Experts from around the world shared their experience on the best methods and solutions for residual fuel oil and waste at the Bottom of the Barrel and Catalyst Technology Conference (BBTC Mena 2021).

Held in Bahrain from December 14-15, the event was inaugurated by Bahrain’s Oil Minister, Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, who said such events offered an opportunity to discuss opinions and ideas on ways to develop the sector, confront the challenges arising from the repercussions of the pandemic and improve mechanisms for dealing with various emergencies and crises.

"This is highly significant as traditional refining methods are no longer the only source of profits, and there is a global trend to enhance ways to benefit from fuel oil as one of the sources of energy with a promising future," he said.

He added: "The petrochemical industry today faces new challenges and opportunities, with changing markets and world trends towards sustainability and decarbonisation. This requires oil and gas refineries to develop themselves to keep pace with these changes, and increase conversion to reduce the production of low-value fuel oil and reduce emissions in a way that contributes to preserving the environment and meets sustainability requirements."

Shaikh Mohammed said upgrading the bottom of barrel was central to achieving high levels of productivity and maintaining competitiveness – key elements of every modern refinery complex.

Catalysts play a central role in reaching these objectives in addition to process technologies.

Catalytic processes are very much at the heart of all refineries, with producers looking for the best-suited catalysts to increase profitability, maximise production, increase integration and develop new revenue streams.

BBTC Mena 2021 was organised by European Petroleum Consultants and the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), with support from the Ministry of Oil and national and international oil companies from the region and globally.