Refinery Complexity Talks

This morning’s webinar on the Worldwide Refinery Survey with Complexity Analysis with Daniel Johnston was a great success.  Thank you to everyone who attended.  Just in case you didn’t catch it this morning, never fear!  I recorded it.  You can view the recording here.  There’s even a discount code for PennEnergy Research‘s refining products included at the end.

Daniel did a fantastic job, and we got some great questions from the audience.  Find out information about how it all started, primary reasons to use the refinery complexity analysis, and how it all comes together.  If you view and have questions, just let me know, and I’ll suss out the answers for you.  After the webinar, if you want a copy of the slide deck, I can hook you up there as well.  Just email me at

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Worldwide Refinery Survey with Complexity Analysis Webinar

The Oil & Gas Journal, an organization I work for, does an annual survey of all the refineries in the world.  It contains lots of data, I’ve listed all the data fields below.  As popular as this survey has always been, PennEnergy Research decided to take it a step further and included the Complexity Analysis, and Daniel Johnston and I are doing a webinar about it on January 28th, 10:00AM CST.  This takes the Nelson Refinery Complexity Index, which is information on construction costs, product slate, replacement values, etc.  Okay, so that doesn’t begin to cover it, so here’s the summary information.

The Worldwide Refinery Survey and Complexity Analysis combines the 2014 Worldwide Refinery Survey with the Nelson Refinery Complexity Index. The Nelson Refinery Complexity Index is a cost-based index. The index provides insight into such things as refinery construction costs, replacement value, conversion capability and product slate.

The Nelson and the Equivalent indices have been improved and upgraded based on the author Daniel Johnston’s extensive research, analysis and discussions with those in the industry. Specifics are detailed in the documents enclosed with the spreadsheets. Other criteria that make an index practical include; consistency, repeatability, compatibility with the available data, and easiness to understand and access.

Both the Nelson Complexity Index (NCI) and Equivalent Distillation Capacity (EDC) are included and calculated into the regular Refinery survey spreadsheet. The Nelson Complexity Index is a pure cost-based index. It provides a relative measure of refinery construction costs based upon the distillation and upgrading capacity a refinery has. The index was developed by Wilbur L. Nelson in the 1960s to quantify the relative cost of the components that make up a refinery. The Nelson index compares the costs of various upgrading units such as a catalytic cracker, or a reformer to the cost of a crude distillation unit. NCI and EDC statistics have become widely used in industry literature to provide insight into various aspects of refinery value or operations.

For the third year in a row, the Bottom of Barrel Index is also included. The BoB index provides a means of quantifying and characterizing a refinery’s ability to process heavy crudes and produce premium refined products. It represents the combined capacity of a refineries Coking, Catalytic Cracking and Hydrocracking units relative to Distillation Capacity (expressed as a percentage). US average BoB Index is 55% (1/1/2011) Rest of the World average is 21% (excluding the US). Total World average is 28%.

Additionally the survey includes ownership percentages. Listed are the individual or multiple owners and their percentages.

So, every year I get a ton of questions on this survey and the information in the complexity analysis, and I always do my best to find the answers…Because, I don’t have all the answers.  This year, I decided to get their answers about the Complexity Analysis from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  Daniel Johnston is incredibly knowledgeable and a great speaker.   He has added real value to the responses the Oil & Gas Journal receives from the refineries, so that the user gets information on stuff like construction costs and product slates.  This is going to be the first webinar Daniel and I will do together.  (Well, I say “together”…basically I do the introduction, closing and ask the questions and he says all the important stuff.)  I’m really excited about this upcoming webinar.  If you want to check it out or if you know someone who might want to check it out, you can register here.  There’s no cost, and this will be recorded.  So if you aren’t sure if you can be there on January 28th at 10:00AM CST, register anyway.  I’ll email you a link to the recording when everything is said and done.

Data fields for the Worldwide Refinery Survey:

  • Distillation Capacity
  • Vacuum Distillation
  • Thermal Processes
  • Coking
  • Catalytic Cracking
  • Catalytic Reforming
  • Catalytic Hydrocracking
  • Catalytic Hydrorefining
  • Catalytic Hydrotreating
  • Alkylation
  • Polemerization
  • Aromatics
  • Isomerization
  • Lubes
  • Asphalt
  • Hydrogen (MCFD)
  • Oxygenates
  • Sulfur Extraction
  • Ownership Percentage

‘Til next time,



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