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Conquer the Challenges: How petroleum refineries can meet today’s challenges with improved performance catalysts

Process more challenging feeds and maintain or increase middle distillate yield and quality, with flexibility and cost containment.

Today’s petroleum refiners face a myriad of challenges to maintain or improve profitability in an increasingly competitive and more highly regulated environment. These challenges include:

  • Meeting or exceeding seasonal gasoline and diesel fuel quality and supply requirements.
  • Positioning to meet the <0.5% sulfur marine fuel oil requirement by 2020.
  • Meeting the increasing demand for transportation fuels in developing regions.
  • Responding to the effects of regional political trends, regional climatic and/or geologic events, and regional production variation on crude supply.
  • The ability to process diverse opportunity feeds and to upgrade the bottom of the barrel.

An example of these challenges for refiners is the reduced sulfur emissions regulations implemented in emission control areas (ECAs) in the US and Europe, which resulted in an addition of hydroprocessing related technology, or a revamp within refineries, or both. These new expenditures were at the expense of other major capital expenditures. In addition, new emissions reductions in bunker fuel sulfur content (from 3.5% to 0.5%), which begin in 2020, may cause an increase in diesel demand as vessels turn to this lighter, lower sulfur fuel as a blendstock.

These shifting trends have impacted refining margins. Having the ability to process more challenging feeds while maintaining or increasing middle distillate yield and quality is necessary. The ability to simultaneously maintain flexibility and manage costs is a necessity for the competitive refiner.

 

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