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Global downstream news: 17 July 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Petroecuador has begun the first phase of a 14 month revamp at the Esmeraldas refinery. The rehabilitation and modernisation of the facility will reportedly require the suspension of operation at the 110 000 bpd plant during the revamp period. Work began on 12 July and a complete stoppage of all processing at the facility is currently scheduled for October 1 – November 15 this year.


It has been reported that ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd is going to sell its 46% stake in OMPL to MRPL. The facility is currently under construction at an investment cost of Rs 6400 crore. Once the sale is complete, MRPL will have a 49% share in the facility.

The Indian oil ministry has discussed tentative plans to reduce energy sourcing from countries cloaked in political volatility in the Gulf Coast region. The Ministry is apparently going to seek importing natural gas from Russia, Iran and other CIS countries instead, according to sources.


KBC has announced that it has been awarded a fiver year contract from a multi national energy company based in South America. The US$ 5.8 million contract includes the renewal, extension and expansion of an existing licence. Due to the contract, KBC will reportedly, immediately expand the license of its refinery wide Petro-SIM software suite and the associated models.


Operation Pulo Shield, part of the Niger Delta Joint Task Force (JTF) has announced the arrest of an ocean barge which was being used for illegal oil bunkering. Upon discovery the barge was apparently carrying crude oil. Whilst on the same petrol, Operation Pulo Shield reported finding and destroying 23 illegal oil distillery camps, 18 illegal oil dumps and 34 drums containing stolen crude oil. Six people suspected to be thieves have also been arrested.

It has been reported that Nigeria’s refineries are operating at approximately 60% of their processing capacity. This news follows the announcements that efforts by the Nigerian Federal Government to rehabilitate the country’s refineries are being hindered by security challenges.


The UK has guaranteed Ineos AG a £ 230 million loan to upgrade its petrochemical plant at Grangemouth, Scotland in a bid to project jobs ahead of the referendum vote for Scottish independence in September. The loan allows Ineos to start work immediately at the facility to build, what will become, the biggest ethane storage tank in Europe.


Chevron is currently disputing an assessment from fire officials that says a fire broke out at the Richmond refinery on Wednesday 16 July. The fire supposedly began due to a bust crude oil pipeline at the facility which deeds in to the FCC unit. Chevron are currently carrying out an investigation to look for the cause of the fire.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is due to hold public hearings in California in an attempt to discuss proposals to reduce air pollution from California to Texas through new refinery controls. The discussions will surround an 870 page proposal orders the petroleum refining industry to monitor benzene emissions more effectively, as well as upgrade storage tanks to aid emissions control and ensure waste gases are properly disposed of. The meeting is due to be held in Wilmington.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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