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Oil & Gas News

Oilfield delivers first batch

19th October 2001 International minerals giant BHP Billiton has announced the first oil and gas production from the Typhoon oilfield in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 

Knowledge management for oil sector

19th October 2001 Cape Town company Vardus SA, in partnership with its London and Aberdeen offices, has played a key role in the development of a knowledge management tool set to significantly enhance operational standards in the oil industry. 

Buyout boosts global firm's status

19th October 2001 The UK’s BP oil and industrial group has completed a buy-out of its partner in the Erdoelchemie company of Germany. Erdoelchemie was founded as a joint venture by BP and the Bayer company in 1957. 

Control station range extended

19th October 2001 Producers of the ComEx series of explosion-protected local control stations Bartec have extended the range with a four-pole version of the control switch. 

'Pigs' sniff out pipeline faults

19th October 2001 Pipeline integrity management has become an important maintenance issue for refinery and process industries, not only to avoid expensive plant downtime, but also in recognition of the environmental hazards that could result from corrosion and leaks. 

Groups' induction into power sector

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 The Government White Paper on Energy, published in December 1998, called for the “sustainable presence or ownership or control by historically disadvantaged South Africans of approximately a quarter of all facets of the liquid fuels industry.” 

Refinery upgrade phase continues

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 In its natural state, crude oil is of little use. However, oil refineries have made it possible to convert crude oil into fuel products, such as gasoline, fuel oil, bitumen, lubricating oils and chemical feedstocks – all of which are useful in many different industries. 

SA – the largest refiner in Africa

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 South Africa is the largest oil refiner in Africa, with four complex refineries scattered around the country. The largest refinery in South Africa is the Sapref refinery in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, having a nameplate distillation capacity of 8 350 kt a year. 

More air-quality standards needed

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 The absence of national ambient air-quality standards and an integrated approach by the government to manage air pollution arising from many different sources is a significant challenge to the refinery industry in setting a uniform programme for an improvement in environmental performance, says... 

Refineries on brink of large-scale changes

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 The South African oil refinery industry is at a crucial point of its development at present, with large-scale changes ahead, reports South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) director Colin McClelland. 

Refineries' future not without challenges

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 Four main challenges face South Africa’s refineries as they attempt to pave out a sustainable growth path into the future. 

Gas supplier wins refinery contract

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 A contract for the design, manufacture and installation of an oxygen enrichment unit into Natref’s Claus sulphur recovery plant has been awarded to Air Products. The R1,2-million contract, awarded in July, comes in response to the oil refinery’s need to increase its sulphur processing... 

Sulphur project reaches halfway mark

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 Construction of Shell and BP South African Petroleum Refineries (Sapref’s) new R300-million sulphur-recovery unit (SRU) and Shell Clause off-gas treating unit (SCOT) is well under way, with the design and engineering phase of the project about 50% complete. 

Water plant for North Sea

19th October 2001 A sulphur-removal plant that is the largest installed in the North Sea gas- and oilfields, will process 120 000 barrels of water a day to reduce the threat of scale blocking wells and production equipment. 

Valves designed for sulphur units

19th October 2001 The valve design engineers at Orton FCX have made significant strides in solving the contining problems experienced with valves on sulphur units. 

Oil firm's training course accredited

19th October 2001 Petrochemical firm Engen's practical retailing skills training programme (PRSP) has been accredited with the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). 

Product eliminates sheetmetal cladding

19th October 2001 Thermal insulation and electric trace-heating equipment supplier Safurnco has launched a new material able to eliminate sheetmetal cladding. 

IT helps oil giant run smoothly

19th October 2001 Global network services solutions provider Dimension Data is upgrading Engen Petroleum’s Southern African local area network environment to become Microsoft Windows 2000-centric. 

From supplier to solutions provider

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 Large South African petrochemical companies are pushing their suppliers to become complete solutions providers by demanding customisation, co-sourcing and risk sharing, reports Honeywell sales support manager Zane van der Nest. 

Helping oil-tankers moor more safely

19th October 2001 An as yet unsung, technologically sophisticated installation is now in use every day, preventing ecological disaster 1,5 km to sea off Durban’s shoreline, helping huge oil tankers to moor to an offshore buoy and pump out 80% of South Africa’s crude oil through the city’s Sapref... 

Pipeline upgrade

By: Joanne Delaurentis     19th October 2001 The R250-million project for the upgrade of the Petronet crude-oil pipeline between Durban and the Natref refinery is 50% complete, with civil construction in progress. 

Refinery's R770m expansion on track

19th October 2001 South Africa’s only inland refinery, National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa’ (Natref’s) R770-million capacity expansion project is under way at present. 

Power, heat and cooling from manure

By: Karel Smrcka     12th October 2001 Alternative energy sources currently enjoy good market prospects in Germany: from 1998 to 2000 alone, the number of biogas plants doubled to 1 200. 

Without fossil fuels

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     12th October 2001 I was wondering, just the other day, what will happen when fossil fuels run out. 

Debate on US energy grid heats up

12th October 2001 Utility executives and lawmakers debated the need for federal energy regulators to force US utilities to combine their electricity transmission networks. 

Grease pump for grease pails

12th October 2001 South African oil companies have introduced a new 20 kg plastic grease drum. 

Russians to invest in Sudan

10th October 2001 Russian-Belarus oil firm Slavneft said it would invest $126-million in developing an oilfield in Sudan once it has signed a production-sharing agreement with the Sudanese government in January 2002. 

Hydrocarbon search offshore Morocco

9th October 2001 Morocco’s state-run Onarep office and Kerr-McGee du Maroc, an arm of US oil and gas company Kerr-McGee, signed an accord over offshore hydrocarbon research in the Western Sahara region. 

Africa's nuclear industry advances

5th October 2001 West African country Morocco and the US have signed an agreement for peaceful nuclear co-operation, including research. 

Synfuels shutdown welding completed

By: Joanne Delaurentis     5th October 2001 The welding on Sasol Synthetic Fuel’s (SSF) largest shutdown to date has been completed on time, despite delays in operations caused by bad weather conditions, reports the shutdown’s main maintenance welding contractor Hydra-Arc director Jos 

Africa’s big gas adventure begins

By: Irma Venter     5th October 2001 Natural gas was, until a few years ago, seen as a nuisance by the energy industry. 

Algeria strikes new oil, gas reserve

4th October 2001 Algeria had discovered a new oil and gas province where reserves could be as large as those in the promising Hassi Berkine basin. 

Algerian, Venezuelen leaders to talk oil

4th October 2001 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will discuss OPEC’s oil price strategy with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, when the two leaders meet in Algiers this month, Venezuela’s foreign minister said. 

Nigeria issues anti-flaring oil-permit preconditions

2nd October 2001 Determined to make good its target of attaining complete eradication of flaring its natural gas associated with oil and gas exploration in the country, the Nigerian federal government has issued fresh conditions for granting new exploration permits . 

East Africa offshore oil project gets go-ahead

1st October 2001 East African fledgeling oil industry has received a boost with the announcement of an oil exploration project off the Tanzanian coast. 

Engineers on the march

By: Philip Lloyd     28th September 2001 For years a common topic of conversation was “What were you doing when you heard Kennedy had been shot?” 

If engineers weren't apolitical

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     28th September 2001 One of the threats that a person, hell-bent of destruction, can carry out with relative ease to make a social point is the destruction or disruption of the power system of a country. 

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