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Special Report: Importance of downstream logistics

by Martin Menachery on Apr 26, 2017


Martin Menachery, Editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East
Martin Menachery, Editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East

In the oil and gas downstream industry, the processed natural gas and oil products need to be transported to different places where it is sold, used, or redistributed, using the conventional methods like trucking, rail and boat shipment, and pipelines.

The products created by the downstream sector are products nearly everyone in the society will come into contact on daily basis, without which the quality of life would be drastically different for everyone. This is why the logistics, terminals and storage for the downstream oil and gas industry are so important in deciding the economic progress of every nation.

Recently, I had a chance to visit the facility of Vopak Horizon Fujairah, which is one of the largest independent oil storage terminals in the world, with a total storage capacity of 2.6 million cubic metres. The facility has 73 tanks, six jetties and one single mooring buoy. The terminal can accommodate tankers of up to 175,000 deadweight tonnage at its own jetties and fully laden VLCCs through the Port of Fujairah jetties. It is interesting to note here that according to the majority of respondents to a recent Gulf Intelligence GIQ industry survey, Fujairah is the best location in the Gulf to host a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporting hub, when considering strategic geography, necessary infrastructure and global reputation. The scope of the Vopak Horizon Fujairah facility is detailed in our Knowledge Partner pages (30-31) in this Special Report.

Another important feature included in this Special Report is the development of a software solution for hand-helds that makes mineral oil loading faster, simpler and safer, enabling tank terminal operators to take the next step toward embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). This new, mobile solution, developed by the Implico Group, connects employees in the field directly to the terminal management system to ensure that important information is immediately available everywhere. This new solution enables digitalisation in an area that was previously almost inaccessible – product loading in relation to railcars, ships and pipelines. The advantages of this new software solution are discussed in our Market Focus pages (28-29). Making this solution highly relevant to the downstream industry, the operations staff at refineries or tank terminals can digitally record incoming railcar and tank truck data using hand-held devices and the new software, thus eliminating the need for subsequent entry of manual notes into the terminal management system.


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