Honeywell UOP general manager on developing technology for the regional oil and gas industry

Jim Moshi, regional general manager of Honeywell UOP in the Middle East, comments on the regional oil and gas industry

Honeywell UOP, Technology, Digitalisation

How do you maintain focus and make sure you’re supplying the right solutions for the market?

Honeywell has been a trusted advisor to the Middle East oil and gas industry for the past 60 years. We have worked closely with almost every major oil and gas company in the region. We work with customers to identify and address their challenges with real-time, actionable insights, and defining key outcomes and KPIs for their success, and that helps us deliver the very best to them. Our long-standing experience in the region, combined with a continued focus on innovation and creating new technologies enables us to ensure that customers have the right solutions in place to increase efficiency, improve safety, and productivity.

What are some of the trends you’ve noticed in the oil and gas sector?

Increasing integration between refining and petrochemicals is one of the major trends within the industry, as petrochemical products generate more value than fuels, and we develop new technologies to convert crude into chemicals. In addition, demand for cleaner-burning fuels is rising along with higher-value petrochemicals.

Another area is heavy oil upgrading to derive more value from residual fuel oil, and new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations limiting sulphur content in marine fuels. Both require more sophisticated conversion and hydrotreating processes.

There will continue to be important advances in chemistry, metallurgy, and all the other mechanics of refineries and petrochemical plants. The next major move in the industry is being governed by new technological capabilities enabled by digitalization. This shift involves connecting processes, assets, and the people who operate it, to make operations more reliable, more profitable, and more secure than ever before, allowing operators to continually redefine the standards of optimal performance and reliability.

What are Honeywell’s oil and gas customers asking for (ie: what are key technology verticals within oil and gas)?

Today’s refiners face an array of new challenges, the greatest of which are the need to continue making investments to produce even cleaner burning fuels, react to market dislocations, and adapt to the widely-forecasted plateau in demand for transportation fuels. Each of these challenges will affect product mix and investment strategies for refiners in the future. Added to that is the need to address operator turnover and inexperience in an environment of increasing complexity -- from feedstock to products.
As such, our customers are focusing more on managing outcomes such as their productivity and costs.

Are oil and gas companies adopting technology in pace with other industries?

In our highly dynamic industry, being ahead of the curve defines business success. As refineries and petrochemical plants become more complex, having access to the right technologies and software expertise unlocks new opportunities for operational efficiencies and profitably. And we are already seeing this here in the Middle East.

Having the right technology in place enables regional manufacturers to generate the most value from every drop of oil, every cubic foot of natural gas. Smart and connected technologies, also help them run at optimal efficiency with higher reliability. These solutions produce less waste and allow flexibility to adjust to the ever-changing slate of feedstocks.

Considering the ambitious spirit of this region, its ongoing pursuit of excellence, and its future generation of engineers, it is more than likely that the next breakthroughs in petrochemical science could be developed right here in the Middle East.

Technology is an evolving space; how does Honeywell continue to keep up with that evolution and remain relevant as customer needs and trends shift?

With integration between refining and petrochemicals increasing and plants becoming more complex, technology will be crucial in ensuring the highest standards of operations. In the hundred years since UOP was founded, the world’s population has quadrupled while world GDP has grown seven-fold, adjusted for inflation. This incredible growth was fueled by the oil and gas industry, led in many cases by technology from Honeywell UOP. We continue to invest in new technologies to meet growing demand for more efficient and diverse energy sources.

Honeywell UOP has been operating in the Middle East since 1963, with a key philosophy: if the heart of every project is a process technology, then the lifeblood of every process technology is the catalyst. The company has been part of some of the most significant projects and initiatives in the region, helping expand the downstream industries and capabilities through advanced process technologies.

Honeywell UOP has been working with partners from across the region, with the aim of developing innovative new processes. Our collaboration with Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) is using a range of process technologies from Honeywell UOP for the expansion of its refining and petrochemical complex at Al-Zour, south of Kuwait City.

Honeywell has a long history of driving growth and supporting the region’s energy industries through leading-edge technologies, efficient business solutions, local training, as well as research and development initiatives, and are committed to continuing to do so through innovative ways in the future.

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