Environment & Safety Gas Processing/LNG Maintenance & Reliability Petrochemicals Process Control Process Optimization Project Management Refining

May 2021


Special Focus: Maintenance and Reliability

Cleaning distillation column and heat exchangers through cutter stock circulation
Tüpraş: Özkan, L.  |  Aydin, İ.  |  Öztürk, G.

The Tüpraş İzmit refinery’s largest crude distillation unit (CDU) is designed with a preflash column prior to the atmospheric distillation column.

Stability evaluation of hot spots in the RDS process reactor
SK Energy: Lee, S.  |  Bae, S. H.  |  Lee, D. S.

During the end-of-run (EOR) period of the authors’ company’s residue hydrodesulfurization (RDS) process in early February 2019, some hot spots occurred in the catalysts of the reactors.

An investigation into pressure vessel fatigue cracking caused by a tack weld
Kuwait Oil Co.: Gupta, A.  |  Al-Muwail, M.
The Welding Institute: Donnelly, R.  |  Nicholas, J.

Pressure vessels and piping constitute the maximum percentage of static equipment in any oil and gas facility.

Restaging/rerating of centrifugal compressors: Fundamentals, practices and challenges

The primary requirement for rerating or revamping an existing centrifugal compressor is to match the new operating requirements, such as increased or decreased flow, increased or decreased head, or a combination of both. Rerating or revamping is necessary where the existing compressor or compressor train is incapable of meeting the new operating requirement efficiently.

How maintenance and reliability in gas analysis supports hydrocarbon processing installations
Servomex: Calvert, M.

Industrial plants depend on accurate, reliable gas analysis for process control, efficiency, safety and emissions monitoring.

Isentropic effects: Application and simulation
Parv Process Consulting and Engineering: Parvin, E.  |  Robinson, A.

A process safety risk in industry is having unknown problems that are not accounted for.

Thick-wall reactor shell repair procedure after damage detection at an interface in a hydrocracking unit
Central Mechanical Research Institute: Chidambaram, S.

The vessel and reactor operating in a refinery may undergo various deteriorations due to their operating conditions.

Valves, Pumps and Turbomachinery

Use infrared thermal imaging for pump system condition monitoring and early failure detection
Saudi Aramco: Brashler, K.  |  Alshahrani, Y.

Thermal imaging technology has evolved over the years, and investment costs have decreased significantly.

Ensuring safety in dynamic chemical manufacturing environments
ITT Goulds Pumps: Knecht, S.

As with all industries, chemical manufacturing is evolving in response to technical innovations, new customer requirements and increased global competition.

Heat Transfer

Double-tubesheet heat exchangers: Necessities and challenges
Fluor: Misal, P. M.

Among all types of heat exchangers, shell-and-tube heat exchangers are in huge demand for industrial applications.

Process Controls, Instrumentation and Automation

Improved measurement of water content in natural gas
Endress+Hauser: Garza, A.  |  Miller, S.

Consumers likely imagine natural gas as a stream of pure methane. Those who are closer to the energy industry know that methane is the major component, but there can easily be dozens of other substances making up a sizeable portion of the total volume.

Implementation of averaging level control using native DCS functions
University of Pretoria: Gous, G.  |  de Vaal, P.

When applying averaging level control in a process plant, engineers can typically choose between proportional integral derivative (PID)-based control, such as p-only, gap and non-linear, or a model-based control like optimal averaging level control.

Environment and Safety

Quantum leap in chemical plant safety and reliability through mobile technology
Fitiri: Murugan, A.
SVP Chemical Plant Services: Pattabathula, V.

The human factor has played a significant role in chemical plant accidents and production loss incidents over the past 60 yr.


Editorial Comment: Maintenance and reliability—A cornerstone of safe and efficient plant operation
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Refineries and petrochemical plants are comprised of a series of crucial processes to produce transportation fuels, products and chemicals demanded by the global market. These processes consist of capital-intensive units that must be maintained to provide reliable performance. Failure to adequately maintain these assets can have a detrimental effect to not only operations and profit, but also to worker safety.

Reliability: Pushing the limit can have unexpected consequences
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

A prominent manufacturer rediscovered the old axiom, “pushing the limit can have unexpected consequences,” after experiencing many bearing failures in its 40-hp air blowers. These lifetime-lubricated (sealed) bearings had been properly installed on 20-mm shafts, and it can be assumed that premium greases were being used.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 112: Remote failure analysis consulting
Consulting Engineer: Sofronas, A.

An article on “Remote training of personnel”1 is interesting and appropriate at this time of COVID-19. It outlines the difficulties in presenting remote training courses and suggests methods that can help.

Executive Viewpoint: It was the best of times
KBC, a Yokogawa Company: Howell, A.  |  Byfield, R.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”. Fortunately, this opening line from A Tale of Two Cities does not often present itself as an appropriate analogy to the oil and gas industry. Yet, here we are.

Industry Perspectives: Will capital investments increase in 2021 and beyond?
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Over the past several years, the world witnessed a significant increase in downstream capacity growth in all sectors of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI). However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decline in demand for transportation fuels and certain petrochemical value chains.

Business Trends: The economics of reliability—An interim report on the global refining industry
Pinnacle: Krimmel, J.

What is reliability? Most people think reliability is simply a measure of failure, or lack of failure. If something runs for a longer period without failing, then it is more reliable than something that runs for less time. However, reliability is a measure of how often something performs when you want it to.

Show Preview: IRPC Process Technology
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

IRPC Process Technology: The latest advancements in process technologies

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Rhodes, Mike

What are the latest advancements in HPI technologies? This month’s Innovations section details the tools and technologies that are optimizing plant operations.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Rhodes, Mike

Salah Mahdy appointed as Global Director for Hydrogen at Howden