A global storage hub network
Created in 2016 GPS Group aims to become a leading independent hydrocarbon and chemical storage company and isacquiring and developing assets in key hub locations globally When the Global Petro Storage was created in 2016 its ambition was to become a leading hydrocarbon and chemical storage business and now, almost three years later, this ambition remains on track and at the heart of the company’s strategic growth plan.GPS now has storage assets in the Middle East, Europe and Asia and it is currently in advanced discussions elsewhere in Asia, as well as Latin America and Africa. The team expect to announce a further two, potentially three, growth focused acquisition projects in 2019/2020.Created in January 2016, Global Petro Storage Group was backed by an up to $500 million equity line by private equity firms Blue Water Energy and White Deer Energy in order to deploy capital into greenfield storage and logistics investments in strategic hydrocarbon and petrochemical flow regions.Additionally, the company would also use this capital to acquire and further develop existing brownfield hydrocarbon and petrochemical storage assets globally.
Oil price 'collapse' brings 2018 to a close
Nnamdi Anyadike provides an overview on how global political & economical events and developments have influenced the oil & gas sector and how they could continue to affect 2019 2018 was certainly a roller coaster year for oil prices. Even so, November’s oil price collapse took many in the market by surprise.From highs of around $85 per barrel in October, the forward price for January 2019 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil tumbled in the following month to at one point $50.42 per barrel. This represented the worst crude oil price fall since July 6, 2015.It is all such a far cry from earlier in the year. Then, there seemed to be irrefutable evidence that the global oil market had largely recovered from its oversupply of a couple of years ago. Commenting on the oil price rise and decline, OPEC’s November oil market report explained: ’Two years ago, the global oil market was in a precarious position. As a result of supply heavily outpacing demand between 2014 and 2016, global oil inventories expanded rapidly to a record high of more than 400 million barrels in July 2016. The 2014-2016 surge in crude oil stocks necessited firm action. And on December 2016, action was taken by OPEC and 10 non-OPEC oil producing countries, under the umbrella of its declaration of cooperation (DoC).’
A different energy system
A different kind of energy system is emerging thanks to upheavals in oil production, the growth of electrification, as well as the expansion of renewable forms of fuel. Jasmin McDermott examines what the future holds for the oil and gas sectors Oil markets are entering a period of renewed uncertainty and volatility as the entire global energy sector undergoes a significant transformation.Growing electrification, the expansion of renewable forms of fuel as well as globalisation of natural gas markets and complex geopolitical factors are resulting in major transformation in global energy across the board.The International Energy Agency’s 2018 World Energy Outlook underscores the important role that governments across the globe are having and will have on the energy sector. It goes so far as to say that policy choices made by governments will determine the shape of the energy system of the future.The document, which examines how the energy sector is undergoing significant change, paints a mixed picture for oil markets. As energy consumption continues its historic shift to Asia, oil markets are entering a period of renewed uncertainty and volatility, which includes a possible supply gap in the early 2020s.Oil consumption continues to grow in the coming decade thanks to rising petrochemicals, trucking and aviation demand. However, meeting this growth in the near term means that approvals of conventional oil projects need to double from their current low levels.The WEO warns that without such an increase in investment, US shale production would need to add more than 10 million barrels a day from today to 2025. This is the equivalent of adding another Russia to global supply in seven years, which the document says would be ‘an historically unprecedented feat’.
The economics of IMO 2020
Marine terminals and refineries across the globe should be preparing for the new fuel specification that will likely increase bunker fuel and crude oil tankage requirements beginning in January 2020.The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will require all ships to use fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 weight percent (low sulphur fuel oil LSFO). Ships may continue to use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 3.5% (high sulphur fuel oil HSFO) on the high-seas if the ship utilises an exhaust scrubber. However, only a small percentage of ships have these scrubbers today.The IMO 2020 regulation does not eliminate HSFO; but simply requires the new low sulphur fuel for ships that do not install scrubbers. Bunker fuel suppliers may assume that their current bunker fuel tank and supply system will simply switch from HSFO to LSFO. These suppliers may be surprised to find that some ship charterers will insist on having HSFO available. Why would a ship charterer insist on having HSFO available for bunkering? The answer is economics…the price of HSFO will be significantly lower than LSFO which should quickly pay back the cost of new scrubbers. If fuel prices aren’t the only motivation, a temporary shortage of LSFO may be the ultimate reason to install capabilities tohandle both fuels.
