Improving Downstream Hydrocarbon Production Performance

by , | Feb 27, 2018 | Downstream Hydrocarbons, Industry

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

The world’s energy leaders and policy makers gather in Houston next week for the annual CERAWeek conference. These energy leaders in the oil & gas production, distribution, refining, petrochemicals, coal, electrical power and alternative energy industries gather to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities for performance improvement.

Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo has written a post, Refiners and Petrochemical Producers’ Path to Top Quartile Performance in advance of his presence at CERAWeek. Here is an excerpt from his post:

Changing sources and global flows of hydrocarbons have challenged refiners and petrochemical producers to increase their flexibility to accommodate the changes and maintain safe, reliable and efficient operations.Opportunities for improvement come from three primary areas—improving plant availability, capturing higher margins, and complying with more stringent clean fuel regulations.

The difference in plant availability between top quartile and fourth quartile performers is striking. Fourth quartile performers maintenance costs are 3.5x higher and days of downtime are 6x more. First quartile performers have 14% better availability of the mechanical assets.

To achieve top quartile performance, a key area of focus should be to align organizations including HSSE, engineering, operations, maintenance, IT and supply chain logistics to streamline processes and workflow.

Technology can play an important role. By adding measurements to support predictive alerts, refiners can take corrective actions before mechanical asset failures occur. Predictive analytics, when combined with people and new processes, can reduce unplanned downtime. Our own research on failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), confirms that Emerson’s technology can detect more than 70 percent of potential failure modes for nearly all assets and more than 80% for the assets that have the greatest downtime impact in refineries and petrochemical plants. One example is wireless non-intrusive corrosion sensors on piping and vessels to identify issues long before they lead to unsafe conditions and downtime.

Read Marcelo’s full post on opportunities for improved downstream hydrocarbon production performance. You can also connect and interact with Marcelo and our refining and petrochemical industry experts in the Downstream Hydrocarbons area of Emerson.com.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.