Optimizing oil refining

03/23/2010


A press release crossed my desk yesterday, and it connected two things that have been recent discussion points. The main topic of the release is that ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) has signed a licensing agreement with Invensys to use some of the refinery process models that EMRE has developed. The suite of models will be available to other refiners through Invensys Operations Management’s SimSci-Esscor optimization software, using its ROMeo solution to enable clients to model and optimize process units.

Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and chief executive of IOM makes an interesting observation about the current situation of the refining industry: “With depressed demand, decreased margins, and increased environmental mandates, refiners no longer have the option to simply operate at maximum throughput. Over the course of the coming decade, we will see a drastic shift in the oil industry as refiners constantly optimize their operations in the face of changing feedstock and energy costs, product specs, and margins. Refiners will increasingly rely on accurate modeling technologies to construct a refinery-wide picture and assess the financial impact of different operating scenarios. Our SimSci-Esscor optimization software and ROMeo solution, combined with EMRE process models, enables refiners to make improved economic decisions throughout the refinery, from crude feed to final product blending.”

The first area that this connects with is two recent postings on the changing nature of the oil industry now that consumption in the U.S. seems to have peaked and refiners are now finding themselves with excess capacity in North America and Europe. The notion that refiners have the opportunity to evaluate processes with something other than maximizing production in mind could be an interesting change.

The second point is the concept of processes and process models as intellectual property. There is a feature story on this very topic in our April issue which will be coming very soon. A sidebar in the article brings up the area of legal agreements between system providers and end users and how notions of who owns what need to be defined clearly. The situation between IOM and EMRE is something of an extreme case, but the same concepts apply if an end user is working with a control system supplier in a much more conventional application. Watch for it.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Diagnostic functions for system safety; Specifying industrial enclosures; Effective decision support for a crisis
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me