More Oil Refining News

WATCHING WASHINGTON OFFSHORE TERMINALS

Jul 16, 1990 With Patrick Crow After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Interior Sec. Manuel Lujan had an idea: Why not build more deepwater oil terminals to lessen the risk of near-shore tanker accidents? Even though the Transportation Department has responsibility for such things, Lujan ordered Interior's Minerals Management Service to study the idea. He made the mistake of not giving MMS a deadline, so MMS took a year to complete the study. And when it was released last week, it raised more questions than

MARKET BASED ECONOMIES HOLD OPPORTUNITIES IN EASTERN EUROPE

Jul 16, 1990 Political upheaval in the Soviet Union's East European satellites and the first steps toward a market economy herald changes for the oil and gas industries in the region. From Poland on the Baltic Sea to Romania on the Black Sea, state oil importing organizations are facing tougher commercial attitudes from their major supplier, the Soviet Union. Oil for industrial products barter deals and internal crude price formulas are disappearing in favor of international crude oil prices paid in

SUN: REFINERS FACING MARKET/AIR RULES CRUNCH

Jul 16, 1990 Bob Williams Senior Staff Writer Sun Refining & Marketing Inc. expects a relatively stable gasoline market this year but sees refiners on a collision course with market forces and new air quality rules in years to come. Brian Davis, Sun's manager of future fuel development, sees the spike in gasoline prices in 1989 as a harbinger of things to come on reduced volatility rules and the reformulated fuels push.

ARCO PETROCHEMICAL UNIT BLAST JOLTS MARKETS

Jul 16, 1990 An explosion and fire that ripped through ARCO Chemical Co.'s Channelview, Tex., petrochemical complex early this month has jolted U.S. petrochemical and gasoline markets. The July 5 accident killed 17 workers, raising anew concerns over safety practices in the Houston area's vast petrochemical/refining infrastructure. It was the second major disaster involving significant loss of life at a Houston area petrochemical plant in less than a year. An explosion and fire at Phillips 66

PETROCORP ACQUIRING N.Z. SYNFUELS PLANT STAKE

Jul 16, 1990 Petroleum Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. (Petrocorp) has agreed to acquire New Zealand's majority interest in the world's first commercial natural gas to gasoline project at Motonui, N.Z. The complicated deal, earlier valued at $260 million (U.S.), has taken more than a year to negotiate (OGJ, Mar. 13, 1989, p. 38). The New Zealand government will pay Petrocorp about $120 million (U.S.) to take over its 75% stake in the financially beleaguered project on North Island.

DIAGNOSIS KEY TO FLOODING PROBLEM SOLUTION

Jul 16, 1990 Norman P. Lieberman Process Improvement Engineering Metairie, La. When tower flooding occurs, results of field diagnoses of the problem must be included in the solution to the flooding problem. Results of the dianosis can help determine the easiest means to eliminate the flooding. Two examples indicate how good field diagnosis could have led to simpler solutions to tower-flooding problems. One refiner was experiencing flooding of a depropanizer. Based on field investigation, it was determined

TAIWAN TO BOOST CONSUMPTION OF OIL, LNG

Jul 16, 1990 Oil and LNG will claim a greater share of energy consumption in Taiwan during the 1990s than was forecast 5 years ago, says Resource Systems Institute's East West Center, Honolulu. In addition, Taiwan will have to expand refining capacity to meet a corresponding demand increase for gasoline and diesel. Its renewed growth in demand for imported low sulfur fuel oil will then subside as domestic production, diesel and gasoline demand, and LNG imports combine to squeeze-possibly end-fuel oil

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

Jul 23, 1990 ABOUT 36-73 BBL OF CRUDE spilled into Northwest England's River Mersey from Kuwait Oil Tanker Co.'s 263,679 dwt Tonbridge tanker while it was offloading cargo at Shell U.K. Ltd.'s Tranmere terminal. Only a small volume came ashore. Shell said at least one valve on the Tonbridge was not set properly, allowing oil to escape into the river through the ship's sea valve. Shell was fined 1 million after 2,555 bbl of Venezuelan heavy crude spilled into the river from a pipeline leak

