Mcilvaine Logo 1     Refinery Decisions Update
                                               No. 1   April 4, 2018


The IIoT and Remote O&M report provides continuing analysis of the accelerating utilization of process management and data analytics in the refining industry.  The Industrial Internet of Wisdom (IIoW) will empower IIoT.  This refineries decision system is one example of IIoW. You can view a refining webinar as described below:


RefiningA small number of companies make the decisions relative to combust, flow and treat purchases for refineries. The refinery IIoT and Remote O&M market will rise from $18 billion in 2018 to more than $36 billion by 2024. Companies building new refineries are well aware of the benefits of using IIoT through pervasive sensing applications.  A typical modern facility will thus have about 50,000 inputs and outputs to and from control and monitoring systems, with all connections made through plant intranets, which replaces the Internet in these IIoT applications. But an older refinery will typically have closer to 20,000 inputs and outputs, with the 30,000 shortfall the root cause of much inefficiency, operational issues and safety incidents.  So, the IIoT potential at existing plants is bigger than for new plants. McIlvaine tracks all refinery projects daily. There are relatively few refining companies. Many of them also own chemical plants and or extract gas and oil.  A marketing program for refining combust, flow, and treat products and services will be discussed.

Recorded 41 Minute webinar on January 10, 2018
View YouTube Recording:



McIlvaine is on the steering committee and working with KCI to help make this conference and exhibition June 26 and 27 as useful to attendees as the one 2 years ago. We are also working with the management (KCI) to provide come continuity between the U.S. show, the Chinese Show, and articles in Valve World Americas, Valve World,  Pump Engineer, Stainless Steel World, and Hose and Couplings magazines.

One of the continuity streams will be on common versus better options.  All the speakers and exhibitors are being asked to provide one such example.

Here are entries we have received so far:

Person Affiliation Option description
Richard Bierman Chevron Phillips Common Analysis based on overall vibration
Better The use of trend based narrow ban envelope alarming

Jeff Ronseneder

Trey Gorfe

Emerson Common Non-resilient stem packing for ball valves
Better Resilient stem packing for ball valves to prevent fugitive emissions
Buddy Broerman


Research Institute

common Pump vendor sizes dampener as a guestimate when installing plunger pumps

Take advantage of an upfront pulsation/vibration analysis to avoid vibration issues and piping rework costs.

Ned Davis

Maui Innovation


Common Employ low emissions valve packing
Better Hermetically seal valve enclosure and actuate valve with a magnetic coupling ensuring zero emissions over the entire life of the valve
Jean-Marc Fosseux TechnipFMC Common Use of conventional pump sealing systems for hazardous product (dual mechanical seals + auxiliaries)

use of seal-less pumps when possible

If you are an exhibitor or speaker at the Summit and would like to submit a common and better option, or if you have comments about any of the options displayed by others just communicate them to Bob McIlvaine at 847-784-0012 ext 112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To learn more about the conference click on


A valve manufacturer’s perspective for reducing fugitive emissions

This article in the July 2017 Valve World by Stan Allen of Bray examines the laws, industry stands, end user specifications, and engineering responsibility which shape decisions about the design of valves.  Choice of valve types is one of the subjects examined.

Valve operation types fall into two broad categories – (1) rising or rising and rotating stems, and (2) quarter-turn (part-turn) stems. Rising and rising and rotating stems normally are used in gate, globe, and rising stem ball valves. These designs are considered the most susceptible to stem leakage since the stem is exposed to the service fluid and then drawn through the packing during the valve operation. These valve designs are the most prevalent used in refineries. Quarter turn valves, which include most ball valves, double and triple offset butterfly valves, and plug valves, are often considered significantly less susceptible to stem leakage due to the short quarter-turn rotation and the service fluid not being drawn through the packing during the valve operation. However, if not properly designed, manufactured or maintained, quarter-turn designs are still possibilities for release of emissions. Quarter-turn valves are often used in applications with infrequent operation, such as for emergency shutdown application, but they may also be used in high cycle processes and control valve applications. It is not uncommon that engineering and operations personnel consider the operation type (favoring quarter-turn) as a factor in valve selection, as they evaluate other factors in valve selection. The design of the packing chamber, selection of packing, torque, and the other parameters are different for rising stem designs than for quarter-turn stem designs.

