SPECIAL REPORT: Survey reveals gas plants in operation, increase in refining construction

April 4, 2011
Oil & Gas Journal's semiannual Worldwide Construction Update shows an increase in refining construction activity compared with the previous edition of the update.

Leena Koottungal
Survey Editor/News Writer

Oil & Gas Journal's semiannual Worldwide Construction Update shows an increase in refining construction activity compared with the previous edition of the update (OGJ, Dec. 6, 2010, p. 61). Following are details from the latest survey, which is available on OGJ Online (click here).


In March, Valero Energy Corp. announced plans to expand the crude unit capacity of its McKee refinery in Sunray, Tex., by 25,000 b/cd to increase total capacity to 195,000 b/cd (OGJ Online, Mar. 16, 2011). The expansion will be completed in 3 years, Valero said.

Tesoro Corp. will expand crude capacity of its 58,000 b/d refinery at Mandan, ND, to 68,000 b/d to handle oil from the Bakken shale and elsewhere in the Williston basin (OGJ Online, Mar. 21, 2011). The company expects to invest about $35 million in the expansion.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco let a front-end engineering and design and project management services contract to KBR for a grassroots refinery in the Jazan area of southern Saudi Arabia (OGJ Online, Feb. 9, 2011). KBR reported crude capacity of the refinery, to be built in conjunction with a marine terminal on the Red Sea, at 400,000 b/d.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) tapped UOP LLP for their hydrocracking and hydrotreating technologies for two refineries it plans to build in Brazil. UOP said basic engineering for the refineries, Premium I at Maranhao and Premium II at Ceara, is under way.

Petrobras plans to start the first Premium I train, with capacity of 300,000 b/d, in 2014, and the Premium II refinery, also with 300,000 b/d of capacity, in 2017. It plans later to start a second Premium I train with 300,000 b/d of capacity.

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic and TURCAS Rafineri AS has awarded Fluor Corp. a project management consultancy for a refinery to be built in Aliaga, Turkey (OGJ Online, Dec. 14, 2010). TURCAS is a joint venture of SOCAR and Petrol AS.

The planned refinery will be integrated into the Petkim petrochemicals complex on the Aegean coast. Fluor will act as PMC for the SOCAR and TURCAS Aegean refinery project and will assist STRAS—a wholly owned subsidiary of SOCAR and Turcas Enerji AS, which also owns 51% of Turkey's only petrochemicals producer, Petkim—in selecting and managing the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor and provide overall project and construction management.

Project work is under way, Fluor said, with site preparation and engineering, procurement, and construction work estimated to be in mid-2011 and construction start-up sometime in first-quarter 2012.


Indian government officials on Feb. 15 dedicated a large naphtha cracker at state-owned Indian Oil Corp.'s 300,000-b/d Panipat refinery and petrochemical complex in Haryana north of New Delhi (OGJ Online, Feb. 16, 2011).

Caiman Energy LLC completed its 120-MMcfd Fort Beeler Plant 1 near Cameron, W.Va. It expects to complete the 200-MMcfd Fort Beeler Plant II by yearend, bringing the company's total natural gas processing capacity at Fort Beeler to 320 MMcfd. Photo from Caiman Energy.

The cracker, which went on stream last year, receives feedstock from Panipat and IOC's 300,000-b/d refinery in Koyali, Gujarat, and 175,000-b/d refinery in Mathura, near Panipat. The unit has design production capacity of 800,000 tonnes/year (tpy) of ethylene. It also will produce 600,000 tpy of propylene. Downstream units and their capacities include polypropylene 600,000 tpy, high-density polyethylene 300,000 tpy, linear low-density polyethylene 350,000 tpy (swing unit with HDPE), and monoethylene glycol 325,000 tpy.

Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have signed a memorandum of understanding to study development of a large petrochemicals complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar (OGJ Online, Dec. 21, 2010). The agreement was signed Dec. 21 in Doha by Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, deputy prime minister and minister of energy and industry for Qatar, and Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser.

Under consideration is a monoethylene glycol plant of up to 1.5 million tpy using Shell's proprietary OMEGA technology and other olefin derivatives to yield more than 2 million tpy of finished products is under consideration.


In February, Qatargas started up the 7.8-million tpy Train 7 of its Qatargas 4 project (OGJ Online, Feb. 10, 2011). Qatargas 4 shipped its first cargo of LNG to India's Hazira receiving terminal aboard the Q-Flex LNG carrier Al Ruwais, owned by Qatar Gas Transport Co.

Train 7 is the last of the four megatrains constructed by Qatargas at Ras Laffan. In addition to its primary destination, the US, sale agreements have been signed with China and Dubai for LNG from Qatargas 4, said reports.

In other LNG news, Petrobras reported it will install a third offshore LNG terminal (OGJ Online, Mar. 2, 2011). The Bahia regasification terminal (TRBA), with capacity to regasify 14 million cu m/day, will supply gas to Bahia state, the heaviest consumer of gas among the northeastern Brazilian states.

