Will the End of China’s Oil Age Come Sooner Than We Think?

A recent report by oil giant BP found that energy demand in China is growing at the slowest rate since the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s.

The market for energy, dominated by coal and oil, has weakened as the economy slows and the Chinese government acts to both reduce the nation’s reliance on heavy industry and encourage growth in the services sector.

The true picture is often masked by headlines reporting monthly and quarterly figures that tell a different, potentially misleading story – one of continuing growth.  For example, oil demand climbed 5.4% year-on-year in April, while the first four months of this year saw a 4.4% increase in demand compared to the same period last year, representing the fastest pace of year-to-date growth since 2011.  But closer analysis of longer-term trends shows that the pick-up in demand is for light-end products such as gasoline (petrol), buoyed by an uplift in car sales.  Also, data on products in storage are only released irregularly, so demand may appear to outstrip actual consumption (and there is no official data on the country’s actual oil consumption).

A less bullish statistic for April reveals a slump in the fuel oil market.  Consumption tax increases have made it more expensive, hitting China’s independent refiners.

Peak oil

Confirmation of the underlying energy trend came from Fu Chengyu, Chairman of Sinopec, China’s biggest oil refiner, in March this year.  He forecast that the peak in China’s demand for diesel would be reached in just two years’ time, with the high point for gasoline arriving about eight years later.

Sinopec is already envisaging a future in which fuels become a non-core part of its business, which will focus instead on alternative energy and selling consumer goods at its filling stations.

The company is better placed to assess demand than any other, so it is interesting that its predictions run counter to those of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).  The IEA, whose findings are closely watched by energy traders, has predicted that China’s oil demand will continue expanding beyond 2040.  It does, however, acknowledge that statistics are not effective indicators of market changes as they often involve ‘…extrapolations from recent trends, which naturally tend to assume business as usual’.

Clean energy – the future?

China’s shift towards cleaner sources of energy, such as natural gas, is already having an impact on shipping companies.  As demand for iron ore and coal falls away, many operators are laying off vessels.

As for the fall in global oil prices over the last year, some analysts believe that this trend will not be reversed.  The developed world has become more energy-efficient and alternative energy sources are at last looking competitive – in fact, low prices have driven improvements in drilling technology, which is especially the case for the young shale industry in the USA.  The developing world is likely to follow suit.

But even if the story is no longer one of continued expansion, the oil sector will continue to generate profits for well-managed, efficient companies for many years to come.

Parker Kittiwake continues to provide analysers to monitor refinery emissions.  To find out more contact us on 01903 731470.

Keeping Machinery Running: Essential Products for Monitoring Fluid Cleanliness

Contaminated fluid is the source of the majority of problems that occur in hydraulic systems.  Effective monitoring and management of fluid condition and cleanliness can make all the difference to performance and lifespan.

Parker Kittiwake products for monitoring fluid cleanliness have been developed in accordance with the international standard relating to contamination levels in industrial fluid power components.  Under this ISO standard, a code number is assigned to various levels of particulate contamination.  The operator can set a target value to use as a performance indicator for tracking and reporting.

For the aviation industry we offer the icount ACM20.  With an on-board, rear-mounted pump, it monitors a range of applications including fuel storage tanks and drums.

For shipping operators, condition monitoring remains as vital as ever – not least because some of the low sulphur fuels now used in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) have a tendency to dislodge old fuel deposits in the tank, leading to a breach of the ECA compliance rules and also inferior performance.

Products for the shipping industry

Automatic Particle Counters, which for many years have played a part in condition monitoring, can now be adapted for use outside the laboratory.  With the Parker Kittiwake icount Laser CM20 monitor, online monitoring can take place while the application is still running, sidestepping the need for costly shutdowns.

The icountBSplus bottle sampler uses up-to-date design and laser technology for quick, on-board fluid bottle sampling. It gives a reliable, precise and real-time analysis of fluid moisture and temperature capability using a sensor directly in the water flow.

The popularity of the icountBSplus, together with the specific requirements of the offshore oil and gas sector, led us to develop a CE-compliant water-glycol option, which we launched in May.  This identifies contamination in blowout preventers and other assets, which, if blocked, will cause the safety components to stick (with potentially disastrous results).

For measuring the quality of hydraulic oils and hydrocarbon fuels we offer the
icount Oil Sampler (IOS).

This self-contained system has a laser detection particle counter and a web page generator for the straightforward downloading of data onto a PC or laptop.  Even though it incorporates a number of valuable additional features, it remains easy to use.  It detects both particulates and dissolved water with precision and in real time.

The very latest in Parker laser-based technology underpins our icountPD particle detector.  It provides continuous monitoring of system contamination trends and comes with LED warning lights and self-diagnostic software.

Lastly, Parker Kittiwake’s Oilcheck is a portable tool, which enables the user to compare new and used oils and gives early warning of engine failure.

