Storage for Mexico's new energy era
Avant Energy is capitalising on Mexico’s liberalised energy markets with a network of storage terminals to satisfy the country’s growing demand for refined petroleum products Historical energy reforms allowing private sector investment into Mexico’s ailing oil market in 2013 has opened the country up to a wave of investment to strengthen and secure its oil supply chain.The reforms enacted by the Mexican government in December 2013 brought to an end the 75-year monopoly of state-owned oil company Pemex and were triggered by years of ever-declining oil production.Since then, the country has been enjoying a wave of energy investment from across the supply chain. Since the reforms were enacted, more than 40 upstream contracts have been signed and July 2017 brought news of significant offshore discoveries, with some describing them as one of the largest shallow-water oil finds in the last 20 years.Against the country’s blossoming energy sector Avant Energy, a Mexican energy company established in 2016, has announced plans to build a network of terminals to supply refined petroleum products from the Port of Altamira in Tamaulipas to the Bajio region of North-Central Mexico.The SUPERA network will provide an efficient logistics solution for companies to supply refined products from the US to several cities in the Bajio region. Initially the network, which has US logistics group Savage Companies and rail operator Kansas City Southern de México as strategic partners, will consist of a marine terminal and an inland terminal from a physical investment of $260 million - with $200 million used for the terminal in Altamira and $60 million for the Queretaro inland terminal.
Venezuela's oil sector in tailspin
The country’s oil sector faces an unprecedented crisis as declining output, economic crisis and political strife take their toll, Nnamdi Anyadike examines what the future may hold for oil production in Venezuela Venezuela’s economy seems set to continue along its downward trajectory, amid what has now become an almost unprecedented crisis for the country’s oil sector.At the time of printing, the country was still preparing for its presidential elections on May 20. And whether the country chooses to proceed on its socialist path, under the current President Nicolas Maduro, or instead votes to replace him with his pro-market challenger Henri Falcon, either candidate will have a mountain to climb to rescue Venezuela’s oil-based economy.John R. Auers, executive vice president, Turner, Mason & Company told Tank Storage Magazine that oil production declines will continue with no end in sight. ‘Even if in what seems now an unlikely peaceful transition to a more market friendly and stable government (at least in the short term), it would take years to restore production to anything near previous levels,’ he says.Venezuela’s oil production is now in a state of virtual freefall and should further US sanctions be imposed that directly target its oil industry the situation would be even more calamitous for the country. According to Baker Hughes data, the number of rigs drilling oil and gas wells in Venezuela dropped from 68 at the end of 2015 to 44 in April 2018.
A midstream first for Oman
As consumption of oil products continues to grow in Oman, modern and efficient pipeline & terminal infrastructure was needed, prompting the creation of the Muscat Suhar Product Pipeline & Al Jifnain terminal network Orpic & CLH’s joint venture two-way multi-product Muscat Suhar Product Pipeline represents a milestone for Oman’s flourishing oil product industry.The $336 million multiproduct pipeline & storage network, connecting Suhar refinery, the new Jifnain terminal, Mina Al Fahal Refinery in Muscat and Muscat International airport is the first of its kind in Oman and will help elevate the region to become an oil hub in the global market.The fully automated network has been designed to optimise the global cost of transportation and distribution of oil products in Oman, including vessels, tankers and power consumption utilised in the pipeline transportation.Taking almost three years to complete, commercial operations at its first phase, which comprised the multiproduct & bidirectional pipeline between Suhar refinery and Jifnain terminal, started in December 2017. In February 2018, the second phase, comprising the pipeline network from Muscat refinery to Jifnain terminal, was brought online.The new infrastructure also comprises of a dedicated jet fuel pipeline between Al Jifnain terminal and the new Muscat International airport.The new storage terminal in Al Jifnain comprises 170,000 m3 of capacity spread across 12 tanks for M95 & M91 petrol, diesel and jet fuel. It has 16 multiproduct loading bays with the capacity to load 700 trucks per day and has a fully automated loading process.Operations have been designed to enable a gate-to-gate time for trucks of less than 30 minutes.In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine general manager Andres Suarez hopes that this project will act as an example on how to bring these fully automated assets to the region.
