ENOC patent ensures smooth flow of revenue

Scientists at Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) have catapulted the government-owned oil and gas outfit to the cutting edge of invention, leading to its first US patent.

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Scientists at Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) have catapulted the government-owned oil and gas outfit to the cutting edge of invention, leading to its first US patent. ENOC was awarded the patent for a pioneering method of preserving jet fuel that is designed to save airlines and refineries billions of dollars. "We are confident this is the first of many more patents to come," said Tayyeb al Mulla, the chief executive of international refining and marketing at ENOC.

"Our first patent represents a major advance and is a contribution of ENOC to the industry." The process allows refineries and transporters to transfer certain types of jet fuel from tankers to trucks and to aircraft without losing oil quality. It prevents a problem that occurs when the quality of oil deteriorates and clogs filters, causing a drop in pressure and preventing the pumping of fuel from one tank to another.

The method improves supply chain efficiency and lowers costs for airlines. Every year more than 10 million barrels of jet fuel is supplied to airports in the UAE. "This could become a standard for those refinery units that chemically treat their jet fuel," said an ENOC spokesman. "Savings are substantial since the problem of particulates implies a shutdown of the supply chain every time such an event occurs. We have not suffered any such downtime for the past six to seven years since we put this unit up.

"There are more than 100 merox-treating refining units globally and more than that number of terminals which must be facing difficulties in ensuring a smooth supply chain operation due to this problem. We hope to tap that market." Mr al Mulla said: "Our new process addresses a concern that has been faced by the global petroleum industry for several years. "Through these patents we can licence our methods to others in the industry and gain additional revenues which will benefit ENOC over a period of time."

gregor.hunter@thenational.ae