Understanding Petrochemical Feedstocks and the Refinery/Petrochemical Interface

Full-day Workshop

One of the key competitive advantage for larger volume commodity segments of the petrochemical industry is access to cheap feedstock. The other two being end-market access and technology. Accordingly, it is imperative to have a good understanding of why certain feedstocks are priced cheaply in certain regions of the world and why other feedstocks tend to be valued more homogenously across the regions. In this workshop, we will cover gas, petroleum, coal and renewables-based feedstocks from both technology and market perspectives. Of particular emphasis will be the role US shale-based resources and the industry refocus on refining/petrochemical integration.

Following the feedstock discussion, the workshop will explain how these feedstocks are used by the petrochemical industry to make the seven basic petrochemical building blocks: synthesis gas, ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene and the xylenes. Key to this discussion will be the role refineries play especially with regard to supplying refinery grade propylene from FCC units and aromatics from catalytic reformers. The competition for these molecules by gasoline producers and petrochemical producers will be highlighted.

The session will study how natural gas liquids from wet shale gas and associated gas from crude oil is revitalizing the US petrochemical industry and how US ethane and propane exports are reshaping other gas-starved regions around the world. A recent industry hot top is the notion of "Crude Oil to Chemicals" (COTC) which has two important but separate aspects. First, is the market demand fundamentals that are causing the apparent need for a higher level of petrochemical integration at large refining sites and projects. This is born out through plants with increasing yields of petrochemicals as a portion of crude oil input. The second is the emergence of innovative new technology approaches to converting more of the crude oil barrel more/less directly to petrochemicals without going through traditional refining/petrochemical processing steps. This concept is stemming from the growing realization by oil (and chemicals) companies that demand growth of refined fuel products is flattening while demand for petrochemical products is expected to grow quite strongly over the next 20-30 years. This in turn has caused some traditional upstream/refining companies to rethink their business model to view refineries as being both petrochemical assets as well fuel producers. Despite being very early in the game, this workshop will take a look at some approaches to deeper integration and deployment of COTC technology.



One section offered: Friday, 22 March



8:30 am – 5:30 pm



Fellipe Balieiro, Director, Refining and Marketing, IHS Markit
Glenn Giacobbe, Director, Oil Markets, Midstream, & Downstream Consulting, IHS Markit

What Delegates will receive:

  • Networking opportunities, including continental breakfast, lunch, and morning and afternoon breaks and evening reception.
  • A printed color copy of the presentations in a workbook, which includes a glossary and appendix
  • Certificates of course completion (upon request)

Who is it for?

This course is designed to be of value to both technical and non-technical attendees. Anyone who needs a good understanding of feedstocks and how the petrochemical industry leverages these materials to make olefins and aromatics. Attendees coming from the refining industry will find this workshop insightful as we explore synergies with the petrochemical industry and petrochemical industry workers will find interest in understanding how refineries spin-off materials that are of value to the petrochemical industry and the resulting competition for these molecules.