More Oil Refining News

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

Jul 30, 1990 PT BADAK NGL CO. started up the fifth 2.3 million ton/year gas liquefaction train at the Badak LNG plant on the east coast of Kalimantan, Indonesia, at a cost of about $294 million. PT Badak capacity is 11.5 million tons/year of LNG and 400,000 tons/year of LPG. Chiyoda Corp. handled engineering design and construction, and Union Carbide Co. provided its solvent gas treating technology for the plant.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Jul 30, 1990 Iraqi belligerence (see story, p. 32) has helped persuade OPEC it should aim for a $20/bbl marker even though OPEC has largely failed to achieve its earlier $18/bbl goal. Iraq went into the Geneva ministerial meeting last week calling for a $25/bbl price and came out with a compromise $20/bbl backed by Iran. Tension in the Persian Gulf helped boost oil prices ahead of the OPEC meeting. Brent blend for August delivery closed July 25 at $19.40/bbl, up $1.70 on the week. Nymex WTI for September

RISING DEMAND SPARKS BURST OF TANKER ORDERS

Jul 30, 1990 Roger Vielvoye International Editor A surge in construction of large crude oil tankers is well under way. It started during the first 6 months of this year, when shipyards' order books for vessels of more than 200,000 dwt nearly doubled while orders for tankers of 100,000-200,000 dwt climbed by more than 25%. The burst of orders was a response by tanker owners to the belief that growing world dependence on crude oil imports from the Middle East in the 1990s will bolster freight rates.

THAILAND NATURAL GAS GRID OUTLOOK IMPROVING

Jul 30, 1990 Thailand is making progress in its efforts to create a national gas grid. State owned Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) has approved construction of a $312 million gas pipeline from northeastern Thailand to the country's central plains. The 24 in., 242 mile, 250 MMcfd line is to extend from Esso Exploration & Production Khorat's Nam Phong gas field in Khon Kaen province to tie into Thailand's main trunk line in Saraburi province.

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

CRUDE PRICE SLUMP TEMPERS MIDYEAR OUTLOOK

Jul 30, 1990 Robert J. Beck Economics Editor The rollercoaster ride for world crude prices that started in 1986 is continuing through 1990. Once again, excess production by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has created a sharp drop in crude prices. The drop, however, hasn't been as severe as in past cycles. Exploration and production activity in the U.S. and elsewhere is up from a year ago.

U.S. BRIEFS

Jul 30, 1990 SOUTHERN UNION CO., Austin, will build Texas' first public compressed natural gas filling station at Port Arthur. The station, which also will offer service and repair to CNG vehicles, has been approved by the Texas Railroad Commission. BENICIA, CALIF let contract to ENSR Consulting & Engineering, Acton, Mass., to prepare the third party environmental impact report for a 49,000 kw cogeneration plant Exxon Co. U.S.A. plans to build at its Benicia refinery. ENSR's San Francisco Bay area

COOPERATIVE CORROSION CONTROL AND TREATMENT PROGRAM PROVES EFFECTIVE

Aug 6, 1990 Jim Archuletta Bruce Bitler Conoco Inc. Commerce City, Colo. Mark Binford Betz Process Chemicals Inc. The Woodlands, Tex. John Modi Betz Process Chemicals Inc. Denver, Colo. Conoco Inc. and Betz Process Chemicals Inc. (Betz ProChem-a specialty chemical supplier) worked together to identify and address corrosion problems at a crude unit through a series of mechanical changes, operating adjustments, and unique chemical treatments.

AUSTRALIAN LIQUIDS-HANDLING SYSTEM CUTS SURGES TO LPG PLANT

Aug 6, 1990 Geoff McKee Terry D. Stenner Bridge Oil Ltd. Sydney A pipeline liquids-handling facility recently commissioned by Bridge Oil Ltd., Sydney, allows gas production to be quickly ramped up to meet customer demand. Its design eliminates troublesome liquid surges which had hampered plant operations.

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

Aug 6, 1990 BP CANADA INC plans to cut staff by 170 jobs-about 10% of payroll-under a restructuring. Most layoffs will involve cutting management layers at its Calgary headquarters and at Bonneyville, Alta., where BP owns 50% of the Wolf Lake oil sands project. BP said its aggressive exploration program will not be affected by the cuts.

U.S. BRIEFS

Aug 6, 1990 WESTERN GAS PROCESSORS LTD., Denver, acquired the pipeline assets of Parker Gas Cos. Inc., Tulsa, and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed price. Included were 450 miles of pipeline mainly in the Giddings, Tex., area and their gas gathering and measuring segments. The sale of Parker's gas treating assets, also to Western, is scheduled for Aug. 21 closing. THE MEGA BORG supertanker, involved in an oil explosion and oil spill off Galveston, was towed out of the Gulf of Mexico on a 2 month

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Aug 13, 1990 The possibility of a wider conflict in the Persian Gulf in the wake of Iraq's conquest and annexation of Kuwait has the world on tenterhooks as awareness grows there is no true shortage of world oil supplies (see story, p. 17). IEA's governing board, meeting in Paris late last week, decided that "no physical shortage of oil existed and there is no need to activate the emergency response oil sharing system."

APPLICATIONS VARY FOR DEWAXING PROCESS OVER 10-YEAR SPAN

Aug 13, 1990 Fritz A. Smith Mobil Research & Development Corp. Princeton, N.J. Robert W. Bortz Mobil Research & Development Corp. Paulsboro, N.J. Shape-selective catalytic technology to control cold-flow properties of middle distillates has been demonstrated during a 10-year period. The Mobil Distillate Dewaxing (MDDW) process, a shape-selective process utilizing ZSM-5 as a catalyst, has been used commercially in 21 refineries of various types: topping/reforming, visbreaking, and reforming/catalytic

U.S. BRIEFS

Aug 13, 1990 MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE released a draft environmental impact statement for OCS Sale 126 off Alaska scheduled for August 1991. The proposed sale area consists of 4,319 blocks covering more than 23 million acres of the Chukchi Sea in water depths of 100-300 ft. Comments on the draft EIS, available from the MMS office in Anchorage, Alas., will be accepted until Sept. 11.

PRICE HIKES, FEARS OF OIL SUPPLY CRISIS TRAIL IRAQ ATTACK ON KUWAIT

Aug 13, 1990 Iraq's blitzkrieg seizure of Kuwait has created chaos in world oil markets. At a time when oil demand was relatively soft and oil stocks brimming worldwide, events following Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of its neighbor, a former Arab ally, have sent oil futures prices rocketing to levels not seen since before the 1986 oil price collapse.

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