Reliability and durability

In a competitive global market avoiding downtime is important to prevent costs spiralling.  Keeping lubricants and components free of contaminants will improve the overall reliability of the equipment.

Parker Kittiwake has over two decades’ experience developing products which give operators the quick information they need to keep machinery running smoothly for longer.  If you would like more information on any of our products, contact us on 01903 731470.

Three Different Types of Oil Analysis for Condition Monitoring

Oil analysis provides maintenance staff and engineers with information on the health of lubricants – vital for ensuring machinery functions smoothly.  As with other condition monitoring techniques, successful analysis reduces downtime and its associated costs.

There are three main options for oil analysis, all of which are provided by Parker Kittiwake: off-site, online or on-site testing.

Off-site testing

The most comprehensive tests can most effectively be done off-site.  The disadvantage here is the turnaround time involved in sending samples to a commercial laboratory.  It is not usually the most practical option for remote installations, such as offshore rig or unattended pipelines.

Before arranging off-site analysis it is important to choose a reputable oil analysis provider so that you can be confident that all the necessary tests – and none of the unnecessary ones – are performed.

Online testing

This allows for instant alerts: sensors will detect problems not readily detectable via vibration or other indicators.  Accuracy cannot be guaranteed in every case, but the early warning it provides will prompt on-site or off-site sample testing, after which the diagnostics and repairs can be dealt with on-site straightaway if the most likely fault is apparent.

Online testing technology is relatively new, but tools such as a Metallic Wear Debris Sensor offer advantages, including real-time analysis and highly flexible interfaces.

On-site testing

This solution enables equipment to be monitored very frequently.  The best testing kits and portable instruments offer laboratory-like accuracy.  Sensor readings can be assessed quickly, if necessary triggering the next stage – off-site sample analysis.  Having all the testing facilities to hand at the site is the best insurance against an expensive technical failure.  Less accessible sites, especially mines, have the most to gain from this monitoring method.

On-site fuel laboratories enable operators to perform a range of tests, including for metal contaminants and particle count.  Parker’s Oil check is an example of an easily operated handheld tool for comparing new and used oils, giving the user valuable advance warning of engine failure.  Similarly, viscosity can be tested on-site using a Heated Viscometer, which an independent report has shown to be as accurate as laboratory analysis.  As well as monitoring changes in lubricating oil viscosity, it also verifies that the fuel is the correct grade for storage and purifiers.

For the full details of all our on-site fuel lab products and in-service testing methods see the Parker Kittiwake website.  Or call us on 01903 731 to speak to one of our specialists.

Benefits of the Parker Kittiwake Metallic Wear Debris Sensor

It’s no secret that particles result from wear. That’s why your oil analysis service includes a Spectrometric Analysis and ferrous density report, but what happens should a problem arise between sampling?

The Parker Kittiwake Metallic Wear Debris Sensor goes beyond the scope of normal wear debris sensors. Here are just a few of its benefits:

Unbeatable detection range
The Metallic Wear Debris Sensor provides readings not only for ferrous metals but also for non-ferrous metals. The sensor is able to tell you not just the number of particles which pass through your system, but also the size and metallic composition.

Real-time monitoring
Our sensor goes beyond normal protection systems, allowing you to monitor in real-time. With the sensor you’ll be able to take immediate action on the first indication of change, thereby preventing all types of failures which can occur between traditional sampling.

Adaptable to your lubrication system
The sensor is extremely adaptable and can be mounted within almost any lubrication system, on any type of machine. By using proven inductive coil technology, combined with smart algorithms to provide a particle size distribution count, the sensor measures ferrous and non-ferrous metals resulting from the wear debris within the lubricant, placing the user in control. The severity of the problem increases with an escalation in the production of larger wear debris particles.

Easily integrated
With both digital and analogue outputs, the sensor can be easily integrated into existing condition monitoring and operating control systems, putting the user in control. Whether it’s checking the health of the machine or alerting to changing wear patterns, the sensor provides instant information, complementing existing laboratory oil analysis programmes and helping the user make informed decisions concerning maintenance planning.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470
Email: kittiwakeinfo@parker.com

TBN Test Kit Range Extended

Motorship Magazine featured our updated Digi TBN test kit in January’s issue.

As part of our ongoing research into the problem of cold corrosion we have launched an updated Digi TBN Test Kit, designed to provide a rapid indication of total base number (TBN) depletion in scrape down cylinder lubricants with a base number range up to 100.

Recent guidance from engine manufacturers recommends the use of higher BN lubricants in newer engines to help prevent the damaging effects of corrosive wear, particularly when slow steaming. Therefore, major oil companies are now adding higher BN lubricants to their product portfolios.

Read the full article on The Motorship here.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470
Email: kittiwakeinfo@parker.com

Parker Kittiwake Announce New Cold Corrosion Test Kit

Cold corrosion test kit

Parker Kittiwake is pleased to announce the launch of our new portable Cold Corrosion Test Kit.