Redrawing the global oil & gas picture
The US oil and gas landscape has undergone a significant transformation over the last ten years, with US refiners processing more crude oil than at any point in their history. Brian L. Milne reports In less than ten years, the enormous growth in US oil and gas production, and promise of ongoing expansion has reconfigured world trade flow, with the effects of the watershed development still unfolding.The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently projected the US would become an undisputed world leader in oil and gas production, a turnaround from the doom and gloom predictions of peak oil.The seismic shift is still in the early days as a US infrastructure buildout continues to trail the explosion in upstream production, but the landscape has already undergone historic development in new capacity for pipelines and tankage. US refiners are processing more crude oil then at any point in their history, while auto manufacturers are shutting down production lines for sedans and compact cars as low petrol prices end a period of consumer transportation humility.US liquefied natural gas exports that were once limited to Alaska are on the cusp of extraordinary growth. The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the US is in the early stages of a ramp-up in US LNG exports, projecting that the country would have the third largest capacity of LNG behind Australia and Qatar by 2020 following the completion of current construction projects. BP expects the US will become the top LNG producer by 2035 with 19 billion cubic feet per day of capacity, outpacing Australia’s output of 13 Bcf/d.
Regulatory update for US tank terminal operators
Jane Besch, of Geosyntec Consultants, provides an overview of the latest regulatory updates that affect tank terminal owners in the US WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES DEFINITION DELAYED AND WILL BE RECONSIDEREDThe final rule, regarding the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS), was published in the Federal Registeron February 6, 2018. The final rule defines WOTUS and stated that the definition used in the June 29, 2015 final rule (2015 rule) will not be applicable until February 6, 2020.The jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is ‘navigable waters’, defined in section 502(7) of the statute as ‘waters of the United States, including the territorial seas’. The term ‘navigable waters’ is used in a number of provisions of the CWA, including the section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit programme, the section 404 permit programme, the section 311 oil spill prevention and response program, the water quality standards and total maximum daily load program (TMDL) under section 303, and the section 401 state water quality certification process.
A new leading European port
The merger of Zeeland Seaports and Ghent Port has created a new leading European port, which has ambitions to attract significant investment to fill almost 1,000 hectares of available land A new leading port has emerged in Northern Europe, with strong ambitions to substantially expand into the midstream sector as it attracts investors to the region.North Sea Port, the result of a merger between Zeeland Seaports and Ghent Port, is positioned among the top 10 European sea ports- ranked third for added value and ten for cargo transhipment. By 2022 it wants to be aleading brand in the international port sphere and increase its maritime traffic to 70 million tonnes and its inland traffic to 60 million tonnes. Since its creation, the port has already achieved some impressive achievements. Its first quarter 2018 financials were by far the best the two ports combined have achieved, with a registered seaborne cargo traffic of 18 million tonnes – an increase of 14%.This increase is mainly attributable to petroleum products, however crude minerals, mineral fuels and metallurgical products also increased.Its strong position amongst European ports is reflected in the level of interest shown by investors, keen to capitalise on the port’s attractive economies of scale, which can lead to decreased operational costs.In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine, CEO Daan Schalck says that the port is attracting more investment to theregion.
Adaptable logistics for a changing market
With demand for more flexible door-to-door logistics solutions growing in the rapidly growing petrochemical sector in the GCC region, Arabian Chemical Terminals (ACT) & Suttons Arabia are embarking on a value-added logistics park (VALP).The recent Royal Commission allocation of a 200,000 square meter plot of land in Jubail Industrial City II, close to ACT’s Jubail Commerical Port (JCP) tank storage facility and Suttons Arabia container freight station (CFS), will create the first value added logistics park in the rapidly expanding industrial heart of the GCC region, which is home to the likes of SABIC, ExxonMobil, SADARA, DOW, and Aramco Chevron among many others.Designed around the local VAL demand, it will comprise an intermodal container depot, ISO tanker depot, chilled warehouses, a laden-tank depot for bulk liquid chemicals, drum installations, workshop space, a silo depot aswell as an emergency response building and railway connected to the industry and wider GCC region.
