


Baldor Electric Company ........................................... 24


AW Chesterton Company ...........................................76



American Petroleum Institute ................................... 68




This Index and procedure for securing additional information is provided as a service to Hydrocarbon Processing advertisers and a convenience to our readers. Gulf Publishing Company is not responsible for omissions or errors.

Bret Ronk, Publisher

Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 520-4421


Josh Mayer
Phone: +1 (972) 816-6745, Fax: +1 (972) 767-4442

Ryan Akbar
Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 520-4449
Mobile: +1 (832) 691-6053

Merrie Lynch
Phone: +1 (617) 357-8190, Fax: +1 (617) 357-8194
Mobile: +1 (617) 594-4943

Gerry Mayer
Phone: +1 (972) 816-3534, Fax: +1 (972) 767-4442

Lee Nichols
Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 525-4626

108MAY 2015|

Catherine Watkins
Phone: +33 (0) 1 30 47 92 51
Fax: +33 (0) 1 30 47 92 40
Jim Watkins
Phone: +33 (0) 1 30 47 92 51
Fax: +33 (0) 1 30 47 92 40
Cell: +33 (0) 6 76 35 11 52


Fabio Potest
Mediapoint & Communications SRL
Phone: +39 (010) 570-4948
Fax: +39 (010) 553-0088

Lilia Fedotova
Anik International & Co. Ltd.
Phone: +7 (495) 628-10-333

Michael Brown
Phone: +44 161 440 0854
Mobile: +44 79866 34646


Bret Ronk
Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 520-4421

CHINAHong Kong
Iris Yuen
Phone: +86 13802701367 (China)
Phone: +852 69185500 (Hong Kong)

Alfred Bilyk
Phone/Fax: 11 23 37 42 40
Mobile: 11 85 86 52 59

Manav Kanwar
Phone: +91-22-2837 7070/71/72, Fax: +91-22-2822 2803
Mobile: +91-98673 67374


Peggy Thay
Publicitas Singapore Pte Ltd
Phone: +65 6836-2272, Fax: +65 6634-5231

Yoshinori Ikeda
Pacific Business Inc.
Phone: +81 (3) 3661-6138, Fax: +81 (3) 3661-6139

Young-Seoh Chinn
JES Media, Inc.
Phone: +82 (2) 481-3411/3, Fax: +82 (2) 481-3414

Rhonda Brown, Foster Printing Service
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2015 Offshore Technology
Conference (OTC), May 47,
Reliant Park, Houston, Texas
P: +1 (972) 952-9494
AFPM National Occupational
and Process Safety Conference,
May 1213, Hyatt Regency Austin,
Austin, Texas
(See box for contact information)
The 13th World LNG Series:
Americas Summit, May 1215,
Four Seasons Hotel, Austin, Texas
P: +44 20 7978 0061
Hazards 25In association
with Mary Kay OConnor Process
Safety Center, May 1315,
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
P: +44 (0) 1788 534489
Fourth Annual Asia Pacific
Small & Mid-Scale LNG Forum
(APAC LNG), dmg events,
May 1315, Singapore Marriott
Hotel, Singapore
(See box for contact information)
Canada LNG Export Conference
& Exhibition, dmg events,
May 1921, Calgary, Alta., Canada
(See box for contact information)
AFPM Reliability & Maintenance
Conference & Exhibition,
May 1922, Austin, Texas
(See box for contact information)
Industrial Valve Summit (IVS),
May 2728, Bergamo, Italy
P: +39 3316117476

International Refining and
Petrochemical Conference (IRPC)
2015, Gulf Publishing Company
Events, May 31Jun. 3, Jumeirah at
Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE
(See box for contact information)

International Liquid Terminals

Association (ILTA) 35th
Annual International Operating
Conference and Trade Show,
Jun. 13, George R. Brown
Convention Center, Houston, Texas
P: +1 (703) 875-2011
American Chemistry Council
(ACC) Annual Meeting, Jun. 13,
Colorado Springs, Colo.
P: +1 (202) 249-7000
World Gas Conference 2015,
Jun. 15, Paris, France
P: +33 (0)1 80 21 07 71
AIChE 2015 Process
Development Symposium,
Jun. 24, Houston, Texas
(See box for contact information)
ASME Annual Meeting,
Jun. 510, Jacksonville, Fla.
(See box for contact information)
American Society of Safety
Engineers (ASSE) Safety 2015,
Jun. 710, Kay Bailey Hutchison
Convention Center, Dallas, Texas
P: +1 (847) 699-2929
World Refining Association
(WRA) 12th Annual Global
Petrochemicals Conference,
Jun. 911, Dsseldorf, Germany
P: +44 (0) 20 7384 7807
Global Energy Career Expo,
dmg events, Jun. 1011,
Calgary TELUS Convention Centre,
Calgary, Alta., Canada
(See box for contact information)
ACHEMA 2015, Jun. 1519,
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
P: +49 (0) 69 7564 -100
ASME Turbo Expo, Jun. 1519,
Palais de Congrs, Montral, Canada
(See box for contact information)