Bray will be an exhibitor at the Fugitive Emissions Summit and asked to provide a common option and a better option.  This article would indicate that the common option would be to consider only rising stem designs for control applications.  The better option would be to consider both rising stem and quarter turn designs where fugitive emissions will be a problem.

Revision Date: April 4, 2018

Locator refinery, oil, and gas, monitoring, valve

Tags: refineries, Bray. Valve World, fugitive emissions, valve, packing, regulations

US Potential Ban on Venezuelan Oil May Hit Valero Hardest

If the U.S. bans oil imports from Venezuela, Valero Energy Corp. and Chevron Corp. may end up paying the price. The U.S. is considering a ban on oil imports from Venezuela and exports of petroleum products, but is wary of the damage to American companies, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said February 4. In addition to exporting oil to America, Venezuela’s state-controlled oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA also exports jet fuel to the U.S., and imports Permian oil and diluent naphtha used to help Venezuelan oil transported by pipeline. Valero is the biggest buyer of Venezuelan oil, importing 207,800 barrels a day in November for its refineries in Texas and Louisiana. Chevron was the second-largest buyer. State-owned PDVSA’s U.S. refining arm Citgo Petroleum Corp. has been receiving less and less oil from its holding company as output slumps. "Although production is declining, refinery utilization is down in Venezuela and so it’s kind of keeping exports available to us," Gary Simmons, Valero’s vice president of supply, said February 1 on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. Back when shale oil wasn’t even on the map, refiners from Texas to Mississippi invested billions in equipment to process cheap, heavy oil from countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia. Just as Venezuela became dependent on demand from the U.S. Gulf Coast, home to one of the world’s largest clusters ofrefineries, American fuel makers grew to rely more on Venezuelan crude. It’s now the second-largest supplier of crude to Gulf Coast plants, after Mexico.

Revision Date:  3/13/2018

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, PDVSA, Valero, Chevron, Import, Refining, Export, Venezuela, USA, USA

Petrobras to Sell Pasadena, TX Refinery

Brazil's state-controlled oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro SA, said on February 6 it had started taking steps to sell its refinery in Pasadena, Texas, an installation ensnared in Brazil's largest corruption scandal.

Revision Date:  3/13/2018

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Petrobras, Refining, Non-binding, Sale, Investigation, USA

Pemex Refinery Chief Looks to Deal with Mitsui to Spur Recovery

With its money-losing refineries producing the least fuel in 27 years and only a handful of private partnerships announced since Mexico’s energy reforms, sealing a $2.6 billion venture with Mitsui & Co. will come as a relief to Petroleos Mexicanos.

Revision Date:  3/13/2018

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Pemex, Mitsui & Co, Delayed Coking Unit, Safety, Infrastructure, Refining, Delayed Coking Process, Maintenance, Repairs, Investment, Competition, Revamp, Mexico

ADNOC Awards Ruwais Refinery-West Upgrade to Samsung-CB&I JV (08, T19)

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its US$3.1 billion Ruwais refinery upgrade to a joint venture between Samsung Engineering and CB&I, ADNOC announced February 7. “Enabling the Ruwais Refinery-West to process Upper Zakum, or similar, medium sour crude, in place of Murban light sweet crude, will allow us to extract greater value from our crude resources,” Abdulaziz Abdulla Alhajri, Director of ADNOC’s Downstream Directorate, said in a written statement. “It will mean we can maximize the benefit of price differentials to enhance refinery margins, improve the middle distillate products and release valuable Murban crude into the market.” Under its US$3.1 billion Crude Flexibility Project (CFP), ADNOC plans to add an atmospheric residue de-sulphurization (ARDS) unit so that the Ruwais Refinery-West complex can process up to 420,000 barrels per day of Upper Zakum crude or other similar crudes from the market, the company stated. It noted that ARDS technology is extensively used in upgrading medium to heavy petroleum oils and residues to more valuable clean environmentally friendly transportation fuels. Moreover, the company pointed out that ARDS partially converts residues from crude to produce low-sulfur fuel oil and hydrotreated feedstocks. ADNOC expects the refinery modifications, slated for completion by the end of 2022, to free up more valuable Murban crude for export sales.

