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Radha's career has spanned over 45 years of worldwide involvement in the petroleum, chemicals and oil producing industries, including service with Shell Chemicals, Exxon Corporation and with ExxonMobil Corporation. At Exxon his R&D contributions included development of equipment technology for synthetic fuels (DOE) and the development/implement...ation of storage tank design and construction practices for atmospheric and low temperature services. His career has included a diverse range of technology assignments relating to capital projects, commissioning of new facilities, R&D, trouble-shooting, and incident investigation. More

Storage Tanks Floating Roofs - Challenges In Aging Tanks When Exposed To Extreme Weather Conditions

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Over one hundred thousand floating roofs have been used in hydrocarbon (oil) storage tanks since the 1950s. A majority of these tanks continue to be in service and are critical to meet strategic storage needs. An earlier article in this blog category describes Industry Best Practices for inspection and maintenance of such tanks. View Maintenance & Reliability of Floating Roofs . The article below responds to multiple inquiries - from domestic and international refiners - who are confronted with challenges to safely operate and maintain large diameter (200-350 feet diameter) floating roofs in service for 30-35 years.  In addition to age, these tanks may be exposed to extreme weather conditions such as hurricane winds above 100 mph and/or excessive rainfall.  For example, Hurricane Harvey dumped in excess of 50 inches of rain in the Houston, TX area with sustained winds of 130 mph in 2017. Under these extreme conditions, catastrophic...
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Storage Tanks - Maintenance & Reliability of Floating Roofs

Storage Tanks - Maintenance & Reliability of Floating Roofs
The safe operation, maintenance and reliability of roofs in large tanks, does require special considerations in their design, construction and installation practices. Over the past 60 plus years, thousands of tanks with Fixed Roofs with internal Covers, and Floating Roofs, have been used to store Crude Oil and Middle Distillates. Refiners derived significant advantage through the Floating roofs which are used to store very large volumes from super-tanker shipments, and meet the escalating demand for hydrocarbons in industry. This blog is Part 1 of two blogs and covers the maintenance and reliability of floating roofs amongst storage tanks. Part 2 deals with internal floating covers on these storage tanks. Aging storage facilities, which can be 50 to 60 years old, have heightened the challenges to ensure safe operation and integrity in a cost effective manner. Therefore, these facilities must be given similar priorities to on-sites units where operational and maintenance...
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Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) – An Essential Step for Turnaround Work Scope Optimization in Refining Units

Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) – An Essential Step for Turnaround Work Scope Optimization in Refining Units
Turnarounds (TA) in refining units are executed periodically, on a planned basis, to meet multiple objectives, such as regulatory compliance, process reliability improvement, and equipment inspection and/or repairs. In a competitive business environment, managing TA events in a cost effective manner is a well-recognized challenge. Key Step - Planning Development of a comprehensive Work Scope for the TA of equipment in a Process Unit is a key step which can make the difference when focusing on business goals for a Process Unit. Since a major turnaround can range from 500,000 – 1 MM man-hours and involve hundreds of TA tasks, Best Practices - utilizing Risk Based Work Selection  methods - are used for prioritizing and justifying execution of tasks. Execution of these tasks yields an optimized work scope and minimized TA duration. A principal outcome of this Work Process is that it enables the Unit to meet S, H, E, and...
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Risk Based Work Selection – A Process Focusing On Turnaround Excellence

Risk Based Work Selection – A Process Focusing On Turnaround Excellence
Risk Based Work Selection ( RBWS ) is one of the Best Practices used by refiners in managing safety and reliability of operations for a facility. RBWS enables refiners to optimize the scope, cost and duration of major turnarounds (TA). Optimization of the work scope is accomplished by screening individual TA Work List items, using a risk-based methodology. The methodology provides a rigorous basis to justify inclusion or rejection of work list items, if they do not mitigate risks or satisfy benefit/cost criteria which are established for the facility’s assessment. The application of risk based decision making, in the RBWS process, eliminates discretionary TA tasks and retains tasks which mitigate unacceptable risks or will provide benefits from a financial standpoint. The outcome from an RBWS assessment yields a tighter work scope leading to significant reduction in TA duration and costs .The work process covers all major equipment types (Fixed Equipment,...
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