Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Aker Solutions Wins Carbon Capture Study Contracts From Yara and Norcem - 26/04/2017

Aker Solutions Wins Carbon Capture Study Contracts From Yara and Norcem

Aker Solutions won strategically important contracts for concept studies for carbon capture at Yara's ammonia plant on Her√łya and Norcem's cement production facility in Brevik, Norway.

Norcem and Yara are among three companies in the running to receive funding from the Norwegian government to build and operate a full-scale carbon capture plant at their respective facilities. The government aims to fund at least one of the plants, which would be operational by 2022.

"Perfecting carbon capture will be key to meeting global climate goals," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer at Aker Solutions. "The confidence placed in us by both Yara and Norcem shows we are taking a leading role in this crucial technological push."     

Aker Solutions has previously carried out extensive testing with a pilot capture plant at the factory in Brevik. The results were so promising that Norcem selected Aker Solutions' technology to be used for a potential facility at the cement factory in Southeast Norway.

The study for Norcem will design a carbon capture plant that's integrated with the cement factory, including a process to turn the CO2 into liquid and storage facilities that can be used before shipping. The plant will have a capacity of about 400,000 tons of CO2 a year. The Yara study will design and develop a capture plant for the reformer flue gas and will also include liquefaction. Both concept studies are set to be completed in September this year.

Norway's Gassnova last week announced the kick-off of the concept studies as part of a goal to establish a complete carbon capture and storage (CCS) chain, including capture, transport and permanent storage, by 2022. The concept phase will also seek to establish more accurate cost estimates. The next phase in the process will involve front-end engineering design (FEED) work until around mid-2018 before an investment decision is made by the Norwegian government in the first half of 2019.

Aker Solutions has since 2008 developed and qualified an improved carbon capture technology, investing extensively in research and development, testing and operations. The company has gathered experience through design, construction and two years of operations of the amine plant at Technology Centre Mongstad and carried out extensive tests in the U.S., the UK and Norway using its mobile carbon capture pilot plant. The Paris climate agreement has spurred increased international interest from several industries, including ammonia and cement production.

"Aker Solutions can now offer carbon capture plants at lower costs and with less energy demand using a new non-corrosive and environmentally-friendly solvent that has very low degradation," said Oscar Graff, who heads Aker Solutions' CCS efforts. "The solvent is very robust and can be used for various types of flue gases and gives minimum emissions and waste products."

80:20 welcomes new Director - 26/04/2017

80:20 welcomes new Director

Procurement specialist 80:20, a Peterson company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirk Hoffman as Director for the Americas region.

Based in 80:20’s Houston offices, Kirk is looking to expand the company’s offering in Central and South America as part of his role.

Kirk joins the 80:20 team from Rowan Companies, where he was Director of Logistics. He has previously held posts as Head of Americas for Hansa Heavy Lift, and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Helix Energy Solutions Group and brings with him extensive knowledge of the field as well as an appetite to find improved efficiencies across the supply chain.

Kirk’s business background is also supported by his career in the United States Coast Guard, where he served as an officer for nine years.

Coming out of in-house supply chain leadership roles, Kirk can see the benefit that outsourced procurement can provide companies. 

He explained: “I am delighted to be joining 80:20. The business’ ethos means we meet new challenges with enthusiasm and that is contagious.

“80:20 gladly takes reasonable risk away from the client, and absorb and manage it, so that clients can focus on what they do best. Our client’s success is our success.”

Kirk is confident that the procurement company can relieve the pressure on supply chain groups by taking on much of the higher volume, lower value spend, and deliver it at better prices, passing on cost savings and increased efficiencies to the energy industry.

He added: “80:20’s entrepreneurial spirit and lack of bureaucracy makes it easy to make improvements and deliver value for our clients.  We must save our clients’ money and deliver on our promises.”

