Smith & Burgess' Blog

Case Study: SIL Design

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Dec 2, 2017 6:05:00 PM

The Opportunity:

As part of a relief valve study, a competing engineering firm recommended a major United States refinery to replace multiple relief valves and modify the associated piping on a column system in order to mitigate for a higher flare load. The proposed changes would have cost the refinery approximately $300,000. Unsure of the recommendations and associated expenses, the refinery reached out to Smith & Burgess to review the EPC’s findings.

Read More

Topics: Pressure Relief Valves, Case Study, Refinery, SIL Design, SIS Design, PRV Study, Third Party Review, Overly Conservative Assumptions

Case Study: Third Party Relief Valve Mitigation Review

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Nov 1, 2017 6:03:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major US refinery used a competing engineering contractor to perform a flare and relief systems analysis. Upon completion of the project, the refinery was left with a list of facility upgrades that management deemed excessive. Smith & Burgess was hired to review the relief and flare systems documentation and provide engineering solutions that met corporate and industry requirements.

Read More

Topics: Pressure Relief Valves, Relief Systems, Flare Mitigation, Action Item Resolution, Case Study, Refinery, Engineering Review, PRV Study, Third Party Review, Overly Conservative Assumptions, PRV, Relief System Design, Relief Systems Revalidation, Relief Valve Mitigation, Mitigation

Case Study: Facility Siting

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Sep 8, 2017 6:06:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery was recommended to spend $2 Million on a temporary blast proof tent during turnaround from a facility siting study conducted by a third-party contractor.

Read More

Topics: Facility Siting, Case Study, Refinery, Engineering Review, RAGAGEP, Third Party Review, Overly Conservative Assumptions, Engineering Analysis

Case Study: Gas Plant Detailed Relief System Design Review

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Sep 1, 2017 6:04:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A recent audit of a “rebuild” design package for a major Asian gas plant identified that the EPC may have failed to follow company or industry standards. The owner needed an engineering review of the entire facilities’ relief systems designs prior to their start up in two months. Any deficiencies in company or industry standards needed to be addressed prior to the facilities’ start up.

Read More

Topics: Pressure Relief Valves, Relief Systems, Case Study, Engineering Review, Gas Plant, PRV Study, Third Party Review, PRV, Relief System Design

Case Study: PSM / RMP Refinery-Wide Audit

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Aug 14, 2017 6:05:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United State refinery was proactively ensuring compliance for their PSM Program in preparation for OSHA’s NEP Program. The refinery contacted Smith & Burgess to share best practices on performing PSM / Internal Audits and used this opportunity to train their corporate and site staff to perform future PSM audits.

Read More

Topics: Case Study, Refinery, Industry Compliance, Compliance, OSHA, RMP Audit, PSM Audit, Regulatory Compliance, NEP Audit

Employee Spotlight: Shannon Garcia

Posted by Brandon Ring on Aug 7, 2017 6:02:00 PM



Ms. Shannon Garcia  
|  Corporate Controller

A transplant to Texas from The Grand Canyon State (Arizona) over 23 years ago, Ms. Garcia is Smith & Burgess' Accounting Manager and the oil that keeps our organization running smooth. Thanks to her experience executing financial software conversions, Shannon joined Smith & Burgess over five years ago to help support the company's growing needs.

Today she is a valued member of the Management Team and responsible for overseeing the General Accounting and Financial Reporting functions. With over twenty years of corporate accounting experience, Shannon works closely with all of Smith & Burgess' departments to help keep them in the black!

Read More

Topics: Smith & Burgess News, Employee Spotlight

Case Study: Flare Bid Review Package

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jul 25, 2017 6:02:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery was in the process of purchasing a new flare system and needed assistance reviewing the bid package from the vendors. The refinery decided that the system was needed based on the outcome of a facility-wide flare study and flare QRA. The new flare system was specified by an EPC and then bid by a major flare vendor. This refinery heard of Smith & Burgess’ flare design expertise and decided to hire us in order to review their vendor’s design package.

Read More

Topics: Flare Study, Detailed Engineering, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Engineering Review

Part 2: 3 Steps to Integrate "Flare System Management" into Your Project Life-cycle and Maximize the Benefits

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jun 28, 2017 12:29:00 PM

 

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?

Part 1: 3 Steps to Integrate "Flare System Management" into Your Project Life-cycle and Maximize the Benefits

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jun 28, 2017 12:23:00 PM

The Evolution of American Refining:

Refineries and petrochemical facilities today are faced with a choice: either increase efficiencies and throughputs or be put out to pasture. While the capacity of the average refinery has almost doubled in the past 30 years, per Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, the capacity of the average flare system generally has not. This is not a mere academic issue. In the US, the number of operating refineries dwindled from ~200 in 1985 to only 137 thirty years later (per the EIA); over the same thirty years, the total US throughput has increased by 25% (or significantly more depending on how you quantify the increase in complexity).

This growth in capacities and efficiencies is instrumental in succeeding amongst the rigors of a "keep up or be left behind" economy. Driven by major projects, these process changes include adding new equipment, changing existing processes, and creating more integrated heating and cooling.