Revision Date:  3/8/2018

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, ADNOC, Samsung Engineering, CB&I, Desulfurization Unit, Contract, Technology, Refining, Desulfurization, Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Upgrade, Modification, Environmental Efficiency, UAE

Permian Basin Refinery Project Doubles in Capacity

The developer of a planned West Texas refinery has decided to increase crude oil processing capacity in the Permian Basin by one-third rather than one-sixth.

Revision Date:  3/6/2018

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, MMEX Resources, Pipeline, Crude Distillation Unit, Capacity, Permitting, Crude Distillation, Construction, Production, Output, Refining, Pipeline, Expansion, USA

TechnipFMC Awarded the Bapco Sitra Refinery Expansion in Bahrain (08, T19)

TechnipFMC announced in December 2017 that, jointly with Samsung Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas, it has been awarded a $ 4.2 billion USD contract from Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) for the Bapco Modernization Program (BMP). The project is located on Bahrain’s Eastern coast and entails the expansion of the capacity of the existing Sitra oil refinery from 267,000 up to 360,000 barrels per day (BPD), improve energy efficiency, valorization of the heavy part of the crude oil barrel (bottom of the barrel), enhancing products slate and meeting environmental compliance. The project will be executed on engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) lump sum turnkey basis and is slated for completion in 2022. It includes the following main units: Residue Hydrocracking Unit, Hydrocracker Unit, Hydro Desulfurization Unit, Crude Distillation Unit, Vacuum Distillation Unit, Saturated Gas Plant, Hydrogen Production Unit, Hydrogen Recovery Unit, Sulphur Recovery Unit, Tail Gas Treatment Unit, Sour Water Stripper Unit, Amine Recovery Unit, Bulk Acid Gas Removal Unit, Sulphur Solidification Unit and Sulphur Handling Facilities. Utilities and offsites are also part of the scope. The BMP project will capitalize on the vast experience of the joint venture partners in Bahrain as well as in the Region. Nello Uccelletti, President of TechnipFMC’s Onshore Offshore business stated: “This award is one of the strategic “early engagement” achievement, following the successful completion by TechnipFMC of the FEED contract.”

Revision Date:  3/6/2018

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, TechnipFMC, Samsung Engineering, BAPCO, Amine Recovery Unit, Sulfur Units and Facilities, Sour Water Stripper Unit, Tail Gas Treating Unit, Sulfur Recovery Unit, Hydrogen Production Unit, Distillation Units, Hydrodesulfurization Unit, Hydro-cracking Unit, Acid Gas Removal Units, Hydrogen Recovery Unit, Procurement, Engineering, Environmental Compliance, Refining, Energy Efficiency, Expansion, Commissioning, Construction, Bahrain

Hengli Petrochemical to Use Honeywell Advanced Flare and Burner Technologies to Control Emissions

Honeywell announced November 16, 2017 that Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery Co., Ltd. will use Callidus advanced flares and low-nitrogen oxides (NOx) burner technology at its refinery and petrochemicals complex, one of the largest in China, at Changxing Island in Dalian City. Honeywell will provide a 5,000 ton-per-hour flare system that will be the largest in Asia. In addition, Honeywell will provide more than 1,400 Callidus® low-NOx burners to provide heat for refinery processes, as well as process design and procurement services, key mechanical equipment and instrumentation. "Callidus' advanced burner technology helps refineries and petrochemical plants reduce NOx emissions, better control carbon monoxide emissions and achieve higher fuel efficiency, while our low-VOC flare technology provides excellent combustion performance," said Henry Liu, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP China. "These technologies offer excellent economics and will help Hengli comply with stricter environmental regulations in China." Under the Chinese government's Emission Standard of Pollutants for the Petroleum Refining Industry, emissions of nitrogen oxides from industry furnaces are required to drop 33 percent, from 150 milligrams per cubic meter in 2015 to less than 100 this year. These pollutants are a primary cause of acid rain and increased surface ozone concentration, which have serious and direct impacts on public health and the environment. Honeywell UOP's Callidus low-NOx burner technology and customized burners will allow Hengli Petrochemical to reduce NOx emissions to half the limit prescribed under the new emission control regulation. The burners are customized to meet requirements of all types of applications at Hengli, including refinery heaters, reformers, ethylene crackers, and CCR (continuous catalytic reforming) and propane dehydrogenation process heaters.