80:20 will also handle the receiving, inspection, OS&D, and delivery functions, which are often regarded as major burdens on a supply chain group.  The procurement work carried out is completed with a lower administrative burden and reduced risk than if clients were doing it in-house. 

Kirk explained, “With the supply chain group letting us handle the daily issues, they can then focus on the high value, highly technical, mission critical items that they should be focused on. 

“It is important to note that we are not seeking to take anyone’s job.  We are seeking to free up supply chain personnel to focus on the big tasks while we manage the other tasks.” 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

StocExpo Europe 2017 Hailed a Major Success - 12/04/2017

StocExpo Europe 2017 Hailed a Major Success

StocExpo Europe 2017, the world’s leading international event for the tank terminal industry, celebrated a triumphant return to Rotterdam last month. The show, which successfully launched the inaugural Tank Storage Awards, and unveiled a brand-new conference format, has been hailed a massive success, with an 8 per cent increase in visitor numbers since the 2016 edition in Antwerp.

Nick Powell, Divisional Director for the Easyfairs StocExpo &Tank Storage Portfolio, commented: “What a show. It doesn’t seem possible to have fitted so much into just three days, but somehow, we managed it. By every measure, we had our most successful show to date. We increased visitor numbers, featured over 200 internationally renowned suppliers, hosted over 16 hours of educational content in our revamped conference programme, and had nearly two thirds of exhibitors rebook for next year. I am thrilled with the level of interest from the industry, and the obvious desire for a show like this. We now move onto Dubai for StocExpo Middle East Africa where we expect to see the same level of success.”   

Delegates were treated to a new conference format designed to boost networking. All sessions started with ‘speed networking’, maximising networking opportunities with industry peers. On top of this it featured seven expert panel sessions, hosting over 30 speakers from oil majors, tank terminals and financial institutions. Speaker, Luis Sala, Managing Director at TEPSA, commented on the new conference format: “It is the best programme in Europe focussed on the terminal business.”

Visitors to the Ahoy, Rotterdam, were provided with unique access to over 200 leading suppliers, partners and industry associations, spanning the entire bulk liquid spectrum. With nearly 50 per cent of the showfloor launching new products to the market, there was plenty to see and discuss. The show also introduced a new smart badge system, which enabled visitors to register their interest in an exhibitor’s stand, and then receive a summary email at the end of each day with links to the products and services, thus eliminating the need to carry around heavy brochures.

Visitor, Tony Woodward, Operations Manager at Oikos Storage Limited, explained why he felt the 2017 edition of StocExpo Europe was such a triumph: “It was a well organised event, and the new ‘smart badge’ touch and go system is excellent. The conference was very good, and the venue has great facilities.”

Alwin Held, CEO at Tripl-A Projects, agreed: “I support start-ups in the tank industry and search for innovative ideas. StocExpo Europe was a good show and great for networking.”

The inaugural Global Tank Storage Awards ceremony was held at the end of day two of the show, taking place at the Floating Pavilion. It celebrated the achievements of terminal operators, ports, equipment suppliers and individuals making a difference in the bulk liquid sector. Loadtec Engineered Systems took home ‘Best Technology Provider’, LBC Cepsa won ‘Most Efficient Storage Terminal’, ‘Individual Achievement’ went to Ellen Ruhotas, Managing Director at Ratio Group, and Elios by Flyability was crowned ‘Most Innovative Technology’.

The sold-out ceremony and gala dinner has received critical acclaim from its 180 attendees. Thomas Overbeck, CEO at Timm Elektronik, praised the debut Awards, saying: “Professional organisation, a knowledgeable audience and highly qualified judges made this event high scale, and gave the award winners good recognition and broad acceptance for their individual products and performances. It was an impressive event.”

Other show floor activity included the ‘Best in Show’ awards, designed to recognise StocExpo Europe exhibitors. It saw Agidens pick up the award for Best Stand, Emerson Automation Solutions collect the award for Best Entertainment for their Easter chicken themed party, whilst Implico was selected for Best Pre-Show Marketing Campaign.

