Hydrocarbon Processing Special Focus: Partners Maximize Profitability During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic can be viewed as one of the most challenging periods in the history of the oil and gas sector. Refineries worldwide faced difficult times operating at their turndown capacities or even temporarily shut down units at the refinery. These unforeseen circumstances have put significant pressure on refinery volumes and margins to survive in this challenging market environment, forcing refiners to improvise. Unprecedented quarantines and lockdowns imposed due to COVID-19 had a serious effect on fuel demand and oil prices.

Since hydrocrackers are extremely flexible, they play a vital role in optimizing refinery economics. Hydrocrackers convert the bottom of the barrel, upgrading feedstocks into high-value fuels, lubricants and chemicals, which boost the value of refinery product slates. On top of adapting to cyclical market demands and the more stringent environment IMO regulations in 2020, refiners needed to act swiftly to remain competitive. The recent decline in demand forced refineries to run their hydrocrackers more economically by changing to new operational strategies to meet market demand.

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