Are energy companies prepared for a demand driven petrochemical market
A paradigm shift is underway in the global energy economy; and while the main commodities of discussion have included the likes of LNG and crude oil, petrochemical markets are also seeing major changes – especially in the supply and demand equation.Today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports petrochemical feedstocks account for 12% of global oil demand. But like many other energy sectors, petrochemical global market demand is increasing rapidly due to the need for every day products such as plastics and petrochemical derived fibres. Because of this growing demand, the IEA, in its The Future of Petrochemicals report, projects petrochemicals will account for ‘more than a third of the growth in world oil demand to 2030’.‘Our economies are heavily dependent on petrochemicals, but the sector receives far less attention than it deserves,’ says Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director. ‘Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends. In fact, our analysis shows they will have a greater influence on the future of oil demand than cars, trucks and aviation.’With such a rapid pace of growth, industry players are poised to face unprecedented volatility and risk – particularly given the recent fluctuations in the price of crude oil, as well as the growing demand for natural gas. Petroleum-based feedstock prices are the major cost component for finished products because the chemical building blocks for ethylene and propylene are produced from petroleum. Energy is another major cost component which, due to the large demands of petrochemical plants, is often natural gas based.
IFLEXX: standardised data communication in the downstream oil and gas sector
Today’s downstream companies no longer just trade oil and gas. They also exchange a lot of data. To do so effectively, they need to use shared standards and common formats. Implico’s managing director and data communication specialist Stephan Buhre discusses the importance of finding a unified voice in an industry that speaks a thousand tongues The downstream oil and gas sector is a complex eco-system in which a multitude of differing partners interact with one another. Refineries, tank farms, service stations and haulers of all shapes and sizes are but some of the entities that participate in this multi-layered trade. Some sell goods and some buy goods, while others store goods and yet again others deliver goods.Most of these operations would either not be possible at all or at least not go down smoothly if the partnering companies all spoke their own language. Therefore, it is mandatory to agree upon a standardised means of communication – such as PIDX (Petroleum Industry Data Exchange) or IFLEXX (International File Exchange XML).
Growing to meet Ghana's midstream needs
A surging demand for fuel in Ghana and other landlocked countries necessitates the need for more storage infrastructure. Quantum Terminals explains how it is taking advantage of these favourable market conditions… Ghana’s oil and gas industry has flourished at a steady pace in recent years, facilitating the need for more storage infrastructure to satisfy the country’s surging demand for fuel.And the industry is set to retain its position as a key driver of economic growth in the country as it reaps the benefits of more offshore projects coming onstream. Against these flourishing conditions, Quantum Terminals Group, a subsidiary of the Quantum Group, has plans to increase its storage and logistics offering with another LPG storage and evacuation facility as well as a propane storage facility.The company, a leading petroleum infrastructure and logistics solutions provider in Ghana, currently owns a number of terminals including Quantum Terminals Plc, an LPG storage and evacuation facility, at Anokyi close to the Ghana National Gas processing facility as well as Quantum Oil Terminals, an oil storage and evacuation facility, inTema.Quantum Oil Terminals is a 55,000 metric tonne storage facility with 30,000 metric tonnes for gasoil and 25,000 metric tonnes for gasoline. Located in the harbor city of Tema it has easy access to vessels and the Tema oil refinery.It stores products for onward distribution to the landlocked countries. It has a truck park that can hold up to 75 trucks at a time and has the capacity to load 15 million litres of products daily from its 16 truck loading bays. It is the only facility that has an automated additivation system.
Bridging Africa's infrastructure gap
With oil demand forecast to grow in Africa as countries attempt to take advantage of their demographic dividend, Amy McLellan examines how the oil & gas industry and the storage sector can leverage the opportunities emerging in the continent When the oil price collapsed in 2014, leading to a protracted slump in prices, it was a double-edged sword for Africa. For countries dependent on imports, there was some relief but for producing nations revenues dropped and some were tipped into recession. 2018, however, has delivered a sustained rally in prices and international oil companies went back on the hunt for oil.According to the influential Baker Hughes rig count, the number of rigs currently working in Africa is at a two-year high and it’s reckoned the number of exploration wells drilled in 2018 will top 30, up from just 17 last year.This is still far short of the average 100 wells a year sunk between 2011 and 2014, a clear signal of the impact the price slump has had on the industry’s appetite for exploration risk. But it’s not just the oil price that has deterred investment. Analysts point to the issues international oil companies have faced in bringing their discoveries into development, from protracted tax wrangles (witness Tullow’s troubles in Uganda) to policy uncertainty (note the tortuous passage of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and the endless debates about its fuel subsidy regime) to huge infrastructure costs to bring remote finds to market, whether that’s landlocked oilfields in Uganda or huge gas discoveries in the deepwaters off the coast of East Africa.