Exhibitor, John Delaney, VP at CST Covers, commented on his company’s show experience. “StocExpo Europe had good attendees, with meaningful questions and a genuine interest. It was successful for us, as we have some great meetings and interest out of it.”

Sonia Grijpstra-Muir, Owner at Ragworm by Jetset Hydro International, agreed: “StocExpo Europe 2017 proved yet again to be worthwhile exhibiting at. New connections were made, so compliments to the organisers. See you all next year!”

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Energean signs Concession Contract for two offshore blocks, Montenegro - 15/03/2017

Energean signs Concession Contract for two offshore blocks, Montenegro

Energean Oil & Gas (“Energean") is pleased to announce that it has signed an exploration and production Concession Contract with the State of Montenegro covering offshore blocks 4219-26 and 4218-30, following approval from the Parliament of Montenegro. The contract was signed by Mrs. Dragica Sekulic, Montenegro’s Minister of Economy, and Mathios Rigas, Chairman and CEO of Energean Group, at a ceremony held earlier today in Podgorica.

Total investment over an exploration period of seven years will be US$ 19 million, including the funding of a new 3D seismic survey, geophysical and geological studies, and the drilling of one well. The two blocks are located offshore at a water depth of 50-100 meters, close to the Montenegrin coast in the vicinity of the town of Bar. Energean plans to begin the 3D seismic acquisition during the first quarter of 2018.

The Eastern Adriatic has been substantially underexplored to date, despite having similar geology to the wider Adriatic Zone, which is well known for its prolific hydrocarbon systems in Italy, Albania and Croatia, and has been a significant oil and gas producing region for over 50 years. This latest announcement further underpins Energean’s commitment to seeking to open up the oil and gas opportunities in this highly promising territory.

Energean Group Chairman & CEO, Mr. Mathios Rigas, commented:

“I am delighted to sign this Concession Contract, which marks a significant day for Energean and our continued growth, as we enter the highly promising Adriatic region. Whilst a number of major oil and gas companies left the area during the period of sustained low oil prices, Energean remained committed to pursuing the development of the region, and is now extremely well placed to take advantage of this commitment and focus.    

“We believe the geology to be similar to that in Western Greece, where we have been exploring since 2014 (onshore Ioannina), have a Field Development Plan in progress offshore West Katakolo, and are ready to sign a new contract for a further block (onshore Aitoloakarnania). 

“Furthermore, our strong track record of operating in environmentally sensitive areas, successfully operating the Prinos oil field in Northeastern Greece, which has been producing oil since 1981, ideally places us to drive through this project for the benefit of the local economy and Montenegrin people.”

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Digitalization helps companies thrive in ‘new normal’ of low oil prices - 09/03/2017

Digitalization helps companies thrive in ‘new normal’ of low oil prices

ABB shows how digitalization can transform oil, gas and chemical operations, bringing greater profitability in tough times.

ABB today releases a white paper detailing how existing market dynamics and challenges are forcing a massive change in the oil, gas and chemical (OGC) industries’ approach to technology. Quoting from a range of independent sources, ABB believes that the current downturn is a forewarning of a new status quo to which industry players must adapt. 

“Despite heavy cost-cutting by way of rig shutdowns and headcount reductions, operational savings have only clawed back a modest amount of losses triggered by the oil price crash,” says Per-Erik Holsten, managing director, oil, gas and chemicals business unit, ABB. “Reports  we’ve seen suggest that only 23% of revenue losses have been offset by cuts in OPEX .”

ABB identifies four key tenets which OGC executives are encouraged to embrace in order to optimize performance and ensure long-term viability:
- Deploying enterprise-wide digitalization and connectivity

- Bringing together information and operational technologies

- Pursuing simplification and standardization wherever feasible

- Having CEO leadership and sponsorship of a digitally-focused approach.

