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US oil giant quits! PetroChina takes over Iraq super oil field project - the importance of molecular sieves in oil


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The petrochemical industry is an important pillar of the national economy and greatly impacts the production and consumption of energy, materials, chemicals, etc. With the continuous growth of science and technology, the application research of molecular sieves as an important catalyst and adsorbent in the petrochemical industry has attracted more and more attention.

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It was reported on January 1 that the US energy giant ExxonMobil has officially withdrawn from the West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq, and the operation of the oil field will be taken over by China National Petroleum Corporation (China National Petroleum Corporation).

The reporter learned from China Petroleum's official Weibo that the handover ceremony for the lead contractor of Iraq's West Qurna-1 oil field was held at the Basra Oil Field in the southern province of Iraq. After the handover, PetroChina served as the lead contractor, with partners including Iraq's Basra Oil Company, Japan's Itochu Corporation, Indonesia's National Petroleum Company and Iraq's Petroleum Exploration Company.

It is reported that the West Qurna No. 1 oil field is located about 50 kilometers northwest of Basra, Iraq, and is adjacent to the northern part of the Rumaila oil field in which CNPC participates. It is one of the world's largest oil fields, with estimated recoverable reserves of more than 20 billion barrels.

What is a lead contractor? PetroChina explained that when an oil field project is very important and complex, several major oil companies will participate as a consortium. However, there will be a "lead person" in the consortium, the lead contractor. When important matters require a statement or a major decision requiring voting, the lead contractor signing a contract with the tenderer is equivalent to all parties in the consortium working together with the tenderer. People sign contracts.

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It is understood that CNPC became the lead contractor in the West Qurna-1 oil field project precisely because it holds the largest share. Currently, CNPC holds 32.7% of the shares in the West Qurna-1 oil field, with the remaining shares held by Basra Petroleum Company at 22.7%, Pertamina Indonesia at 20%, Itochu at 19.6%, and Iraqi Petroleum Exploration Company at 5%. %.

The American oil giant ExxonMobil was once the major shareholder of the West Qurna-1 oil field project, holding 60% of the shares in the oil field. Since 2013, ExxonMobil has sold its shares to PetroChina and Basra Petroleum. Waiting for the company. In November 2023, ExxonMobil withdrew from the Iraqi market after selling its remaining shares in Iraq's West Qurna-1 oil field to the Iraqi Basra Oil Company.

Iraq occupies a very important position in the global oil map, and oil giants from many countries, including China, are investing in relevant projects there. According to PetroChina's official website, PetroChina's participation in Iraqi oil and gas cooperation dates back to 1997. After foreign investment gained access to the Iraqi oil and gas industry, PetroChina returned to the Iraqi oil and gas market in 2008. PetroChina is one of the major participants and technical service providers in Iraq's oil and gas field. It currently manages and operates four upstream projects in Iraq (Rumaila, Halfaya, Ahdeb, Siqurna-1) and multiple Engineering technical services and construction projects.

He Wenping, director of the African Research Office of the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, commented that from a macro level, ExxonMobil's withdrawal from the West Qurna-1 oil field should be related to changes in the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East. After Iran changes its main cooperation partner to PetroChina, it will avoid many unnecessary troubles. For PetroChina, it is also in its best interest to dominate the West Qurna-1 oil field. This is one of the largest oil fields in the world and will continue to bring considerable profits.

Application of molecular sieves in petroleum

A molecular sieve is an inorganic crystal material with a specific pore size distribution and structure. It comprises oxygen tetrahedral structural units composed of aluminum, silicon and other elements. Molecular sieves have high specific surface area and pore volume and can perform shape-selective adsorption and separation of molecules. Therefore, they are widely used in catalysts, adsorbents, ion exchangers and other fields. In the petrochemical industry, molecular sieves are mainly used as catalysts. Their advantages include high selectivity, high activity, and low pollution.

In the petroleum refining process, molecular sieves can improve the yield and quality of light oil products. For example, using molecular sieve catalysts for cracking reactions can convert heavy oil into light oil while removing impurities and improving the stability and combustion performance of the oil. Molecular sieves can also be used in alkylation, isomerization, etherification, and other reaction processes to produce high-octane gasoline, aromatics, and other important chemical raw materials.

Molecular sieves are also widely used in the field of petroleum additives. For example, molecular sieve-loaded metal salts can be used as lubricating oil additives to improve lubricating oil's oxidation and high-temperature resistance. Molecular sieves can also be used as fuel additives to improve fuel combustion efficiency and reduce tail gas emissions.

The application of molecular sieves in petroleum catalysis mainly involves organic compounds' synthesis and decomposition reactions. By utilizing the shape-selective adsorption and catalytic activity of molecular sieves, organic compounds' synthesis and decomposition reactions can be carried out with high selectivity, and products of high purity and high yield can be obtained. For example, molecular sieve catalysts can be used in the polymerization and alkylation reactions of olefins to produce high-value-added fine chemicals; they can also be used in the alkylation and dealkylation reactions of aromatic hydrocarbons to produce basic products such as benzene, toluene, and xylene. Organic raw materials.

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