Revision Date:  2/15/2018

Tags:  325110 - Petrochemical Manufacturing 石化产品生产, 324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Honeywell, Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery Co, Flare System, Burner, Technology, Process Design, Procurement, Emissions Reduction, Fuel Efficiency, China


How a Refinery Significantly Reduced Fugitive Emissions

The BP refinery in Whiting, IN has 80,000 valves in its leak detection and repair (LDAR) program. There are approximately 20 process units in the refinery, on an average five-year-turnaround cycle and 200-300 valves on every turnaround work list. BP executed an EPA consent decree in 2012 and has been working on improvements around LDAR and emissions since 2011. There are several failure modes for valves, including bonnet and flange leaks, and leaks through the seat, but 77% of them are due to stem packing leaks. Other variables are valve life, surface finishing to minimize gaps and the bellow seals alternative. Valves now must be certified low-leaking valves or repacked with certified low-leaking packing. These are defined as “valves for which a manufacturer has issued either a written guarantee that the valve will not leak above 100 parts per million (ppm) for five years or a written guarantee, certification or equivalent documentation that the valve has been tested pursuant to generally-accepted good engineering practices and has been found to be leaking at no greater than 100 ppm.” Steve McJones and Rich Sobilo of BP reported in Valve Magaine thatEarly results have shown a 21% decrease in one unit’s valve leaks. There have been no bellows leaks. Previously, 20% of new valves leaked in the first year, but it has been reduced by 180 less leaks in one year in just one unit. The overall leak rate has decreased from over 30% between 2008 and 2013.

Revision Date:  12/21/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, 211111 - Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction 原油和天然气开采, BP, Valves, Repairs, Emissions Control, Refining, Leak Detection, USA

California refinery monitoring system

CARB has published details of the ambient monitors used for criteria pollutants, toxics and TsP used at each refinery location in California

Revision Date:  12/13/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Thermo Scientific, Teledyne, Monitoring Devices, Fence Line

PerkinsElmer mass spectrometer cost effectively measures benzene and a range of VOCs and SVOCs

GC instrumental parameters are optimized so that VOCs, in addition to semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), can be analyzed on the same instrumentation enabling enhanced throughput and laboratory efficiency. The instrumentation used in this study was a TurboMatrixTM Automated Thermal Desorber (ATD) and a Clarus SQ8TM GC/MS system. (Both from PerkinElmer Inc., Shelton, CT). It should be noted that the method allows for flame ionization detection (FID) or mass spectrometer (MS) detection. However, for this particular study, MS was used to reduce the possibility of false positives being reported. One of the criteria of this method is to meet the tuning specifications for the compound 4-bromofluorobenzene (BFB) This study has clearly shown that by optimizing GC/MS and TD instrumental parameters a suite of VOCs, in addition to other semi-volatile compounds can be analyzed on the same system, resulting in increased laboratory efficiency. This provides flexibility in allowing the analysis of 325 and Semi-volatiles in the same sequence. In addition, the data also demonstrates that by using the fast, resolved chromatographic approach, EPA Method 325 performance criteria can be achieved, while still maintaining high sample throughput.

Revision Date:  12/13/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, PerkinElmer, Mass Spectrometry, Benzene, Method 325

Refinery fence –line monnitoriing to impact petrochemical operators

Gary Daves is technical services director of air quality for Providence Engineering & Environmental Group LLC advises chemical plants emitting benzene near a refinery to imitate discussions with neighboring refineries to determine possible impacts and to conduct independent benzene monitoring studies to identify potential problems which could be revealed in the new method 325 fence line monitoring program which will be implemented by refineries (the full article is available in the intelligence system)

Revision Date:  12/13/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Providence Engineering, Benzene, Fence Line, Method 325

