page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134

89- www. energy- future. com Industry facts

90- www. world- petroleum. org 6.2- Understanding oil and gas Getting from one substance to another varies in complexity. For example, convert-ing ethylene into polyethylene takes one process, while producing nylon from ben-zene takes at least seven steps. The dizzying oil- price inflation of recent years, which pushed prices to almost $ 150 a barrel in mid- 2008, spawned a wave of new refining and petrochemicals projects in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America - keen to cater to booming demand for refined products, especially in high- growth markets such as China and India. The economic downturn and lower oil prices have put a damper on the develop-ment of some projects with borderline fi-nancial viability, but the world is not about to stop using plastics, gasoline, jet fuel or any of the other products produced by the petrochemicals sector. One of the biggest of the present crop of new facilities - combining a refinery and petrochemicals unit - is being built at Rabigh on the Saudi Arabian coast. For $ 10 billion, Saudi Aramco and its partner, Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, will expand an existing 400,000 barrels a day refinery with a 200,000 barrels a day vacuum- distillation unit, a cata-lytic cracking unit and an alkylation unit. They are also constructing a cracking unit that will produce up to 1.3 million tonnes a year of ethylene to supply a petrochemicals- deriva-tive plants manufacturing polyethylene and mono- ethylene glycol ( MEG). These products will find markets across the world, as they are among the petrochem-icals most widely used. Polyethylene is bet-ter known as polythene, the substance that forms the basis of many consumer products, from shopping bags to shampoo bottles. MEG is used to make polyester, which, as a fibre, is found in clothes and many other tex-tiles. MEG is also an important element in manufacturing antifreezes and solvents. A high olefin, fluidized catalytic- cracking unit under construction at the Rabigh plant will produce 900,000 tonnes a year of pro-pylene and 59,000 barrels a day of gaso-line. The propylene will be used in the pet-rochemicals derivative unit to manufac-ture polypropylene, which is used to pro-duce packaging, textiles, plastics and a lot of other items. Without the products from petrochemicals plants such as Rabigh our world would look very different, stripped of many of the goods we take for granted. Hi- tech challenges Indeed, just churning out the stuff we al-ready know how to make isn't an option for companies to remain competitive and prof-itable. They need to create new products and find cheaper ways to do things, which is where a good research and development department comes in. The chemical and manufacturing processes in this part of the downstream business require a huge pool of expertise - and a lot of money - to ensure engineers and scientists continue to make breakthroughs. The drive to produce more with less, and more cheaply, provides re-searchers with access to the sort of facilities rarely found beyond the commercial sector. Keeping costs down is vital, because the facilities are expensive to build, maintain and run. Refiners and petrochemicals pro-ducers must also contend with continual vol-atility in the prices of the commodities that they produce, planning in years when profits are high for times when margins are low. And, of course, environmental issues are now a vital part of research in the sec-tor, so firms have to focus on how the indus-try can meet the increasingly stringent qual-ity standards now required of oil and petro-chemicals products. Without petrochemicals products our world would look very different, stripped of many of the goods we take for granted