However, during all the major project pushes, one thing is often lost, overlooked, or left for the last minute: integrating changes into the existing flare system and doing so in a manner that provides the maximum benefit to the organization.

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?

Top 7 Mistakes Lurking in your Relief Valve Calculation Database (and How to Avoid Them)

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jun 23, 2017 1:26:00 PM

 

 

#7) Relief Valve Database is Outdated Due to Changes in Process

So, you receive your relief valve data base from your Process Safety Consultant and just like a computer bought anytime in history, it is out of date before you open the box. Changes happen at a pretty high pace in most facilities. Dealing with Management of Change must include the effect of the change on the Relief System Database and documentation. Not keeping this documentation up to date makes your relief system documentation almost as valuable as that "new" computer.

TIP: Dedicate resources to keep this relief valve database up to date. These resources could be a team of process engineers, a dedicated relief system expert, or a Process Safety Consultant. Process Safety Consultants can provide this service on a T&M basis, so you only pay for what you use and they bring their experienced knowledge base to perform this function efficiently.

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?

Case Study: Gas Plant PSM Audit

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jun 20, 2017 6:06:00 PM

The Opportunity:

Regulators will often require that a facility review their process safety management systems on a routine basis. These audits can be performed with internal or external resources. A PSM covered gas plant in the U.S. wanted to hire a consultant to perform an audit. Furthermore, the site wanted the results presented in such a way that they could understand and improve upon the shortfalls of their PSM systems. Based on conversations with other gas plants in the region, the site selected Smith & Burgess to perform the audit.

Read More

Topics: Process Safety Management, Case Study, RAGAGEP, PSM, PSM Review, Industry Compliance, Compliance, PSM Audit, Gas Plant, Regulatory Compliance, Gap Assessment, Engineering Standards

Employee Spotlight: Jason Spearow

Posted by Brandon Ring on Jun 1, 2017 5:46:00 PM



Mr. Jason Spearow, P.E.  
|  Senior Process Consultant

Mr. Spearow is a degreed professional chemical engineer, with over ten years in Process Safety Management, specializing in Relief Systems and Flare Design and Concern Resolution. Jason provides comprehensive relief systems expertise to efficiently solve a client's need in the most cost-effective and safe manner.

Jason has led over 30 domestic and global projects for Upstream and Downstream Oil & Gas Operators and Chemical Manufacturing facilities. Jason is also an experienced trainer responsible for new-hire onboarding and teaches the Relief Systems Design Course offered by Smith & Burgess.

Read More

Topics: Smith & Burgess News, Relief Systems Design Training, Employee Spotlight

Case Study: Flare Gas Recovery Equipment Review

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on May 23, 2017 6:08:00 PM

The Opportunity:

In order to meet the minimum corporate and regulatory requirements, a major United States refinery was implementing a Flare Gas Recovery Unit (FGRU) and needed assistance to ensure that the proposed equipment was suitable for their location. The EPC company selected for the project was skilled at refinery greenfield and upgrade projects, but had limited experience with complex flare systems. Smith & Burgess was hired to provide owners with an engineering review of the detailed engineering package prior to final acceptance and construction.

Read More

Topics: Flare Analysis, Flare Study, Flare Gas Recovery, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Engineering Review, Flare Management, Engineering Standards, FGRU

Did You Know: Vessels Riding on Flare...

Posted by Brandon Ring on May 1, 2017 5:53:00 PM

 

Did you know, When performing a flare header analysis, it is not uncommon to find pressure vessels that ride on the flare, i.e. they have an open path to the flare header?

These vessels are often degassing drums, maintenance knock out drums, or other similar equipment. While there are practically never any relief loads from these equipment contributing to the global scenarios we typically evaluate, it is still important to ensure that the pressure in the drum does not exceed the code allowable accumulation.

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?, Pressure Relief Valves, Flare Header, PRV, Relief Header, Flare Header Analysis

Case Study: Flare Maintenance Operations

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Apr 17, 2017 6:08:00 PM

The Opportunity:

After a routine preventative maintenance inspection, a refinery found that a major flare header was in need of replacement. This header connected two large sections of the refinery, and the management feared that a majority of the facility would need to be shut down to safely replace the header. The site hired Smith & Burgess to perform a Flare Header QRA to determine the minimum amount of necessary shutdowns in order to safely perform the line replacement. The Flare Quantitative Risk Assessment used load probabilities to determine the likelihood of various events, should a power failure occur.

Read More

Topics: Flare Mitigation, Flare Analysis, Flare Study, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Engineering Review, Flare Header, Flare Management, Flare Optimization, Engineering Standards, Quantitative Risk Assessment, QRA, Rate Increase

Case Study: Flare System Optimization I

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Feb 4, 2017 6:09:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery worked with an EPC on the site’s action items where they recommended a new flare worth approximately $30 Million. The refinery wanted a third-party review on the EPC’s recommendation and hired Smith & Burgess to verify their results.

