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Oil and gas announcements: 5 August 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Biofuels Power Corporation

Biofuels Power Corporation (BFLS) has signed a letter of intent with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions (Africa) (Pty) Ltd and Liberty GTL, Inc. to build a small scale gas to liquid (GTL) demonstration facility in Houston, Texas (GTL Pilot Plant). The parties have established a non-binding target data to complete installation and commissioning of the GTL Pilot Plant on or before December 31 this year. The purpose of the GTL Pilot Plant is to commercially demonstrate converting stranded natural gas resources to synthetic crude oil.

BFLS will operate the GTL Pilot Plant for the 2 year demonstration. ThyssenKrupp will provide technical services and contribute a previously operating auto thermal reformer pilot plant of proven design, which will be used to generate synthesis gas feedstock for the production of synthetic crude oil. Liberty will provide intellectual property and operating know how regarding crude oil synthesis along with the relevant catalyst supply. The Liberty technical team is also credited for designing the Fischer Tropsch Reactor which will convert the synthetic gas to synthetic crude oil. The GTL Pilot Plant will be assembled at the Houston Clean Energy Park, which is an industrial estate owned by BFLS.

Black & Veatch

Scott Aitken has been appointed Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s water business in Europe. The new leader will assume full management responsibility for the company’s asset lifecycle services including professional services, design build and operate maintain asset management ambitions in the region.


BP has announced that appointment of Spencer Dale as its new Group Chief Economist with effect from the end of October. Dale joins BP from the Bank of England where he is currently Executive Director for Financial Stability Strategy and Risk. He is also a member of the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee. Dale commented on his new appointment saying, ‘I am delighted that I will be working in a critical sector for the global economy in one of Britain’s leading companies. I look forward to bringing my experience of macroeconomics and the public sector to the world of international energy.’

BP has announced that the government of Indonesia, through the Ministry of Environment, has approved the Tangguh Expansion Project Integrated AMDAL environmental and social impact assessment and issued the project an environmental permit. The AMDAL includes Tangguh’s environmental and social commitments. It also outlines the role of the local administration and central government. Approval is required for project activities to begin at the Tangguh site.

The US$ 12 billion Tangguh Expansion Project will deliver significant value to the Indonesian government and will help meet the growing energy demand in Indonesia. As part of the expansion project, BP and its partners will supply 40% of the LNG output from Train 3 to Indonesia’s state electricity company PT. PLN for the Indonesian domestic market. Caterpillar Inc.

The Caterpillar Foundation, supported by Caterpillar Inc. is continuing working to alleviate poverty worldwide, including on the African continent, through a series of investments. Since 2010 alone, corporate social innovation has driven the Caterpillar Foundation to invest US$ 30 million in African programs that address access to clean water, energy, empowering girls and women and microfinance, as well as food and shelter. The Foundation targets investments to organisations working in areas of policy that will enable sustainable growth and development across the continent.

ITT Corporation

ITT Corporation has unveiled the newest addition to its Seneca Falls, New York manufacturing campus, an advanced testing and packaging facility for its complex, highly engineered pumps used primarily by the global oil and gas, petrochemical and mining industries. The new building totals 89 000 ft2 including office space, with approximately 79 000 ft2 dedicated to product operations.

The US$ 22 million expansion was driven primarily by the growth of ITT and its Goulds Pumps brand in the oil and gas industry, which requires highly engineered pump products for use in refinery, pipeline, production, and other critical environments. Earlier this year, the company also completed an expansion of its Norman G. Gould Technical Center on its Seneca Falls campus, which houses its product engineering and reasearch and development staff.

US Department of Energy

The US DoE has announced that Grace Bochenek has been named the director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Bochenek will manage the day to day operations of NETL, the national laboratory for the Office of Fossil Energy’s research and development program. With more than 1000 federal and contractor employees at five sites across the nation, NETL’s primary mission is to develop new technologies and approaches to ensure the safe, clean and affordable use of fossil energy recourses, including carbon capture and storage; advanced generation technology for new and existing coal based power plants, and advanced research on novel concepts.

Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy said, ‘in her new role at NETL, Dr. Bochenek will oversee DOE’s lead laboratory for fossil energy and a portfolio of research critical to the Department’s work addressing our nation’s energy and environmental challenges. She will lead NETL as it seeks transformative scientific and technological solutions in support of our nation’s all of the above energy strategy.’

US Environmental Protection Agency

On 5 August, the US EPA will hold a public hearing in Houston, Texas, on the proposed updates to emissions standards for refineries to protect nearby neighbourhoods and improve air quality. After receiving input from stakeholders including community groups, industry and states, EPA is proposing new monitoring requirements and common sense measures to further reduce toxic pollution from flaring and other processes. Exposure to toxic air pollutants, such as benzene, can cause respiratory problems and other serious health issues, and can increase the risk of developing cancer.

EPA is issuing this proposal to determine new developments in practices, processes and control technologies as required by the Clean Air Act (CAA). The CAA tasks EPA to evaluate current emissions standards to determine its risk to human health and the environment. The proposal would add additional emission control requirements for storage tanks, flares and coking units at petroleum refineries. EPA is also proposing to require monitoring of air concentrations of fenceline communities to ensure proposed standards are being met and that neighbouring communities are not being exposed to unintended emissions.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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