Leveraging storage market opportunities
As the storage market shows signs of improvement, GP Global explains how it plans to further strengthen its storage terminal business by leveraging emerging market opportunities Despite weak market sentiment in the storage market the future is starting to look brighter with notable signs of improvement emerging. Recognising the opportunities in the market, GP Global is leveraging these favourable conditions by consolidating and strengthening its storage terminal business.Strategically situated in the emerging oil storage and trading hubs globally, the company has more than 1 million m3 of capacity spread across three terminals in the UAE and India. Maintaining and enhancing its market position requires continued investment in monitoring trade flows and product landing points to anticipate future storage requirements as well as evaluating all opportunities to strengthen its offering to customers.One area of opportunity the company is seeking to leverage more business is the IMO 2020 regulation, by strengthening its delivery capacity as well as enhancing quality upgrades in storage to meet the latest product specification.
Iranian oil production trajectory faces key deadline in May
With the May 4 deadline fast approaching for Iran sanction waiver extensions, a thick layer of uncertainty continues to surround the US administration’s policy towards Tehran.One of President Donald Trump’s key campaign promises, and the crux of his administration’s Middle East priorities, has been the reversal of Obama’s careful policy of reintegrating Iran into the international system.In 2018, Trump’s administration delivered on that promise, but the messy communication around it and the last-minute decision to grant sanctions waivers to eight countries (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece) created an atmosphere of uncertainty for oil markets that took weeks to clear. In addition, the Trump administration has always refused to disclose the volumes assigned to each importer under those waivers, leaving the markets guessing.What is known as fact is that these exemptions run out on May 4 – whether they get extended as they are, volumes are reduced or waivers are withdrawn is still a mystery, with only a few weeks to go before the deadline.
Growing a storage concept
The second phase of BPGIC’s storage terminal in Fujairah will elevate the facility to become one of the largest terminalsby storage capacity in the Port of Fujairah Boasting one of the fastest flow rates in the Port of Fujairah, Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Company’s(BPGIC) second construction phase will result in the terminal having one of the largest storage capacities in the port.The first phase of the facility, which comprises 400,000 m3 of storage across 14 tanks for middle distillates and fuel oil, was completed in October 2017, with daily operations starting in January 2018.The second phase, currently under construction, will allow the facility to provide services for storing crude oil and involves the construction of four crude oil tanks and four crude/fuel oil storage tanks with 601,600 m3 of capacity. In addition, associated infrastructure such as a new pump manifold with high flow rate pumps and additional jetty lines will also be built. This phase of the facility will be able to perform up to nine simultaneous operations in addition to the eleven simultaneous operations in the first phase.
The future of oil demand in a decarbonised society
Abrial Gilbert-d’Halluin from the European Climate Foundation examines how tackling climate change in transportation could substantially shrink oil demand As governments start implementing the Paris Agreement, they will increasingly need to cut carbon emissions from transport by curbing the combustion of petroleum fuels.They are meeting this challenge by setting policies that signal a long-term direction of travel for investment in low-carbon solutions. The European Commission’s long term decarbonisation strategy foresees for instance a fundamental shift away from petroleum towards greener energy sources. China and California have set ambitious targets for Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). Several European cities have announced impending bans on diesel cars and a number of governments have announced deadlines for phase-out. It is clear that change is coming fast.In a world where climate policies are being implemented globally, demand for oil will be significantly lower than in a business-as-usual case.
NOCs unite amid winds of change
The growth of NOC-NOC alliances could help hedge against future political, financial and environmental hurdles. Petronas’ Abd Malik Jaffar explains how this model could help ensure greater energy security Imagine national oil companies (NOCs) in a room; some stay quiet and isolated in the corner and others move to the center, strategically networking to gather intelligence and forge relationships. Which type will thrive in the 2020s?Amid ever-intensifying winds of change, deepening roots at home and abroad through partnerships have never been more important to energy security. This extends to alliances between the Middle East and Asia; regions that have nurtured win-win collaborations for millennia.NOC-NOC alliances will be the most dominant partnership structure in the energy industry in the 2020s, according to 48% of respondents to a GIQ Industry Survey in Singapore last year. Our own quest for new alliances continues to bear fruit; both those explored on the Arabian Peninsula and those on Malaysian soil alongside Middle Eastern partners.
Middle Eastern oil & gas growth on the horizon
Despite global trade uncertainties fuelled by feuding trading countries & stricter emissions regulations, the outlook for growth in the Middle East remains strong. Amy McLellan reports Nothing is normal anymore. Once the loss of supply from two of the world’s largest oil producers, Venezuela and Iran, would have triggered a surge in oil prices. Once a decision by OPEC to sustain production cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day in co-operation with Russia, the world’s second largest oil producer, would have added to supply-side fears and boosted that rally.But nothing is normal anymore. Oil prices may have added almost ten dollars since the start of the year, with benchmark Brent up 25% at $68 a barrel since January, but you are as likely to hear analysts bearishly debating high inventories, surging North American production and slowing global demand as you are to hear bulls forecasting a price spike.Indeed, despite all the geopolitics of sanctions and trade wars, it seems the fundamentals are little changed for the next 24 months. ‘Wood Mackenzie has adjusted our annual average price forecast for Brent by just one dollar – from $66/barrel for 2019 to $65/b per barrel,’ says Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president, macro oils at Wood Mackenzie.‘Our forecast of $68/b for 2020 remains unchanged.’