Forestalling fugitive emissions with two critical valve concepts

For controlling fugitive emissions, perhaps the most crucial consideration in valve selection is the stem seal design. Although traditional packing options such as chevron (v-ring) or cup-and-cone styles can successfully combat most fluid leakage, those options alone won’t suffice in guarding against fugitive emissions of highly hazardous chemicals in volatile applications with extreme fluctuations in temperature and pressure. Therefore, processors needing valves for such services should carefully assess stem seal design and materials. While both rising-stem and quarter-turn valves can be susceptible to leaks, valve stem movement through the packing in rising-stem valves makes them a more precarious choice than their quarter-turn counterparts. To mitigate the leak potential with rising-stem valves, a bellows-sealed design has proven highly effective compared to alternatives. In selecting a bellows-sealed valve, users should look for the following design features pertaining to fugitive emissions control: • Two-part rising stem. This isolates the rotational movement of the stem and shields inner components from the effects of torque. • Full-size safety gland packing made of graphite or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). A safety backup enables continued valve function, eliminating the need to shut down the plant in case of emergency or failure. • Bonnet gasket with tongue-and-groove bonnet flanges. A valve that utilizes a tongue-and-groove design focuses the force of the nuts and bolts on a smaller area. Therefore, the gasket doesn’t wear out or become dislodged due to temperature swings, helping achieve leak tightness in volatile applications. Despite the benefits of a bellows-sealed design forrising-stem valves, processors often opt instead for quarter-turn valves for fugitive emissions control to avoid potential leak paths created by the vertical movement of a stem through packing. In this case, valves with redundant seals and side-load protection offer the best defense against external leakage. Valve design, materials and function can vary greatly among different valve types; therefore, we’ll focus only on considerations for process ball valves.

Revision Date:  12/13/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Crane, Fugitive Emissions, Valve

Refinery fence –line monitoring to impact petrochemical operators

Gary Daves is technical services director of air quality for Providence Engineering & Environmental Group LLC advises chemical plants emitting benzene near a refinery to imitate discussions with neighboring refineries to determine possible impacts and to conduct independent benzene monitoring studies to identify potential problems which could be revealed in the new method 325 fence line monitoring program which will be implemented by refineries (the full article is available in the intelligence system) US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) upcoming compliance deadline for refiners to measure and report ambient benzene concentrations at their fence lines will put petrochemical manufacturers with operations in close proximity to these refineries at risk for increased scrutiny and enforcement action. Although EPA's "Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review and New Source Performance Standards" (RTR) rule covers only sources subject to refinery maximum achievable control technology (MACT) regulations, the rule's fence-line monitoring provisions require refiners to collect samples that represent fence-line ambient benzene concentrations, which can include contributions from petrochemical units both on and off a refinery's property (OGJ, Oct. 5, 2015, p. 40). In promulgating the rule, EPA acknowledged these potential contributions from sources not subject to Refinery MACT requirements and included specific provisions for refiners to exclude contributions from these near-field interfering sources (NFSs) when calculating a refinery's reportable ambient benzene concentration. To exclude these NFS contributions, however, a refiner must submit a site-specific, fence-line monitoring plan in which it individually identifies excluded NFSs as well as quantifies their likely contributions to the refinery's ambient benzene concentrations. Given that refining and petrochemical operations frequently are sited in the same general part of a city or region, petrochemical plants inevitably will be targeted as primary NFSs of benzene concentrations excluded by nearby refineries. This article explores potential air-permitting and enforcement implications of the refinery RTR rule's fence-line monitoring requirements on petrochemical operations as well as considerations for operators that may be identified as NFS in refinery site-specific fence-line monitoring plans.

Revision Date:  12/13/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Providence Engineering, Benzene, Fence Line, Method 325

Golden specialty provides complete program to meet EPA 325 fence line monitoring rquirements

Golden Specialty, Inc. has been in the air business for over 20 years delivering air and industrial sample analysis. The company offers a complete service to address fence line monitoring requirement 325.

Revision Date:  12/13/2017

Tags:  324110 - Petroleum Refineries 石油精, Golden Specialty, Benzene, Laboratory, Fence Line, Method 325


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