ME-TECH 2019 Preview: Integration between refining and petrochemical production

The importance of digitalisation, when applied correctly, will provide a next-generation toolkit for sites to optimise and control operations, says Daniel Carter, director, global consultancy, process technology and consulting, Wood.

Daniel Carter, director, global consultancy, process technology and consulting, Wood.
Daniel Carter, director, global consultancy, process technology and consulting, Wood.

Why are you participating in ME-TECH 2019?
Wood sees ME-TECH 2019 as one of the key events in the Middle Eastern calendar. We have been participating at ME-TECH since the event began and have always been pleased with the opportunities provided to showcase our capabilities and network with our customers in the region.

What products and services are you looking to showcase at the event? What are some of the key points that are going to be highlighted?
This year, Wood will be demonstrating how our capabilities can support our customers throughout the lifecycle of their assets in a morning seminar as well as presenting on topics during the event that cover our proprietary technology and optimisation expertise. Our seminar will include the topics of ‘Project Selection and Development’, ‘Optimising Asset Performance’, and ‘Are your assets ready for tomorrow?’.

Considering your options and choosing the optimum configuration and technology are crucial to long-term project performance. At the ‘Project Selection and Development’ part of the seminar, Wood will outline our best-in-class consultancy capability for investment planning, option selection and technology integration. We will also demonstrate how our portfolio of proprietary technologies for heavy oil upgrading, hydrogen production and sulphur recovery can prove to be success factors for numerous projects.

Changing product markets, evolving standards, costs of raw materials and a continuously changing operating workforce are only a few of the challenges an asset faces throughout its operating lifecycle. At the ‘Optimising Asset Performance’ session of the seminar, participants can learn how we approach existing asset management and development of operation competencies, reducing plant operating costs, and improving yield performance.

The industry is focusing on digital integration in downstream, but what does it mean and what do we want to achieve?  Wood can help customers through the deployment of leading-edge tools and solutions to improve business performance for the future. During the part of the seminar addressing the topic ‘Are your assets ready for tomorrow?’, we will cover a variety of subjects from operator training and operations monitoring through to managing plant maintenance in a robust and analytical manner.

What are some of the key trends in downstream technology that you think the industry should be paying more attention to? And, why?
The changes in bunker fuel sulphur through the IMO legislation are rapidly approaching. We see a number of customers looking at how to tackle this challenge through residue upgrading projects. Many national oil companies are also looking to diversify their portfolio across the refining and petrochemical value chains to balance crude oil exports as economic drivers. There remains to be large incentives to improve profitability in the Middle East, as well as driving the best practice in operations and maintenance.

Have you got any predictions for the refining and petrochemical sectors in the Middle East in 2019-2020?
We believe the refining and petrochemicals sector in the Middle East will continue to grow through 2019-2020. Large projects, with significant integration between refining and petrochemical production, will remain to be focus areas for major customers in the region.

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