THIS WAS a milestone year for the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA). For the first time since 2004, the annual International Operating Conference & Trade Show was held under one roof at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.
Held June 1-3, the event set a new attendance record when more than 4,500 storage terminal industry professionals participated in more than 30 conference presentations, two evening receptions, five training courses, and a 1 ½-day trade show. More than 340 vendors from around the world participated in the trade show.
“Since its inception in 1981, the ILTA Conference and Trade Show has continuously improved year after year,” said ILTA Board Chairman Eric Thomas, Benchmark River and Rail Terminals LLC. “It has earned an undisputed reputation as the premier conference and trade show for terminal industry professionals.”
The opening session featured Greg Haas, director of integrated oil and gas research for Stratas Advisors, an energy sector consulting and advisory firm. He spoke about how recent shale oil developments have rapidly shifted the United States from a net importer to a net exporter of petroleum products and what it means for the liquid terminal industry.
“We’re not energy independent, but we certainly are more energy secure,” he said. “I believe the United States will become an exporter of petroleum liquids.”
Those liquids could include condensate and definitely would include refined petroleum products. Those exports are important due to the declining refined fuel demand in the United States. Haas added that imports of fuels from foreign refiners could very well end.
Quality control for refined fuels storage and regulatory changes affecting the storage terminal sector got plenty of attention. On the quality control side, David Ware, a business partner in WDD Inc/Aviation Training Academy, discussed how major oil companies and other customers are looking to industry standards to reference how products should be handled at terminals.
“They want assurance that the terminal operator has documented programs, procedures, and training in place, ensuring that the quality of their product is maintained,” he said. “More and more, they’re looking for some backbone to say, ‘Hey, you need to meet this standard. I don’t have to recreate a whole new standard for you to understand how important it is for you to manage my product. I’m paying you money. Sort of like a bank. I’m putting this fuel into your storage and facility. Show me how you’re going to guarantee I’m going to get all of it back out of there.”
John B King of Breazeale, Sacshe & Wilson LLP, reviewed some of the most recent Environmental Protection Agency regulatory and legal developments impacting environmental compliance. He covered the latest changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard and the potential for US crude oil exports.
Sixteen terminal companies were recognized for outstanding in protecting the safety of their employees across their terminal system. The awards were presented June 2 during the Ninth Annual ILTA Safety Awards breakfast.
Two terminal companies demonstrating exemplary safety cultures were awarded the 2015 Platinum Safety Award. Marathon Petroleum Company received the large terminal company award, and US Venture Inc received the small terminal company award.
The Safety Excellence Award was presented to 14 terminal companies that achieved a safety record of less than one injury per 100 workers in 2014. The companies honored were: Arc Terminals Holdings LLC, Benchmark River and Rail Terminals LLC, Demaco Terminal Operations Corp, Flint Hills Resources LP, Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC, Motiva Enterprises LLC, NuStar Energy LP, Odfjell Terminals (Houston) LP, Oiltanking North America, Petro-Diamond Terminal Company, Phillips 66 Company, South Florida Materials/Vecenergy, Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, and Tesoro Logistics LP. ♦