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Global refining and petrochemical news: 21 August 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Following a fire at the Reman refinery owned by Petrobras on August 20, a man has died as a result of his injuries. The fire was caused by the ignition of gases from a water and oil gas pool whilst the worker was examining a pump. Unions have said that the fire and death of the worker is an example of the worsening work conditions within Petrobras’ facilities.


It has been announced that Thai Oil Plc is bidding for a contract at the Thanlyin refinery near Rangoon. The company is looking to win a contract to renovate and operate the Burmese refinery. Thai Oil has also said that it is looking to other Burma investments.

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE) has been charged by the Treasury following an examination of tax audits over the last five years. RECOPE has been charged over US$ 180 million. The Directorate General of Taxation has made these charges after the audit investigation highlighted that the company had under reported its income and was avoiding tax obligations.


Kuwait has announced plans to expand its petrochemical production capacity. In 2012 the country’s capacity stood at 3.4 million tpy and this is likely to increase to 7.9 million tpy by 2015. The country is making this move as it anticipates a big increase in the demand for petrochemical products. US$ 7.5 million of projects are expected to be executed to 2017.


Jim Ovia, the founder of Quantum Petrochemical has announced plans to build a US$ 1.5 billion petrochemical plant. The new facility will be constructed in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State. Quantum has reportedly selected IHS and Saipem to carry out the consultancy and project development respectively.


Sohar Refinery and Improvement Project has awarded Al Hassan Engineering Company a contract. The contract is for the civil and underground piping work for the Sohar project. Daelim-Petrofac has hired Al Hassan as it manages the US$ 2.1 billion project. Once all work at the refinery is complete, it is expected that operational capacity will increase by 70%.


National Refinery Ltd. (NRL) has awarded China National Chemical Engineering Corp. Ltd. (CNCEC) a contract. The contract is for the work related to the upgrade and expansion of a refinery. The facility in question is in the Korangi Industrial Zone and the contract is valued at US$ 242 million. The work includes the installation of a high sulfur diesel desulfurisation plant and an isomerisation plant.


Quantum Energy has announced plans to construct a refinery in the Billings area of North Dakota. The 20 000 bpd proposed facility is expected to cost US$ 500 billion and create 500 – 600 construction jobs. When the refinery is online it is anticipated that 100 – 150 full time jobs will be available with a basic salary of US$ 100 000 per worker. An area on which the build the refinery is now being looked for.

Sources: Times of Oman, Reuters, Inside Costa Rica, Forbes, OGJ, KULR, Construction Week Online, The Irrawaddy.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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