“Network-connected assets can significantly reduce costs, shorten schedules and minimize risk,” says Holsten. “Because we embrace all aspects of electrical, instrumentation, control and  telecoms, we are the only major player able to help customers achieve a completely integrated and digital performance-enhancing solution. In fact, we’ve demonstrated time and again our ability to deliver 20 to 30 percent CAPEX and OPEX savings while simultaneously improving uptime and extending asset lifetimes by 20 years.” 

Continues Holsten, “Our approach to digitalization works, and this white paper shares what works and how it works to a wider audience.”

The implications for each segment –upstream, midstream and downstream– and a roadmap for creating a fully digitalized hydrocarbon value chain is presented for both greenfield and brownfield situations. Case studies are also provided. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Penspen awarded PIMS extension for Chilean mine - 22/02/2017

Penspen awarded PIMS extension for Chilean mine

Penspen, a leading global provider of engineering and project management services to the energy industry, has been awarded a nine-month contract extension to provide pipeline integrity management systems (PIMS) for Chile’s Minera Los Pelambres copper mine, the fifth largest in the world, by Antofagasta Minerals.

Penspen was first employed to work on the project - located at 3,600m above sea level in the Andes Mountains and 200km north of Santiago de Chile - in 2010, when it conducted a gap analysis.  Two years later, it developed a PIMS, corrosion management system, risk assessment and risk based inspection (RBI) and began providing specialist training for operations and maintenance staff at the mine.  In 2014, Penspen implemented its PIMS and corrosion management system.  It also introduced emergency plans, technical notes, a RBI update and provided in-line inspection support.

With this latest contract extension, Penspen will continue with the implementation of the PIMS and will provide additional technical assistance.

The work undertaken by Penspen will minimise the probability and consequences of failure to the 320km pipeline, which transports fluids from the mine.  

Penspen’s Carl Mook, ‎EVP Americas, said: “This contract extension win marks the continuation of a great partnership between Antofagasta Minerals and Penspen.

This is a really interesting project due to its mountain location and the different geological and technical challenges that may arise. I am delighted that Penspen can both continue to support the project with our PIMS, and provide staff at the mine with the requisite training to ensure the continued health and longevity of the pipelines.”

Ignacio Rivera, Penspen’s General Manager Asset Integrity, Chile, added:

“I am immensely proud of the work which Penspen’s mining team has undertaken.  It is because of their exceptional work ethic and dedication that we have secured this extension to the contract.”

The Minera Los Pelambres project was the first mining-related venture for Penspen, but the company has since undertaken a number of mining projects across Chile and Peru, as more businesses realise the potential of using pipelines to transport minerals and associated products.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Getting on the Same Page in Process Safety - 21/02/2017

Getting on the Same Page in Process Safety

On day one of the StocExpo Europe 2017 Conference, Ian Travers, Principal Consultant (Process Safety), will look at how to see through the complexity and technical jargon that surrounds process safety in many organisations to just focus on the most important issues in the prevention of a catastrophic incident. Here he provides a taster of his talk:
In catastrophic risk management the hazardous properties of materials, substances and energy never take any time off to allow us to figure out how to contain and manage the associated risks. We fully know how to effectively manage such risks through a system known as process safety management. So why do major catastrophic accidents keep occurring? Such events don’t usually occur because of a blatant disregard for safety precautions; especially as many who bear the full impact are the front-line workers who are so frequently blamed as the cause for not following the rules or procedures. 

Understand and Describe Risk in Plain Language  
The answer lies in the education and understanding of major hazard risks and in presenting the concepts of process safety management in plain and simple terms for all those involved. Delivering safety and environmental protection involves people at all levels within an organisation and is not just the responsibility of a small dedicated professional team. We all have to ‘Get on the Same Page’ and get involved in the same way, because the hazards are always present, no matter how inconvenient for us. Confusion, misunderstanding and misaligned priorities can all lead to catastrophic consequences. 