E. EUROPE MOVING TO SOLVE ENERGY PROBLEMS

Jul 23, 1990 The International Energy Agency says there is a huge market opening in eastern Europe for technology to increase the clean, efficient use of energy. IEA is stepping up its capability to analyze activities in the region, where the first steps toward market economies are under way (OGJ, July 16, p. 21). IEA is most closely involved with Poland. A seminar organized by the Danish and Polish governments and the agency led to an IEA mission to Poland in June.

SOVIETS SEEK JOINT VENTURES FOR SMALL FIELDS NEAR CASPIAN

Jul 23, 1990 John L. Kennedy Editor The U.S.S.R. is interested in attracting small and medium sized firms to help develop smaller, difficult fields as well as big international companies to participate in giant fields like Tengiz. On a recent trip to Moscow and to areas around the Caspian Sea, U.S. independents and representatives of several international firms discussed a number of fields that might be available for joint ventures between the Soviets and western companies.

U.S. BRIEFS

Jul 23, 1990 NATURAL GAS CLEARINGHOUSE, Houston, agreed to buy Mesa Operating LP's Madill, Binger, and Ringwood gas processing plants and related gathering systems. The three plants in western Oklahoma have combined capacity of 120 MMcfd and produce more than 208,000 gal/day of NGL. Closing is expected by Sept. 1. CONSOLIDATED NATURAL GAS CO., plans to merge its exploration and production units CNG Producing Co. and CNG Development Go. into a single unit with home offices in New Orleans by yearend.

FLOWSHEET SIMULATION MODELS CRUDE DISTILLATION AND AMMONIA PRODUCTION

Jul 23, 1990 Graham Bird David Limb ChemShare Process Systems Ltd. Cheshire, U.K. Alok Pandit Hinditron Computers Pvt. Bombay, India Case studies at a major Middle East refinery, atmospheric and vacuum distillation units at Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.'s Bombay refinery, and simulation of ammonia production at Erdoel Chemie at Cologne, Germany, have demonstrated the function, capabilities, and advantages of using flowsheet simulation to solve actual plant operating problems.

U.S. INDUSTRY REFIGHTING BATTLES ON CLEAN AIR ACT

Jul 23, 1990 Patrick Crow Washington Editor The U.S. oil industry is refighting lost skirmishes this summer as House and Senate conferees work on compromise Clean Air Act legislation. Oil lobbyists will be arguing against several provisions such as requirements for reformulated gasoline. But changes will be hard to win. Merging the House and Senate Clean Air Act reauthorization bills will be no small task. Both are about 700 pages long. They take different approaches to different problems. The House

CONOCO GROUP PLANS BIG HEAVY OIL PROJECT IN ECUADOR'S ORIENTE

Jul 23, 1990 A group led by Conoco Ecuador Ltd. plans a $500 million, five field project in Ecuador's Oriente region that will be the country's first heavy oil development. Reserves tentatively estimated at 200 million bbl could support production of 45,000 b/d for 20 years. No start-up date is scheduled. The project includes a large program of horizontal wells rare in Latin America-as well as vertical wells and two new pipelines, extending industry's infrastructure in the Oriente farther

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PREDICTIVE PROGRAMS

Jul 30, 1990 Heinz P. Bloch Consulting Engineer Montgomery, Tex. Joseph R. Carroll Industrial Consultant Grand Junction, Colo. A carefully chosen, periodically implemented, preventive maintenance (PM) program can sometimes make more economic sense than predictive maintenance because not all equipment responds to purely predictive techniques. Predictive maintenance uses projected data or trends to determine the trouble-free service life of equipment. In contrast, preventive maintenance is doing the minimal

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