The storage outlook
Five global storage operators look back at events, developments and announcements from 2018 and exclusively share with Tank Storage Magazine their thoughts on what lies ahead for 2019 for their facilities and the international storage market…
Safety at the touch of a button
In 2017, the IPTF storage terminal in Fujairah, UAE was nominated by the Global Ports Forum as the ‘safe and secure port/terminal of the year’. Read more about how they achieved this nomination… Fujairah is strategically located on the Gulf of Oman close to the mouth of the Persian Gulf – a sea route which experiences around 40% of the world’s traded oil. Along with local strategic partners, IL&FS have developed a state-of-the-art independent storage terminal for oil products, the IPTF storage terminal.IL&FS is a non-banking financial institute that funds infrastructure projects, with the IPTF storage facility being one of its main ventures in the terminal market. It operates the facility to the highest standards, with safety being a non-negotiable core value of the group. In an environment where temperatures reach 45°C to 50°C in the summer, the company understands that when employees feel safe walking about the site, they will give their best. A safe andsecure environment is therefore of the utmost importance.The terminal was opened in 2014. With 14 above-ground product tanks giving a combined capacity of more than 330,000 m3, it is equipped to handle various grades of refined petroleum products, i.e. both black and white oils. Being the newest and youngest tank farm operator, IPTF imposed stringent operational safety standards right from the start. This was to avoid any overfill accidents, which over the years have plagued the industry in general, resulting in loss of life, loss of image and billions of dollars of damage.Although point level switches were deployed from the beginning, they were subject to regular manual proof tests as required by API 2350.These involved personnel climbing the tanks, removing the transmitter and simulating an alarm by dipping the sensor into a bucket of comparable medium, then reinstalling the sensor. This took on average four hours per test and tank, during which time the tank was out of operation.
Protecting storage while improving system uptime
The bad news is that energy providers remain a target for advanced cyber attackers, as several FBI and US Department of Homeland Security warnings have indicated, and hackers seek to disrupt production, storage, distribution and usage of key services.Across industrial sectors, cyber threats have moved from theoretical ideas to executed attacks that impact safety, such as the Ukrainian power grid outage in 2016 and the German steel mill furnace explosion in 2014. These trends highlight how cybersecurity is a fundamental requirement and cost of doing business, including for those in tankstorage.But the good news is that security measures can also help solve day-to-day operational issues. Especially as connectivity and digital systems are further incorporated into tank storage operations, efficiencies can be gained while improving cybersecurity resilience. In the case of a refinery based in Texas, the answer to managing safe operations and better cybersecurity was to hire managed services professionals. While initiated to remotely monitor industrial cybersecurity, the managed service effectively leveraged the ability to tap specialised resources at any moment. The set-up has protected the plant from costly operational and system issues, in addition to building cybersecurity resilience.The refinery has a capacity for 169,000 barrels a day, processing crudes with conversion capabilities centered on coking, fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), and reforming technologies. Approximately 100 tanks are on site in Texas. At the core of this business is the need to safely and efficiently blend a variety of fuels and direct them to appropriate storage containers. Any loss in visibility or system downtime means slowing down efficiencies, potentially increasing expenses and chipping away at profitability.
Process safety & operational risk management: time for a digital makeover
The second part of a process safety & operational risk management in hazardous industries report reveals how companies are starting to actively explore technology strategies to help improve process safety at industrial plants but that more work is needed to integrate digital solutions into industrial processes Having explored, in part one of the Petrotechnics 2018 report, how operational risk management (ORM) and process safety management (PSM) in the global hydrocarbon industry are feeling the squeeze following the low oil price, part two explores the overwhelmingly positive views coming from senior industry leaders about the digital horizon. The results of this report show how well technologies that fall under the Industry 4.0 umbrella are understood, how far they are deployed today, how they compare to incumbent enterprise systems, and the value they will deliver to safety and risk management.RINGING ALARM BELLSThe consistent message from the first part of the 2018 report is that there are significant areas of concern in the way process safety and operational risk are perceived and managed. A disconnect between intention and reality persists, and the economic climate has heightened tensions in the way operational risk and process safety are managed on a daily basis.Of the industry leaders taking part in the 2018 survey, only 38% believe industry operators proactively manage process safety risk. In addition, 86% believe there are gaps between organisations’ intentions for process safety and the daily operational reality on the plant. That number is a notable increase since the 2017 survey when 70% agreed these gaps exist.In 2018, 56% of respondents said operational risk increased between process safety review periods. This is a decrease from 2017, when 70% said the same. This may indicate increased optimism about the way safety and risk are managed between review periods; however, in the context of the overall survey results, perhaps a more realistic explanation is the gap between intent and reality is not adequately reported to senior leadership.