Boom time for storage in America
As US oil production increases the need for midstream infrastructure, storage operators are maximising opportunities to capitalise on these favourable market dynamics, especially as Mexico’s liberalised energy market creates more attractive opportunities. Paul Wiseman reports For the oil and gas midstream sector, the last 12 months have seen strong growth. Slowly rising commodity prices boosted largely by reduced supply resulting from OPEC production cuts have been the primary factor. Even as OPEC generally sticks to its goals of oil production cuts, non-OPEC nations, led by the US, have used the resulting higher prices to increase their own production.The International Energy Agency (IEA), in a publication dated 13 February 2018, says non-OPEC production increases were led by the US – by a wide margin. ‘In just three months to November, crude output increased by a colossal 846 kb/d, and will soon overtake that of Saudi Arabia. By the end of this year, it might also overtake Russia to become the global leader. All the indicators that suggest continued fast growth in the US are in perfect alignment; rising prices leading, after a few months, to more drilling, more completions, more production, and more hedging,’ it says.As far as total hydrocarbon production, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the US has already surpassed Russia, as long ago as 2012. The US became the world’s number one producer of natural gasin 2011.As global oil demand grew in 2017 by 1.6 mb/d, oil prices continue a slow rise. As of early May, West Texas Intermediate prices hit $70/b for the first time since 2014. As of 18 April, the EIA tracked US petrol prices at 2.757 for regular of all formulations, and $3.096 for diesel of all grades.
Surviving hurricane season: preparation is key
Buckeye Partners’ extensive pipeline, petroleum storage terminals and refinery network, coupled with its centuries of experience means it has to satisfy high expectations from its customers.Therefore, preparing for natural disasters is an important part of delivering on CEO Clark Smith’s operational excellence goal: ‘to achieve our business objectives without harming people, property, the environment, our customers’ products or the company’s reputation.’With major logistics hubs in the Caribbean, the US Gulf Coast and the New York Harbour, as well as terminal locations in Florida and the Mid-Atlantic coastline, preparing for hurricane season rises to the top of the list for Buckeye as it relates to natural disaster preparation.Buckeye’s hurricane preparedness approach can be similarly applied to almost every type of natural disaster. So, as Buckeye begins to plan for the 2018 hurricane season, lessons learned from the very active 2017 hurricane season will certainly be considered.
Storm preparation: flood risk and buoyancy hazards
In a two-part article series, Philip Myers and Andy Wong, PEMY Consulting, examine how tank owners & operators can prepare their facilities to minimise the effects of hurricane season In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made its mark as the costliest hurricane in human history, inflicting almost $200 billion in damages along the US Gulf Coast.It resulted in the total or partial closure of 18 refineries – about 15-20% of the US’ refining capacity – and more than 1 million gallons of product was spilled into local waterways and the Atlantic Ocean. Harvey exhibited truly terrifying strength. The hurricane propelled the air with peak sustained gusts of 130 mph (215 kph) and rained down 27 trillion gallons of water over its lifespan – that’s equal to 24 cubic miles, or 102 cubic kilometers. 27 trillion gallons is three times the volume of Lake Mead, the US’ largest water reservoir, or about 70 days drainage of the Mississippi river into the Atlantic.With the anniversary of the storm coming in a few months, it is time for tank facility owners and operators in storm-prone areas to prepare or revamp their contingency plans for the next tropical storm. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and the appropriate plan can greatly mitigate the risk of damages and hazards from the next tropical storm.
Advanced tank inspection with next generation MEC technology
The aim of storage tank inspections is to establish the integrity and fitness for service of the assets by reliably identifying corrosion, leakages and areas to be repaired.These inspections ensure that the tanks fulfil the requirements of the EEMUA 159/ API 653 standards as well as to potentially increase the length of service of the asset.Next generation MEC (Magnetic Eddy Current) technology is used to deliver an advanced and cost-effective inspectionsolution for storage tanks by overcoming the limitations of traditional tank floor inspection.LIMITATIONS OF STANDARD TANK FLOOR INSPECTION TECHNIQUETraditionally the tank annular plates, which are structurally critical, cannot be inspected by the standard technique due to higher plate thickness.Instead, they are usually inspected using manual ultrasonic, which requires upfront time and cost for cleaning and/or shot blasting of the plates.The standard tank floor inspection technique and scanner also leave a large dead zone at the tank shell and along the plate welds. As a result, a follow-up inspection utilising manual ultrasonic with additional upfront cleaning andshot blasting is required.
