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Diversified conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. (HON - Analyst Report) recently disclosed that Chinese oil and gas company PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR - Analyst Report) will deploy more of its advanced information management and process modeling software tools across various locations in the country. The extensive deployment of Honeywell information solutions, currently in use at 13 PetroChina facilities, is likely to help China narrow the increasing demand-and-supply gap for chemicals and transportation fuels.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China is the world's largest consumer of energy and the second largest consumer of crude oil behind the U.S. The East Asian titan is also projected to become the world's largest importer of crude oil in the current year.

Consequently, in order to drive efficiency at its refining and petrochemical facilities, the state-owned oil and gas company intends to utilize Honeywell's Refining and Petrochemical Modeling System (RPMS) and Intuition Executive advanced information management software. These software will enable plant operators to better monitor operations across the organization and provide real-time information to improve profitability and productivity.

In 2005, PetroChina had first deployed RPMS at its headquarters in Beijing and 12 other refineries and petrochemical facilities. The company aims to replicate that success to 17 other sites across the country to cover all its refining and petrochemical businesses. The project is expected to be completed within two years.

Honeywell also continues to embed software into its products and services to improve the product development process. The company is focused on the global achievement of CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) Level 5 accreditation, which will improve the quality and efficiency of its software development. Together with other key process enablers such as the Honeywell Operating System (HOS), Functional Transformation (FT) and Velocity Product Development (VPD), the company is well poised to drive organic growth while expanding its business in new geographical regions.

Honeywell currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks that look promising and are worth looking into now include 3M Company (MMM - Analyst Report) and CLARCOR Inc. (CLC - Snapshot Report), both carrying a comparable Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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