Saudi Aramco’s unit Saudi Aramco Technologies, signed a joint agreement with Axens and TechnipFMC to accelerate the development and commercialisation of the company’s catalytic crude to chemicals technology.
The technology has the potential to significantly increase the efficiency and yield of chemicals production, converting more than 60 per cent of a barrel of crude oil into chemicals, Saudi Aramco said in a statement, adding that the agreement aims to achieve commercial readiness for the technology by 2021.
The technology converts crude oil directly to chemicals which will eliminate several energy-intensive processes and create high-value product streams that produce larger quantities of chemicals while generating less emissions.
“This is another milestone in the company’s effort to develop ground-breaking technology that maximizes the value of each barrel of crude oil,” said Amin H. Nasser, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco. “Oil will become increasingly more important as a feedstock in the production of petrochemicals. Saudi Aramco is leveraging its position as the world’s oil powerhouse to capitalise on the strong growth potential for chemicals globally. Through the strategic partnership with Axens and TechnipFMC, we advance cutting-edge technology to meet the increasing demand for petrochemicals, and support our efforts to build a global chemicals business.”
According to the IEA, an additional 4 million bpd of crude oil will have to be converted into petrochemicals by 2035 to meet the demand, Jean Sentenac, Axens’s chairman and CEO said, adding: “This is a unique opportunity to create this next generation technology that will be of great interest to the market for converting crude oil into petrochemicals.”
Stan Knez, president of Process Technology at TechnipFMC, said: “TechnipFMC’s solid position in FCC technologies as well as down flow catalytic cracking experience will provide a strong foundation for this joint development. The technology will be an innovative approach for producing a full range of petrochemicals using crude oil as the feedstock. We are pleased to be teaming with Saudi Aramco and Axens in the effort to commercialise this process quickly and expand our technology portfolio.”
The technology builds on the success of the proven high-severity fluid catalytic cracking technology, which Saudi Aramco co-developed with King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, to directly convert crude oil to high value chemicals.