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Importance of Gauges #2

The Sad Life of Pressure Gauges You know I keep seeing the re-occurring theme about pressure gauges out in the unit every time I go to a plant, no matter if they’re top tier or bottom tier or middle tier.  Why are the gauges always bad? Do we understand that the gauge is actually just a little balloon hook through a branch  connection to the process? It’s as close as we come to allowing the oil out of the pipe.  When a gauge is bad, block it in and put... more

Safe Coker Egress #1

I just got back and I see again the same thing.  I see egress and access pathways blocked up with debris, dunnage, hoses, insulation and barrels of trash.  Do people that work in the unit realize that it may be them that are gonna have to egress through that pathway one day in case there’s an emergency? We have a classic example of this happening during a major Coker fire where the top unheading device was open.  Flames were shooting out 300 feet.  The operators on the cutting deck could not escape. ... more

CSB Safety Bulletin: Management of Change

Equilon Enterprises oil refinery fire. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issues this Safety Bulletin to focus attention on the need for systematically managing the safety effects of process changes in the chemical industry. This bulletin discusses two incidents that occurred in the United States in 1998. Each case history offers valuable insights into the importance of having a systematic method for the management of change (MOC). An MOC methodology should be applied to operational deviations and variances, as well as to preplanned changes—such as those involving... more

Shorter Pigging Durations at a Texas Refinery – D.D. Technology, Inc.

D.D. Technology, Inc. is a global leader in the mechanical pigging of fired heater lines proven after the successful completion of many pigging projects in over 52 countries. Recently, DDT successfully completed work at a major refinery in Texas. Over the years, this facility has used multiple companies (competitors) to pigg their delayed coker heaters. Because of unsatisfactory past performance by the other companies and positive recommendations from affiliated facilities, DDT was invited to pigg the heaters. Once pigging was completed and start up temperatures were reviewed, it was determined... more

Delayed Coking is the New Poster Child of Oil Refining

Because of MARPOL VI, resid conversion flexibility is needed by 2020. 2018 will be a big year for Delayed Coker projects.... more

Flowserve Decoking Equipment Training

Flowserve Decoking Equipment Operations and Reliability Training Decoking equipment is unique in the refinery and the most misunderstood. Because of the severe service requirements in the delayed coker and the importance of unit up-time for production, decoking equipment requires specialized care and in-depth, technical understanding. To ensure that your operators, inspectors, engineers and maintenance are properly prepared to use, maintain, and repair the complete system, they need Flowserve Decoking Equipment Operation and Reliability Training.   Flowserve is the industry leader in designing, installing, and repairing decoking equipment.  Roy Smith is their... more

Coker Tube Metal Temperature (TMT) Issues Making You Red Hot?

If you have worked around a delayed coker unit for any amount of time, you have heard some of the debates around fired heater fouling and tube metal temperature (TMT) as measured by welded on thermocouples. Let's talk about a few DO's and DON'Ts when it comes to this measurement.... more

Discussion on “Enhanced Flash Zone Design for Coker Fractionators”

Check out the article in this month's Hydrocarbon Processing (July 2017) entitled "Enhanced Flash Zone Design for Coker Fractionators" by Thomas, Spalding, Patel, and Varma from Bechtel (BHTS). It is the most clear revelation of some of the internals around the proprietary fractionator bottoms design by Bechtel, formerly owned by ConocoPhillips. This design aspect has been relatively top secret for many years. ... more

10x Life Improvement in Coke Drum Life Using Weld Overlay – Highlights from RefComm® Galveston 2017

I believe we are inching ever closer to resolving this issue once and for all. For those who suffer with cracking drums, this resolution cannot come soon enough. Until then, there is a great solution: weld overlay in problem areas. OK... many of you are thinking this is not new information. Yes, you are correct but...... more

Highlights from RefComm® Galveston 2017: Pay Attention to Furnace Crossover Temperature (XOT)

We had 50 refiners from 21 different plants represented in the Delayed Coker Advanced Process Training course at RefComm® Galveston 2017. Lots of different viewpoints were shared from all sizes and designs of equipment. One of the more exciting group exercises conducted was a simple benchmarking... more