TRBA will be installed in the Bay of All Saints and interconnect with a pipeline network at two sites: one in the Bahia network, at Candeias, and the other at kilometer 910 on the Cacimbas-Catu pipeline, a section of the Southeast-Northeast Gas Pipeline started up in March 2010. Work will begin in March 2012 with completion scheduled for August 2013 under an investment of nearly $425 million.

Meanwhile, an international consortium led by Santos Ltd. gave its final approval to develop the $16 billion, 7.8 million tpy Gladstone LNG project in Queensland (OGJ Online, Jan. 19, 2011).

Natural gas

Enterprise Products Partners LP has begun operations at its fourth NGL fractionator at Mont Belvieu, Tex., at nameplate capacity of 75,000 b/d. The addition increases Enterprise's nameplate capacity at Mont Belvieu to 305,000 b/d.

Murphy Oil Corp. Ltd. has started up a gas processing plant with capacity of 180 MMcfd in the Tupper West area 20 km west of Dawson Creek, BC (OGJ Online, Feb. 24, 2011). The Tupper West gas plant is 39 km northwest of the processing plant in its Tupper Main area, which started up in December 2008 and recently was expanded to 105 MMcfd.

MarkWest Energy Partners LP plans to build a third plant at its Arapaho gas processing complex in western Oklahoma to handle production from the expanding Granite Wash play (OGJ Online, Feb. 24, 2011). The 60 MMcfd plant will push total capacity of the complex to 220 MMcfd. Completion is due in the third quarter.

AltaGas Ltd. will construct a 120 MMcfd gas processing facility and an associated gas gathering system in the Gordondale area of the Montney resource play, about 100 km northwest of Grande Prairie, Alta.

The Gordondale gas processing facility and gathering system will cost about $235 million. The gas processing facility is expected in-service in late 2012.

Other gas, sulfur

Qatar Petroleum and Shell announced the first flow of dedicated offshore natural gas to the Pearl gas-to-liquids plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City north of Doha (OGJ Online, Mar. 23, 2011).

The second Borouge cracker in Abu Dhabi went into operation at the end of last year. It is the largest ethane cracker ever built with a capacity of 1.45 million tonnes/year of ethylene. Photo from Linde AG.

The plant will start up fully later this year. Once in operation, Pearl will produce 1.6 bcfd, which will generate 120,000 b/d of condensate and NGLs and 140,000 b/d of products, such as gas oil, high-specification lubricant base oils, and chemical feedstock.

GDF Suez Group company Storengy selected GE's integrated compressor line units for storage expansion projects in France and the UK (OGJ Online, Jan. 31, 2011). GE Oil & Gas will supply Storengy with four ICL units: two 5-Mw units for the expansion of the Beynes natural gas storage project near Paris, which has a total storage capacity of up to 385 million cu m of natural gas; and two units (5 and 8-Mw) for development of the Stublach natural gas storage project in Cheshire, UK. Stublach will comprise up to 28 caverns, the first 10 of which will be commissioned in 2013, with a total storage capacity of up to 400 million cu m.

Separately in the US Virgin Islands, Black & Veatch is working on sulfur projects for Hovensa. A project in St. Croix involves a 300 tonnes/day (tpd) tail gas treater and a revamp of a 500 tpd sulfur recovery unit. Completion is scheduled for 2014. B&V is also working on sulfur projects in Argentina, China, India, and Qatar.


Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA SA) awarded a front-end engineering and design contract for the onshore portion of the Greece-Italy Natural Gas Interconnector (IGI) pipeline to Penspen Ltd. and C&M Engineering SA (OGJ Online, Feb. 17, 2011).

The 580-km, 42-in. OD, Greek section of the high-pressure gas pipeline will extend from the Komotini area in eastern Greece to Thesprotia on the west coast, where it will connect with IGI's offshore segment.

IGI will take gas from the Turkish pipeline system and transport it to the Italian pipeline system, providing an export route to Europe for natural gas from the Caspian region. The IGI pipeline is included in this MOU as part of the larger Interconnection Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) pipeline.

Plains All American Pipeline LP reported plans to construct its Shafter Expansion Project, consisting of a 10,000 b/d LPG pipeline system and related upgrades to its Shafter LPG processing facility near Bakersfield, Calif. (OGJ Online, Feb. 9, 2011). A 5-year transportation agreement with a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. underpins the project, currently expected to cost about $50 million. Oxy also has a general partner ownership stake in Plains.

The pipeline will link the Shafter facility with Oxy's Elk Hills gas processing plant and related infrastructure. Plains has targeted a third-quarter 2012 in-service date.

The Shafter expansion involves building a 15-mile LPG pipeline system as well as enhancing Plains' storage and rail capabilities at the Shafter facility. Plains anticipates spending $30 million on the Shafter project in 2011 and the balance during 2012.

Copano Energy LLC formed a 50-50 joint venture with a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners to construct, own, and operate a 12-in. OD NGL pipeline called Liberty Pipeline (OGJ Online, Jan. 25, 2011). It will extend about 83 miles from Copano's Houston central gas processing complex in Colorado County, Tex., first to Formosa's leased NGL product storage facility in Matagorda County, Tex., and then to Formosa's petrochemical facility in Calhoun County, Tex. The pipeline is expected to be completed by this summer and will have initial capacity of 75,000 b/d.

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