Engineering and Construction

Contracting (ECC) Association
Conference, Sep. 912,
JW Marriott Hill Country,
San Antonio, Texas
P: +1 (713) 337-1600

Valve World Americas Expo &

Conference 2015, Jul. 1516,
George R. Brown Convention
Center, Houston, Texas
P: +1 (312) 621-5816
ASME Pressure Vessels and
Piping Conference, Jul. 1923,
Boston Park Plaza,
Boston, Mass.
(See box for contact information)
GTL Technology Forum 2015,
Gulf Publishing Company Events,
Jul. 2930, Norris Conference
CentersCity Centre,
Houston, Texas
(See box for contact information)

Texas A&M 44th Turbomachinery

& 31st Pump Symposia,
Sep. 1417, George R. Brown
Convention Center, Houston, Texas
P: +1 (979) 845-7471
North American Pipeline
Congress, dmg events,
Sep. 2223, The Westin Chicago
River North, Chicago, Ill.
(See box for contact information)


AIChE 60th Annual Safety in
Ammonia Plants and Related
Facilities Symposium,
Aug. 30Sep. 3, Boston, Mass.
(See box for contact information)
National Association of
Corrosion Engineers (NACE),
Central Area Conference,
Aug. 31Sep. 2, St. Louis, Mo.
P: +1 (281) 228-6223

AFPM Q&A and Technical Forum,

Oct. 57, New Orleans Marriott,
New Orleans, La.
(See box for contact information)
Hydrocarbon Processing/
Gulf Publishing Company
P: +1 (713) 529-4301
F: +1 (713) 520-4433
American Fuel &
Petrochemical Manufacturers
P: +1 (202) 457-0480

EUROCORR 2015European
Corrosion Congress, Sep. 610,
Stadthalle, Graz, Austria
P: +43 (0) 3842 402 2290
GasPro Americas (GasPro),
Gulf Publishing Company
Events, Sep. 911,
Hyatt Regency Houston,
Houston, Texas
(See box for contact information)
LNG 360 Americas Conference
and Exhibition, dmg events,
Sep. 911, Houston, Texas
(See box for contact information)

American Institute of
Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
P: +1 (203) 702-7660
American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
P: +1 (973) 882-1170
dmg events Global Energy
P: +1 (403) 209-3555

Hydrocarbon Processing|MAY 2015109



Cornelius Weitzmann has

been appointed managing
director of the Power, Oil
& Gas business division
at Voith Turbo GmbH &
Co. KG. He will be taking
over from Matthias Grawe,
who is leaving the
company. Mr. Weitzmann
joined Voith in 2007 in
strategic planning, and has
since served as managing
director at Voith Paper Inc.
and as president of Fabric
& Roll Systems EMEA.

CB&I has appointed

Michael S. Taff as executive
VP and CFO. He joins CB&I
from Flowserve Corp.,
where he served as senior
VP and CFO. He previously
worked for McDermott
Intl. Inc. in the same roles.
Mr. Taff will succeed
Ronald A. Ballschmiede,
who is retiring.

Hammond Manufacturing
Co. Ltd. has added
Andreas Sobotta as VP of
North American sales and
marketing. Mr. Sobotta
was most recently a
national sales manager
with Davis Controls; VP
of marketing with Festo;
business unit manager
with Siemens; and cogeneral manager/director
of sales and marketing
at Phoenix Contact.

Wellsite Rental Services

LLC has named Nicole
Hover as sales manager for
its Mid-Continent region.
She is a member of SPE,
AADE and the National
Association of Professional
Women (NAPW).

Thomas Hinckley
has joined Fishbone
Safety Solutions as
VP of operations, with
responsibilities that
include ensuring that
the companys industry
resources and systems
are in place and working
at maximum efficiency.

Clean Burn LLC has

named Jeff Townsend
as its new president,
succeeding Barry Brandt,
who moves up to CEO. Mr.
Townsend previously held
key senior management
positions with Illinoisbased Eclipse Inc.

Barry Smitherman, former

chairman of the Railroad
Commission of Texas
and the Public Utility
Commission of Texas,
will join Vinson & Elkins
as a partner in its Energy
Regulatory practice. Mr.
Smitherman will focus on
advising energy industry
clients with matters
pending before state and
federal regulatory agencies
throughout the US, and
will support V&Es energy
transaction and litigation

Brian Donahue has

joined Kalenborn
Abresist Corp. as its sales
development manager.
Mr. Donahue has 30 years
of industry experience,
including 23 years in
management and
planning in the silica sand
mining and engineered
stone industries.

110MAY 2015|

Tom Champlin has been

appointed as president
of the Americas to head
up the new Permasense
international office in
Houston, Texas. He joins
Permasense from Nalco
Champion, and will be
responsible for driving
new business and building
a local team to service the
Americas region.