Promoting a process safety mindset
A different mindset & leadership approach is needed to ensure process safety principles are not only followed but embraced by the entire company in its daily work processes. Jasmin McDermott reports The focus on process safety in industrial facilities has increased out of all recognition in recent years.Understanding and managing risks in storage facilities has always been of critical importance and has been a central part of any safety management process. And while the requirements for process safety have remained the same, the industry is experiencing a renewed focus on behaviours to incorporate good operational practices into the day to day running of the assets.In order to reduce the number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 process safety incidents, executives at Shell adopted a new approach that places greater emphasis on critical frontline tasks, gives visibility to dilemmas that frontline workers may face in complying with process safety requirements and, above all, ensures that process safety is part of everyday conversations.In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine Sally Martin, vice president of HSSE for downstream operations at Shell, explains that to manage and promote process safety, four ‘integrity’ principles were identified.
The anatomy of a reliable automated valve for tank storage
In today’s tank storage industry, operators are required to be more safety minded than ever. While there are many layers of safety in tank storage applications, valves and their related components play an integral part in tank storage protection, often serving as the last line of defense from catastrophic failures and safety incidents.Having the right components in place that can enhance tank operations is key to avoiding safety incidents, remaining compliant with regulations, and minimising the risk of unexpected shutdowns and their costly side effects. Also, having these components work as a fully automated system can only increase the inherent safety features of the individual assets.Valve automation technology not only protects the assets that store precious liquid hydrocarbons, but also is vital to protecting tank storage personnel and the surrounding environment. Recent technologies have given operators the ability to remotely monitor and test valves, keeping plant personnel away from potentially hazardous situations and ensuring the system will function properly when operators need them most. The benefits of integrating valve automation technology can be significant by helping end users lower total cost of ownership and making shutdowns/ turnarounds/outages (STO) more efficient via preventive maintenance.
Tank fire protection: less is more
An innovative foam technology by Swiss Fire Protection R&D can extinguish any combustible-liquid fire in a matter of minutes – regardless of the size of the tank When it comes to defending property and lives against the perils of fire raging through combustible-liquid storage facilities, researchers at Swiss Fire Protection Research & Development (SFPRD) have reached an unusual conclusion: Less is more.This may sound like a paradox; however we must understand that battling fires at oil refineries, chemical plants or other facilities is not a war of attrition. A show of force, no matter how massive, may not prevent millions of dollars in infrastructure from going up in smoke. Nor will it save the lives of people who get trapped, nor stop the disaster from polluting the air, soil and water.Extinguishing a full-scale flammable-liquid blaze is perhaps the trickiest operation a firefighter will ever face – and the consequences of failure can be devastating, which has prompted SFPRD to develop a novel technology.
Sliding vane pumps: a go-to technology for storage terminals
Standard-setting operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness combined with versatile liquid-handling capabilities make sliding vane pumps a go-to technology in storage terminals Whether the commodities dealt with are refined fuels (petrol, diesel, jet fuel, fuel oil, LPG,), chemical-based(solvents, acids, pesticides), or food-based, at some point they will all spend some time at, or simply pass through, a liquid-storage terminal.The commodities will arrive at the storage terminal via various modes of water-borne and inland transportation – ocean tanker, barge, railcar, pipeline and tank truck chief among them – and in a wide array of volumes, rangingfrom a few hundred to many thousands of gallons.With all of these differing commodities continuously crisscrossing the globe in varying amounts and at different speeds, the main job for storage operators is twofold: 1) make sure those commodities are where they need to be when they need to be there, and 2) do it in the most efficient, cost-effective and reliable way.Pumps are a critical link in this supply chain as they are used to load and unload the various varieties of vessels that arrive at the storage terminal.Over the years, different types of pumps have been utilised in tank terminal applications, with centrifugal and gear styles being common choices. Terminal operators would be wise, however, to consider another type of pumpingtechnology – positive displacement sliding vane – as go-to machines for the transfer of liquids at the many different flow rates, pressures and viscosities that are found in their facilities.
