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Energy, Oil & Gas Aramco and CLG to co-develop heavy oil processing technology

Saudi Aramco and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) will co-develop and licence Saudi Aramco's Heavy Oil Processing Initiative (HOPI+) technology.


"This collaboration with Chevron Lummus Global reflects the focus of Saudi Aramco on breakthrough technologies that generate added value across the hydrocarbon chain," said Motaz Al-Mashouk, Executive Director, Saudi Aramco after signing a Joint Collaboration and Licence Agreement with CLG.


HOPI+ aims to achieve relatively higher conversion of vacuum residue and other available heavy feeds, including incremental crude, using CLG's LC-FINING platform (jointly referred to as LC-HOPI+). 


The LC-HOPI+ innovative process is expected to help minimise both Capex and Opex and significantly improve margins for bottom-of-the-barrel upgrading. 


In 2019, Saudi Aramco joined CLG at its research and development facility in Richmond, California, to create and develop the initial concept pilot testing. Success there led to further HOPI+ evaluations against different process schemes, which further helped quantify the technology's added value.


"HOPI+, combined with CLG's LC-FINING platform, is an innovative concept that simultaneously increases crude throughput and converts residue to valuable transportation fuels and petrochemical feedstock while minimising capital and energy," said Ujjal Mukherjee, Managing Director, CLG. "The initiative further strengthens the relationship between Saudi Aramco and CLG as we develop, pursue and commercialise new and innovative technology."


Chevron Lummus Global and Saudi Aramco now intend to co-develop LC-HOPI+ technology before global commercialisation by CLG.