The term process safety does not conjure up a shared understanding. It has tended to be the preserve of safety professionals and engineers who frequently describe this aspect of risk management in complex language; using phrases such as safety barriers, bow ties, as low as reasonably practicable, ALARP, SFIRP, Safety Integrity Level, SIL, HAZOP, HAZID and more.

No wonder that ordinary workers and senior executives lose interest within the first few minutes into a discussion. A simpler, plain language approach is needed.

Simple Questions 
The way to manage catastrophic risks can be broken down into simpler solutions, agreed and communicated throughout an organisation: 
How could it go catastrophically wrong? – Hazard Identification.
Where/when will the process most likely go wrong and what will the consequences be? 
What controls or systems are there to prevent a major accident or to limit escalation? – 
Which of these are most vulnerable to failure?
What information is available to show these control systems continue to operate to the desired performance standard? 

Driven from the Top 
Implementing and maintaining a process safety management system does not occur spontaneously. It has to be driven and led by senior executives from Board level down through the organisation. Strong process safety leadership is required.

Controls need to fit the Risk like a Glove 
Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to the control and mitigation measures required to prevent the catastrophic failure of plant and its equipment. Controls have to be closely tailored to the risks, the way the plant or equipment could fail, and the profile of the organisation. If key measures are missed a major hazard challenge might not be effectively controlled. Overdoing it will lead to ‘gold plating’, incurring unnecessary expense in design and operation.

A great deal of thought and effort is required to design and implement the right system, tailored to the risk profile of the organisation. 

But then it all Goes Wrong from Day One 
Most effort and resource is applied during the design and implementation stage, and subsequently the system is expected to run without failure – like a modern high-tech automobile. 

Unfortunately, systems of control start to deteriorate immediately they are implemented. This is mainly due to modification and change, but also human ingenuity to work outside documented procedures and systems to get the job done, save time and improve performance. This endeavour is to be welcomed provided that control of major hazards is not degraded.

Regrettably, many well-meaning employees have not been involved in the system design or had the relevance of the procedure properly explained to them. Most people have no concept of the hazard, let alone of process safety risk. 

Get on the Same Page 
Use plain language – after all people ‘do’ safety not systems. My proposal for everyone involved in major hazard risks is to ‘get on the same page’. This ensures that everyone working at such risk fully understands the hazards they are exposed to, and accepts the associated control measures and procedures. A degree of differentiation and visibility is also required against a backdrop of ‘proceduralisation’ of business activities.

Cover Asset management at the Same Time and Stay in Business 
The good news is that effective asset management and good process safety management are one and the same thing. Both aimed at effective containment of hazardous substances or energy, and both rely on accurate information on the status of the plant, process conditions and of control systems. 

Knowledge and understanding of how such systems degrade and fail is essential. Get this combination of asset management and process safety right and not only will the plant be safe but it can be run efficiency, with costly activities, such as maintenance, being precisely targeted to avoid unnecessary expense. Achieving this goal of safe operation, reliable plant and reduced operational costs is now well understood, and has been increasingly the practice of high reliability organisations. They can operate with a ‘no surprises’ asset performance through effective KPIs and positive confirmation that critical safety systems, including human performance, are intact and delivering the desired safety outcomes. 

High Reliability and No Surprises 
High reliability major hazard business can be readily achieved through simplifying and demystifying process safety management; engaging everyone within a high hazard organisation by using common plain language descriptions of risks and control measures so that the importance of critical procedures and control measures are distinguished from other activities, understood and accepted. Make risks and performance of critical control measures visible and describe them using simple language. Undertake this alongside an integrated asset management programme and a highly effective, reliable and profitable business will be achieved.

Ian Travers is one of 30 world-leading experts speaking at StocExpo Europe 2017. The show also features a packed exhibition hall, with over 200 suppliers from across the globe. For more information on visiting the exhibition, booking as a delegate for the conference or becoming a media partner, please call +44 (0)20 8843 8800 or visit the event website.