Middle East 'big oil' to boost global petrochemicals footprint
While the US cracker wave on the back of the shale gas boom is getting much of the attention, big oil and gas players in the Middle East are lining up mega projects that could shift the landscape of global petrochemicals from 2025 and beyond.Driving this push from oil companies is the growing realisation that oil demand for transportation fuel will plateau with the electrification of vehicles and improving fuel efficiency.Thus, the future for hydrocarbons is not in gasoline and diesel, but in chemicals, where demand should continue to climb alongside GDP growth.It is clear that 'big oil' is no longer satisfied simply providing feedstock for the downstream chemical sector.
Two stage vapour control systems for ultra-low VOCs emission
By John Zink International LuxembourgCurrent environmental concern is leading to more stringent legislation on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions, which may cause a traditional single stage vapour control system to no longer be compliant.Limits below 50 mg/Nm3 are requested in several locations and are expected to be implemented in future legislation, along with the requirement to include methane in the total VOCs emission monitoring limits.John Zink Hamworthy Combustion has developed a two stage vapour control system that combines a Vapour Recovery Unit (VRU) with a thermal oxidation destructive unit. A techno-economic study shows a VRU based on activated carbon adsorption (VRU) coupled with a Regenerative Thermal Oxidiser (RTO) or a Catalytic Oxidiser (CatOx) as attractive solution.
Leak measurement system allows better operator decision-making
Some may think that a leak in an aboveground tank would be easy to detect, however, small leaks in large tanks are in fact very difficult to detect.Leaks in the sidewall are obvious and easily detectable with a visual inspection because of heavy sidewall and floor loading; bottom leaks normally do not appear on the surface but go into the soil beneath the tank. Operators of storage tanks need and want to know if their tanks are leaking. Some of the most important reasons to leak test tanks are:• Limit economic impact due to under tank releases. Minimising leaks and their effects has the benefit of limiting a company’s losses and cleanup costs along with reducing future liabilities.• Verify that tank repairs have not left an undetected problem. Though API 653 requires tightness testing, most of the methods used after tank repair can and do miss significant tank floor problems. Some of the worst leaks are after a failure in tank repair.• Periodic leak testing can extend the period of API 653 inspections. The regulating authorities regularly accept SPCC plans with leak testing to justify longer time between tank entry type inspection.
Water jet cutting technique saved refinery time & money
A UK water jet cutting company achieved a first after completing a water jet cutting service in Nigeria. Rentajet Group (RGL) undertook this challenging project using its ultra high pressure water jet cutting system to cut a collapsed floating roof tank in Focados, Nigeria. The roof was damaged due to flooding and the tank was no longer in operation, meaning the refinery’s oil storage capacity was compromised.RGL were approached by a Nigerian contractor and asked if they would be able to offer their abrasive water jet cutting service to cut up a collapsed tank roof at a refinery in the Focados Delta, Nigeria. RGL has previously been involved with similar projects over the last 15 years, however this was the first project the company had undertaken in Nigeria.The project involved cutting and removing a 72-metre diameter tank roof to allow a replacement to be installed so the tank could be returned to service.
Novel thermal oxidiser delivers outstanding energy efficiency
ITC Rubis is a state-of-the-art terminal for the storage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and chemical products. The tank vapours, mixed with nitrogen and air, are vented into a common collection system forming a gaseous mixture, which is classified as an ATEX zone 0 area.The composition of those vent gases will vary considerably in terms of composition and volume (more than 50 storage tanks with different products of which a certain amount will reach venting conditions at any given time due to operations or atmospheric conditions). This variation is illustrated in Figure 2 (the disturbance is shown on the right hand of the figure). In addition to this, some special manual operations are performed, such as nitrogen blowing of lines or draining of small quantities of LPG into the system.As a consequence of periods with reduced activity at the terminal, vent gas is available discontinous.
Lowtank: A transition to safer methods
While the top loading of road tankers has served us well, the risks to operators when accessing the tanker top have become more apparent and the safety of workers is too important not to look for safer alternatives.When working on the tops of tankers there are a multitude of risk factors to consider – from round barrels, to wet surfaces, and trip hazards, it is critical to understand where pitfalls exist and how to eliminate them.It is the responsibility of every site to provide adequate fall prevention equipment for all workers because while there are some tanker-based rail systems, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will be present or even maintained to a reasonable standard. According to the Health and Safety Executive, in 2017 there were 43,000 accidents from falls from height across all industries. And more worryingly, falls from height accounted for 28% of the total of fatal workplace falls; and of that 28%, more than half were directly related to falls from ladders, scaffolding, platforms, etc. The risks are evident and the need to transition to bottom loading is crystal clear.
The terminal of tomorrow
This year’s StocExpo Europe took place against more challenging conditions for the storage sector, highlighting the importance of operators to adapt as the market enters a new energy era. 2018 saw the most volatile market for the last four years as sanctions against Iran, bleak Chinese demand and other international events took their toll on markets.As 2019 progresses, everyone in the industry will be keeping a close eye on global economic, political and trade developments and the possible implications they could have.However, there are areas of optimism in the storage market, particularly when it comes to the refined products and petrochemicals market and operators should consider investing more in flexible assets to capitalise on these opportunities.