Marine access systems: finding a safe solution
The variable and constantly moving gap between a marine vessel and the jetty or dock is an interesting problem.Normally, the ship is at port to load or unload cargo, passengers or liquids. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the height of the deck above water or jetty is a variable because of the changing cargo weight. Then, factor in tide variances. These are predictable and tabulated, so easy to establish. But, then there is wind. A chaos factor that is difficult to predict. Specifically, when designing a tower that has a design life of at least 25 years. So, wind speed and direction are taken from historical records. This leaves us with a high-high (highest tide with largest unladen ship) and low-low (lowest tide and smallest laden ship). This can be as little as 2m and as much as 25m.Then we need to factor in the biggest variable of all – humans. The void between ship and dock is between 2m and 25m above a strip of water bounded by a concrete jetty and a steel hull. Arguably, a fall from 2m is survivable, but what about 50m?What are the expectations for the captain of the visiting ship? Clear guidance to the jetty, easy and secure mooring with safe access to land for both crew and visiting officials.
Environmental liabilities: how to achieve contractual certainty
Everything is fine until it isn’t. In the normal course of international business, tank operator’s (owners) accept, transfer, hold and/or blend hazardous goods such as petroleum-based products for customers as they progress through global supply chains.Owners execute agreements with customers aka ‘commodity interests’ and the intent is to provide contract certainty by setting out the roles, responsibilities and corresponding liabilities of the counterparties.The contracts identify baseline environmental responsibilities and allocate damages resulting from losses. Contract language strives to provide clarity and certainty with respect to liabilities (environmental and otherwise) and capture the most probable consequences resulting from direct physical loss.Environmental risks are contractually retained or assumed transferred, standards of care are introduced, and warranties aim to achieve full compliance with contractual terms and conditions.
Faster fire detection means the difference between suppression and disaster
Most codes and regulations require fire detection at the floating roof seal, where the risk of fire is greatest. While linear heat cables are a traditional detection choice, there is now an alternative technology that offers greater detection speed plus easier installation and less maintenance for Zone 1 and 2 applications.Around the world, there are more than 4,800 oil terminals responsible for storing nearly a billion m3 of crude oil and other combustible or flammable petroleum products. (Source: www.tankterminals.com). Many of these terminals use floating roof tanks (FRTs). Though FRTs are considered safer than traditional fixed-roof and open-top storage tanks, they still afford the possibility of gas or vapour leaks that can ignite due to lightning or other causes.An FRT is an aboveground tank in which a metal deck or pan (the roof) floats directly on the surface of the liquid. The roof is flush with the wall of the tank and moves up and down with the level of the liquid, much like in a piston in a cylinder. The purpose of the system is to minimise the volume of vapour present in the tank, as well as to reduce the emission of vapours from the tank thanks to a rim seal between product fluid and the environment. When a failure occurs on a rim seal, there is the potential for flammable vapours or product to escape.
Storage operator challenges & industry 4.0
As experienced engineers look to retire from the industry within the next ten years, the need to preserve historic knowledge has never been greater. However, digitalisation could provide a solution to retaining this valuable knowledge Terminal operators are challenged to be more and more flexible to meet customer demands; far outstripping what original terminals were built for.Today, tank storage operators need to not only deliver a wide variety of products to customers on time and to specification, they also must deal with complex supply chain issues. Most challenging, is the fact that experienced engineers will be retiring within the next ten years. The danger of losing seasoned staff means that succession planning and the recording of historic knowledge is now more important than ever.As projects grow larger and more complex, the number of things that can potentially go wrong increases, as do the consequences and complexities in project execution. Environmental, health and safety issues could make the headlines even without things going wrong. The urgency to capitalise knowledge, and so the need for digital transformation, has never been so high.
A considered approach to loading arm applications
Three key variables should be considered before a loading arm system is designed or built into a tank terminal facility They say that no two snowflakes are alike. That same thing can be said for terminal loading and unloading applications and systems.Sure, all terminals serve the same basic function – commodities are brought into or transferred out of the storage facility via various forms of transportation. However, terminal operators who view their facilities only in those rudimentary terms – along with the equipment that is used to load and unload the delivery transports – are bound to experience shortcomings in the efficiency, reliability and safety of their loading and unloading operations. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to outfitting the loading bays at a terminal facility.In fact, there are three critical variables – product, site and transport – that must be examined and considered completely before choosing the loading arm equipment that will be used.