A breakthrough in on-board cold corrosion testing, the new portable test monitors the specific levels of corroded iron in used cylinder oil in less than five minutes.

How does Cold Corrosion Occur?
A growing number of ship owners and operators are choosing to run new generation engines in an attempt to reduce fuel costs and meet environmental requirements, causing the problem of cold corrosion to escalate.

Cold corrosion is a costly problem, the acidic corrosion which takes places in the cylinder liner as a consequence often results in the liner needing replacing – a replacement which can cost around $150,000.

Corrosion can be monitored and corrected before any critical damage occurs.

Cold Corrosion Solutions
Wear and costs can be minimised by adjusting the feed rates, which requires knowledge of the exact operating conditions and wear mechanisms within the cylinders.

Parker Kittiwake’s new Cold Corrosion Test Kit delivers accurate results in under five minutes, as opposed to other on-board tests which can take hours. With this new test kit ship owners can gather an accurate picture of the level of corrosive elements present in cylinder oil whilst on-board, without the need to send samples over to a laboratory to be analysed.

Key Features of the Cold Corrosion Test Kit

  • Excellent correlation between field measurements and lab Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) results (see graph)
  • Monitors products of corrosion that cannot be detected magnetically
  • Provides early warning that cold corrosion is underway
  • Gives a running commentary on internal corrosion as the operator adjusts the cylinder liner jacket temperature or oil feed rate
  • When used in conjunction with the Parker Kittiwake LinerSCAN, it is possible to monitor abrasive and corrosive wear independently
  • Each test is simple, cost effective and quick (less than 5 minutes) to complete

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470
Email: kittiwakeinfo@parker.com

Parker Kittiwake products to feature at Nor Shipping 2013


Kititwake Bunker Samplers

From the 4th to 7th June, Parker Kittiwake will be featuring a selection of products at Nor Shipping, the leading maritime exhibition and conference, taking place in Oslo.

Visit us on the Parker Hannifin stand E02-15 to see, not only Parker’s Kittiwake’s condition monitoring and sampling solutions, but also Parker Hannifin’s range of motion and control technology.

We hope to see you there!


Introducing the ANALEXpqL Stacker

Kitt-Parker 1

Parker Kittiwake is pleased to announce the launch of the new ANALEXpqL Stacker.

Designed specifically for oil analysis laboratories, the ANALEXpqL boasts the most accurate means of detecting and measuring ferrous wear debris in lubricating oils, hydraulic oils and greases.

NOW AVAILABLE: The ANALEXpqL Stacker offers the user a host of benefits:

  • Enables user to automatically perform 20 sample pot measurementsKitt-Parker 5
  • Double magazines enable unattended measurements
  • Unique locking mechanism holds pots in place in the magazine until loaded onto the ANALEXpqL
  • Compact stand means the instrument doesn’t take up additional and valuable lab space
  • Natural upgrade option for current ANALEXpqA users – allowing faster, automated measurements

This upgrade can be user-installed to add stacker functionality to your existing ANALEXpqL.

For further information contact us on:

Tel: +44 (0) 1903 731470
Email: sales@kittiwake.com

Parker Kittiwake exhibiting condition monitoring offering at Maintec 2013

Focus On 2 Maintec Graphic

From the 5th – 7th March, Parker Kittiwake will be exhibiting at Maintec, the UK’s premier show for maintenance and asset management, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham.

Parker Kittiwake will be displaying a range of their condition monitoring and acoustic emissions monitoring products on booth H21 in hall 6. Furthermore, Dr Trevor Holroyd, Technical Director at Parker Kittiwake will be speaking on the topic of ‘the application of acoustic emission to detect ineffective lubrication in operating machinery’.

We hope to see you there!


Parker Kittiwake awarded ISO 14001 Environmental Management standard

Following a detailed technical review and assessment process carried out by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), Parker Kittiwake is delighted to announce that it has been awarded the ISO 14001 Environmental Management certificate.

ISO 14001 Environmental Management is an internationally recognised standard outlining how to implement an effective environmental management system. It recognises investment in reducing waste and energy use, improving efficiency and meeting legal obligations.

Steve Dye, Business Development Manager at Parker Kittiwake, commented: “Achieving the ISO 14001 Environmental Management certificate highlights Parker Kittiwake’s ongoing efforts to work towards greater environmental sustainability. It sets an industry standard for all to work towards and will help Parker Kittiwake meet customer expectations while maintaining both our corporate and regulatory responsibilities.

“The next stage in the process of ISO 14001 Environmental Management is to maintain our high standards and work towards the next assessment that will be carried out in May 2013. This is a great achievement that cements Parker Kittiwake’s credentials as an environmentally responsible company.”

Click here to download the certificate.