PAS Inc., a solution

provider of process safety,
cybersecurity and asset
reliability, has expanded its
executive advisory board.
In addition to PAS senior
advisor Larry Evans, the
board now includes Mary
Cotton, CEO at iDirect
Technologies; Jim Porter,
president and founder of
Sustainable Operations
Solutions and former chief
engineer at DuPont; and
Joel Rosen, executive
VP of product and
marketing at Endurance
International Group.

Spectronics Corp. has

appointed Daniel Tristan
as its international sales
manager for the Latin
America and Asia-Pacific
regions. Previously, Mr.
Tristan was director of
sales and marketing at
Dreyfus Global Trade.
Spectronics has also
promoted Daniel Chusid
to technical sales and
regulatory compliance
specialist. Mr. Chusid
joined Spectronics
eight years ago and
has held positions of
international customer
service specialist and
technical sales specialist.

The board of directors

of the American Fuel
& Petrochemical
Manufacturers (AFPM) has
named Chet M. Thompson
as the associations next
president, succeeding
Charles T. Drevna, who
is retiring after eight
years. Mr. Thompson has
represented AFPM as
external counsel at Crowell
and Moring LLP. He served
as deputy general counsel
at the US EPA and spent
10 years at Collier Shannon
Scott PLLC, focusing on
the Clean Air Act and the
Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act.

Servomex, a leader
in gas analysis, has
appointed Luca Marinelli
as general manager for
based in Houston, Texas.
He most recently served
as general manager for
Europe, the Middle East,
Africa and India (EMEA&I).
Mr. Marinelli succeeds
Martin Cox, who returns to
Servomex in the UK with
global responsibility for
business development as
market sector manager
Sensing Technologies.

Arthi Gopalan has been

added as inside sales
engineer to SOR Controls
Groups growing Middle
East regional office in
Dubai, UAE. Ms. Gopalan
will be responsible for
quotations, order entry
and basic technical
support for the SOR,
Smart Sensors (SSi)
and SETEX Thermowell
Products lines.

The French government

has appointed Didier
Houssin as chairman
and CEO of IFP Energies
nouvelles (IFPEN),
succeeding Olivier
Appert after 12 years.
Mr. Houssin most recently
served as director
of energy markets
and security at the
International Energy
Agency (IEA), focusing
particularly on oil, gas,
electricity and renewable
energy segments.

IMI Critical Engineering

has appointed Trevor
Sands to head up its
control valve division.
Mr. Sands previous roles
include a seven-year
spell with Fisher Valves
and Valve Automation
EMEA, where he was VP
and general manager.
He will drive technical
development, innovation
and service optimization
across all of IMI Critical
Engineerings target

Rotork Controls Inc.

named Howard Williams
as the general manager
of its Houston, Texas,
facility. He will be
responsible for Rotorks
business operations
across the Gulf Coast
region. Mr. Williams
joined Rotork in Bath,
England, 31 years ago.
In 1988, he moved to the
companys New York
headquarters and has
since served in several key
sales and management
roles across Rotorks
business divisions.

Register Early
and Save 15%
Early Bird Pricing Ends June 23rd

Two Events, One Location

September 911, 2015


Hyatt Regency Houston / Houston, Texas

Join the Experts at GasPro Americas

The US is the worlds leading gas producer. To address the need for information in this rapidly expanding market, Hydrocarbon
Processing and Gas Processing are pleased to announce the second annual GasPro Americas (GasPro), which will be held from
September 911, 2015, in Houston, Texas.
New for 2015 is the addition of a one-day business conference (September 9) supported by Gastech. Plus, GasPro will be
co-located with the LNG 360 Americas Conference & Exhibition hosted by dmg::events, organizers of Gastech. The business
day will be followed by the two-day technical conference focusing on the latest trends, opportunities and challenges in natural
gas. All segments of the gas processing industry will be discussed: upstream, midstream and downstream.

Topics to be discussed include:

Separation technology/NGL
Field processing/gas treating
Metering/custody transfer/gas transfer
Gas compression

Pipeline infrastructure/storage
Legislative and regulatory compliance
Business and market perspectives
Economics and nance

There are 3 ways to participate:

1. Register at

Integration of global gas markets

Project nance
Project management/delivery
Risk mitigation

2. Participate as a speaker

3. Sponsor/Exhibit

Speaker/Sponsor/Exhibitor Inquiries:
Contact Melissa Smith, Events Director, at +1 713-520-4475 or
Now in its third year, the LNG 360 Americas Conference and Exhibition
will continue to offer a platform to LNG producers, major international
consumers, members of the government, EPCS, project investors, shippers
and all other key industry stakeholders to share insights and strategies,
spearheading LNG partnerships and projects within the Americas.
For questions or speaker inquiries: Monica Ansary, Senior Producer
Energy, dmg::energy events, at
or +44 0 203 772 6075

Organized by:

Events Supported by:

Singapore | Singapore EXPO | 27 30 October 2015


Your objectives
in focus
Make the most of todays and tomorrows
challenges with leading-edge solutions from Axens
- Clean and alternative fuel technologies
- Petrochemicals
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- High performance catalysts & adsorbents
- Revamps

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