All under the same roof
Earlier in 2018, EPCM company Diorca completed a landmark project by hoisting the largest geodesic dome ona tank in the western hemisphere.The Cura?ao-headquartered company hoisted the 96-mts dome onto a tank at Refineria ISLA – Curacao’s Bullenbaai Terminal in the Dutch Caribbean it had been completing a full maintenance programme on.Since 2008, the company has completed full maintenance jobs, aluminium domes and IFR installations on tanks up to 84 mts at Bullenbaai, Curacao.‘We organised a conference with all Refineria ISLA – Curacao management and showed them all the advantages ofinstalling a geodesic dome on their biggest tank, protecting the floating roof and the product as well as significantly reducing the possibility of a fire,’ explains Cristina Garcia, managing director of Diorca.The company is now embarking on the construction of a 96-mts carbon steel internal floating roof for the tank.
All-in-one platform to digitse asset information
A new single-source platform, drawing together fragmented data streams, visualises information across an entire storage terminal to provide crucial insights on asset management.With increasing demand for safer and more flexible capacity, the effective operation of a storage terminal requires a new approach to managing vast amounts of data. This business must be smarter, faster, and more effective while complying with ever-stringent safety legislation.To operate as effectively as possible, all tank terminal assets must be utilised to full capacity throughout the facility’s lifecycle, and access to up-to-date asset information is essential to making smart day-to-day operational decisions.This information currently resides with various plant personnel – engineers, HSEQ, operations and maintenance teams – and is not unified in one platform. Additionally, updates and changes to asset information are documented in various management systems across the organisation, resulting in fragmented data.
Game changing robotics in tank storage
It’s happening at rapid pace – industries are changing. New technology is helping companies increase their bottom line, reduce their risk exposure and keep a more watchful eye over their assets.One of the primary drivers of these aforementioned changes is robotics. New robotics technologies provide platforms that extend, crawl and fly. These unique capabilities are being deployed throughout industry at a rapid pace and are poised to change the game indefinitely. The applications are broad – today’s robotics will impact people and companies through: aerial photography & visual inspection, measurement and remote sensing, mapping & surveying, environmental monitoring, data analysis, disaster risk management, and 3D modelling just to name a few.Companies follow routine, standardised inspections of their plant, processes and assets. This is an efficient method to maintain their assets and prevent unforeseen dangers. Nearly all the industries including power generation, refineries, chemical and process plants, require frequent inspection of machinery, large pipes, tanks, pressure vessels, wind turbines, mixing vats, power transmission lines and posts.
HSEQ success comes from within
In a new column, Arend van Campen, manager at Tank Terminal Training, examines the current focus on HSEQ and compliance and argues that organisations need the right intentions to ensure success in this field When I started my career in the storage and tanker transport world 40 years ago, I worked on a tanker barge in the Netherlands and sailed the Rhine all the way to Basel, Switzerland.We were transporting carcinogen cargoes such as benzene, but also heavy fuel oil or petrol. I remember that in the summer, we worked on deck in just our shorts and walked on flip-flops. I also recall that our chief mate used toluene to clean our fuel oil stained coveralls with a broom, laid out flat on deck.After they were cleaned, we wore them again without any awareness or information that the toxic fumes could harm us. As a 16-year-old boy, I was given a bucket and a paint brush and told to open one of the tank hatches and fill the bucket with benzene directly from the cargo tank. After that, the mate ordered me to degrease the bollards with this hazardous chemical because it worked wonders as a solvent. Once, a barge captain threw a burning cigarette stub into an open cargo tank filled with fuel oil during bunkering operations of a sea-going vessel. He laughed and said to me: ‘Look Arend, nothing can happen, it won’t ignite.’ Those were the days!
Pumps for asphalt in tank terminals
One of the more used and traded commodities in the world is asphalt and its related varieties. Going all the way back in time to the tar pits used by the Athabasca Indians in Canada to seal their canoes, asphalt has wide use in infrastructure and industrial applications.Typical examples are with paving of roads and driveways where the asphalt after mixing with aggregate in a hot-mix plant provides a weather and wear resist surface. It is also widely used in construction products, like roof shingles and tarpaper, to water proofing and sealing compounds. As the world population grows, and simultaneously people’s standard of living continues to improve, it is expected that the demand for asphalt products will accelerate for building construction, road construction and transportation infrastructure improvements.The increased demand will take place not just in the industrial world but is expected to grow even faster in developing countries where the starting point is further back and there is a lot of catch up to do. In addition, there will be agrowing supply available when other users of heavy hydrocarbons (such as fuel in the marine and power generation industries) will switch to natural gas and distillates in order to comply with more restrictive emission standards.