Managing the storage tank lifecycle
With demand increasing for a more complete and smart tank terminal solution, SJR Tank Construction sees more opportunities for its integral tank services New opportunities are emerging in the tank storage market as demand for a complete and smart terminal facility grows.Netherlands-based SJR Tank Construction says that demand for its integral tank services, from design to construction and maintenance, is increasing as customers frequently request a complete, smart terminal to ensure they can adapt to market changes.The company, established in 1961 with a primary focus on the horticulture sector, has evolved to focus on the petrochemical sector and become an all-round tank producer that can manage the entire lifecycle of a tank, providing services for the design, construction, transportation, service, maintenance and coating of tanks.Its new production hall on the RDM district next to the nieuwe Maas in the Waalhaven in Rotterdam has contributed to the company growing by 30% in recent years and it has given the company the opportunity to gain plenty of experience in producing tanks in a climate-controlled environment.In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine Robert Sloot, owner of SJR Group, says that there are several key benefits to offering integral services to the market, including quality assurance as well as time savings. He says: ‘SJR is solidly unique in the industry thanks to the combination of design, building, isolating, maintaining and building in our own production hall.‘We have also gained a lot of experience in producing tanks in a climate-controlled environment. Tanks built in a production facility are of superior quality, since the construction, welding, insulation and coating processes are conducted under ideal condition.
Coriolis mass flowmeters - what's the next big thing?
First introduced in 1977, Coriolis mass flowmeters have grown to become one of the largest markets in terms of worldwide revenue, second only to electromagnetic flowmeters. Their unrivalled ability to directly measure mass flow and density (and, indirectly, volume flow) with high accuracy and repeatability, low maintenance requirement and suitability for use with a wide range of fluids, both liquids and gases, makes them one of the fastest growing flow measurement technologies.The market is currently dominated by three manufacturers: Emerson Micro Motion, Endress+Hauser and Krohne. With these and others devoting substantial budgets to R&D, constant innovation defines this sector. With such fast moving technology, it can be difficult to forecast the ‘next big thing’ but it is possible to focus on two recent developments that look set to influence the market in the near future; high capacity flowmeters and the ability of Coriolis meters to measure liquids with entrained gas.
Cyber security incidents & their HSE impact on tank terminals
Tank terminal operations are more and more dependent on systems to operate the facility in a safe manner due to the increased complexity of OT infrastructure. The infrastructure frequently consists of integrated legacy and non-legacy infrastructure including the application of new technology like Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which raises the risk that a cyber security incident occurs.Hudson Cybertec, an independent security solutions provider with full focus on the OT domain, often encounters situations where organisations underestimate their cyber security resilience. Standards like the 2700X standards developed primarily for the IT domain, are applied to the OT domain with little or no consideration for its specificenvironment. Reliance on existing security measures for safety instrumented systems (SIS), the usage of outdated policies and procedures all give a false sense of security.
Filling the missing safety gap in fire protection
Ensuring the highest standard of functional safety in fire protection is at the heart of SA Fire Protection’s development strategy.Identifying a gap in the safety integrated level loop, the Italian-based company focused on filling this gap to not only achieve the desired level of system reliability for its automated systems but also save time in terms of maintenance, shut down and emergency actuation in case of failure. Tank Storage Magazine speaks to business development manager Babak Rashidi about how functional safety is driving product developments.
Electrostatic ignition of toluene vapours during vacuuming truck operation
This case study investigates the causes behind a fire that occurred during a vacuum truck operation. The vacuum truck was deployed to a below grade sump that contained mostly of ‘off-spec’ toluene. As the vacuum truck operation was nearing completion of the removal of the toluene from the sump, an ignition of the vapours occurred resulting in a fire. In the ensuing investigation of the incident it was determined that the vacuum truck had not been grounded by the operator. Although other ignition sources would have been considered, the fact that the truck was not grounded, and the material being transferred was toluene, it was highly plausible that a static spark was the cause of the fire.For a static spark to be discharged from the surface of a metal object there needs to be a voltage on the charged object that exceeds the ‘breakdown voltage’ of the surrounding atmosphere. This voltage results from the presence of too many positive or negative charges on the object and simply means that the voltage of the charged object is strong enough to create a conductive channel through the air, to a secondary object. The conductive channel provides a path for the static charges to flow through.