Course Content – Refinery Troubleshooting

Course Content – Refinery Troubleshooting



Since day-to-day operation problem solving and optimizing are critical to the profitability of plant operations, troubleshooting is a prime responsibility of refinery and plant engineers. The importance of troubleshooting has grown as plants push to operate at tighter economic margins. Lost profits due to unsolved unit problems can never be recovered. Consistently maintaining smooth operation, maximum capacity, and acceptable product quality are important goals that can be difficult to achieve. Thus, this program has been developed to provide an in-depth yet practical review of the art and science of plant troubleshooting.

The program’s content is both comprehensive and wide-ranging. The sessions begin with a discussion of the fundamentals, including process objectives, equipment behavior, interaction of the process and equipment, and troubleshooting techniques. A case study approach covers major equipment found in refineries and petrochemical plants, specifically pumps, heat exchangers, fired heaters, vacuum systems, piping and hydraulics, compressors, distillation towers, and auxiliary equipment. All case studies are developed from actual field case histories. This approach demonstrates the complexity of actual plant operations and how to simplify and identify solvable problems. Once the fundamentals are established the session moves into the topics of troubleshooting techniques, analysis, and problem solving.

  • Objectives and Approach
  • Importance of Troubleshooting
  • Case Studies
  • Typical Problems
  • Integration of Process and Equipment
  • Troubleshooting Techniques
  • Troubleshooting Tools
  • Flooding and Its Detection
  • Pressure Surveys
  • Saltation
  • Entrapment
  • Damaged Equipment
  • Entrainment and Product Quality
  • Preheat and Crude Fouling
  • Leaks
  • Hot Vapor Bypass and Sealing
  • Vapor Blanketing
  • Heat Integration and Startup
  • Heat Flux Limits
  • Thermosyphon Reboilers
  • Gravity Flow and Open-Channel Flow
  • Unstable Systems
  • Compressible Flow: Transfer Lines
  • Nozzles
  • Pressure Balance Systems
  • Suction Conditions-NPSH and Suction Specific Speed
  • Multiple Pumps in Parallel
  • Low Head Applications
  • Fan Law Limits
  • Pass Balancing
  • Average Versus Peak Heat Flux and Coking
  • Heat Integration and Air Preheat
  • Environmental Control
  • Ejector Systems
  • Suction Constraints
  • Excessive Load
  • Precondenser Performance
  • Plugged Exchangers
  • Damaged Equipment
  • Liquid-Ring Low-Pressure Operation
  • Suction Conditions
  • Surge Control
  • Interstage Pressures
  • Capacity Restrictions
  • Instability
  • Impossible Constraints
  • Unsound Control Schemes
  • Instrument Installation Problems
  • Advanced Control Problems
  • Coalescers
  • Dryers
  • Salt Dryers
  • Drums
  • Gas Turbines
  • Gamma Scans: Uses and Limitations
  • Neutron Backscatter
  • Thermal Scanning
Who Should Attend:

Program participants will have the opportunity to obtain a broad working knowledge of troubleshooting principles and practice, to gain insight into both traditional and advanced techniques, and to interact with others working in plants. The program is ideal for personnel involved in refinery troubleshooting, process engineering, plant operations, and technical services. Process engineers from operating, design and construction companies, as well as others providing services to the petroleum and petrochemical industries, should also find this program beneficial.

Andrew W. Sloley
Andrew W. Sloley is an independent consultant with over 40 years of experience in the hydrocarbon processing industry. He has worked extensively on petrochemical and refining units. His specialty in this area has been on product separation, distillation, and heat integration. This has covered the range from crude and heavy oils to cryogenic systems for light-ends recovery and gas treating. His other responsibilities have included technology analysis, and economic evaluation. Andrew has authored or co-authored over 400 publications in these areas. He is currently a contributing editor on equipment and plant design for Chemical Processing magazine. He has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a licensed professional engineer in Texas. He has been involved in troubleshooting equipment and process problems with numerous clients.

Download Course Content

To register for this very valuable training, select a schedule below, and click Register:

Schedule Date Time PDH Venue/Platform Cost Register
Fall 2022 November 7 – 8, 2022 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Central Time (UTC -6)
16 hrs. Hyatt Place Houston-Northwest / Cy-Fair
Accepts in-person and virtual attendees
Spring 2023 April 24 – 25, 2023 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Central Time (UTC -6)
16 hrs. Hyatt Place Houston-Northwest / Cy-Fair
Accepts in-person and virtual attendees
Fall 2023 October 23 – 24, 2023 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Central Time (UTC -6)
16 hrs. Hyatt Place Houston-Northwest / Cy-Fair
Accepts in-person and virtual attendees

Virtual Training Platform:
GoToTraining is Becht’s interactive online training solution with the most reliable features to help you before, during, and after your sessions. GoToTraining is a robust training platform that engages participants/attendees virtually. Click here to learn more.

Cancellation Policy:
A full refund is available for cancellations more than 30 days before course start date. Within 30 days of course start date, course credit can be transferred to another attendee within the same company, or can be kept on file to be applied to a future Becht training course.

For information regarding the training course, contact the Training Coordinator at

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