Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 1pm


Oil Boom Not Expected to Increase U.S. Refining Capacity

Even as crude production set records in 2017, refining capacity was similar to what it was the year before.

"Primary crude distillation capacity is not expected to increase more than a tiny fraction in 2018 either," Morningstar director of oil and products research Sandy Fielden tells the Houston Chronicle. "Although major oil companies like ExxonMobil have announced plans to expand existing Gulf Coast refineries to process additional shale crude in the coming years, there is little talk of building new large-scale plants." 

Qatar Investing $20 Billion into U.S. Oil & Gas

“Qatar Petroleum, the world’s biggest seller of liquefied natural gas, is looking to get even larger, investing $20 billion in America’s oil and gas fields.” This is likely to include “the Golden Pass LNG gas export project in Texas, being developed with ExxonMobil,” Bloomberg reports.

“Qatar is also looking to invest an additional $5 billion in so-called downstream assets, such as chemicals projects.” 

Contractor Selected for Port Arthur Liquefaction Project

Bechtel will perform the engineering, execution planning and related activities necessary to prepare, negotiate and finalize a lump-sum EPC contract for the Port Arthur, TX liquefaction project, which is expected to include two natural gas liquefaction trains to enable the long-term sale of approximately 11 million tons per year of LNG.

The project also includes feed gas pre-treatment facilities, natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage, up to three LNG storage tanks, two marine berths and associated facilities.

Sempra, which is developing the project with Australia-based Woodside, said that the development of the project is contingent upon obtaining customer commitments, completing the required commercial agreements, reaching a final investment decision and other factors associated with the investment.

Sempra and Woodside have also signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea’s Kogas regarding the development of the project. 

NTSB Determines Cause of Fire Onboard Ship

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the immediate cause of the Aug. 17, 2016, fire aboard the auto and passenger vessel Caribbean Fantasy was leaking fuel that contacted a hot surface in the ship’s engine room. Contributing to the fire’s rapid spread were quick-closing valves for fuel and lube oil that were intentionally blocked open, according to the investigation. The NTSB also found that fixed firefighting systems and a structural fire boundary failed.

Also contributing to the fire and a subsequent prolonged abandonment effort was Baja Ferries’ poor safety culture and ineffective implementation of its safety management system on board the Caribbean Fantasy, the NTSB found. Adding to the severity of the fire was the failure of the Panama Maritime Authority and the recognized organization, RINA Services, to ensure the safety management system was functional. 

Enbridge Oil Sands Pipeline Moving Forward

Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project has been approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. This decision is considered a win for the oil sands industry and clears the way for the project to move ahead as planned.

Based on the decision, the cost estimate of the Line 3 Replacement project remains materially unchanged at $5.3 billion in Canada and $2.9 billion in the U.S. with approximately $3.6 billion of capital spent to date on the overall project. Enbridge continues to anticipate an in-service date in the second half of 2019. 

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