Read More

Topics: Action Item Resolution, Flare Study, Heat and Material Balance, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Flare Load Optimization, Flare Revalidation, Third Party Review, Flare Optimization, Overly Conservative Assumptions

Case Study: Action Item Resolution I

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Feb 1, 2017 6:00:00 PM

The Opportunity:

Over the course of a four year time period, a major United States refinery was inundated with over 1,000 action items and asked Smith & Burgess to provide recommended resolutions.

Read More

Topics: Action Item Resolution, Case Study, Refinery, PSM, PSM Review, PSM Audit, Mitigation

Employee Spotlight: Nicholas Cristea

Posted by Brandon Ring on Feb 1, 2017 5:47:00 PM



Mr. Nicholas Cristea  
|  Technical Lead

Mr. Cristea is a detail oriented Master-degreed chemical engineer specializing in Process Safety Management, with the main focus in Relief Systems Analysis and Documentation. He is a practical problem solver who makes quick, accurate decisions to efficiently solve a client's need in the most cost-effective and safe manner.

Nick has led over 20 domestic and global projects in Tier 1 Upstream and Downstream, Upstream Oil & Gas Operators, and Chemical Manufacturing Facilities with a total direct project revenue of over $10 million and savings generated in the region of $70 million.

Read More

Topics: Smith & Burgess News, Employee Spotlight

Case Study: Action Item Resolution II

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jan 1, 2017 5:59:00 PM

The Opportunity:

The Process Superintendent at a large specialty chemical manufacturing complex had over 600 open action items that were past due and needed direction on how to close them. The action items were assigned to the unit engineers who were unable to dedicate the necessary time.

Read More

Topics: Action Item Resolution, Case Study, Refinery, PSM, PSM Review, PSM Audit, Mitigation

Did You Know: Cold Differential Test Pressure (CDTP)...

Posted by Brandon Ring on Jan 1, 2017 5:55:00 PM

 

Did you know, under certain circumstances, you need to verify if the Cold Differential Test Pressure (CDTP) is properly compensated for the superimposed backpressure from the flare header?

Have you come across a conventional pressure relief valve relieving to a flare header? Did you know that, under certain circumstances, you need to verify if the Cold Differential Test Pressure (CDTP) is properly compensated for the superimposed backpressure from the flare header?

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?, Pressure Relief Valves, Flare Header, API 521, PRV, Cold Differential Test Pressure, CDTP, Relief Header, Set Pressure

Case Study: Flare System Velocity Concern Review

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Nov 16, 2016 6:07:00 PM

The Opportunity:

After reading about flare header failures due to high velocities, an owner of a production platform in the Middle East wanted to ensure that the initial inerting/purging of the platform and pipeline would not result in flare header piping failure. Smith & Burgess was hired to review the flare systems for safe operation under the high flow rates associated with the initial facility start-up.

Read More

Topics: Flare Mitigation, Flare Analysis, Flare Study, Detailed Engineering, Case Study, Flare System, Engineering Review, Flare Management, Flare Optimization, Engineering Analysis, Rate Increase, API 521

Case Study: Flare System Optimization II

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Aug 9, 2016 6:07:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery was recommended by an EPC to install a new flare worth approximately $60 Million. Unsatisfied with the EPC's recommendations, the refinery asked Smith & Burgess to perform a third-party review to verify their results.

Read More

Topics: Flare Mitigation, Flare Analysis, Flare Study, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Engineering Review, Flare Management, Flare Revalidation, Third Party Review, Flare Optimization, Overly Conservative Assumptions, Engineering Analysis

Did You Know: Liquid Service PSVs...

Posted by Brandon Ring on Jul 1, 2016 5:52:00 PM

 

Did you know, a relief device in liquid service does not always mean that the device is liquid-certified?

Liquid-certified devices are mechanically designed and sized by an engineer to relieve liquid. Per UG-125 of ASME Section VIII, "Vessels that are to operate completely filled with liquid shall be equipped with pressure relief devices designed for liquid service, unless otherwise protected against overpressure."

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?, Pressure Relief Valves, API 521, PRV, Liquid Service PSV

Did You Know: Exit Pipe Fitting...

Posted by Brandon Ring on Jun 1, 2016 5:56:00 PM

 

Did you know to exclude the exit pipe fitting in your PSV outlet pressure drop calculations if your PSV discharges to atmosphere?

If you have performed an outlet pressure drop calculation for a PSV relieving to atmosphere, you may have noticed that often a significant portion of the pressure drop is contributed by the exit pipe fitting. This is because the equivalent resistance of the fitting is high relative to a typical length of pipe.

Read More

Topics: Did You Know?, Pressure Relief Valves, PRV, Pressure Drop Calculations, Pressure Drop, Exit Pipe Fitting

 Safety Knowledge Should be Share...

“It should not be necessary for each generation to rediscover the principles of process safety which the generation before discovered. We must learn from the experience of others rather than learn the hard way. We must pass on to the next generation a record of what we have learned.” - Jesse C. Ducommun, Safety Pioneer
 
As Process Safety engineers and consultants, we believe our unique position creates a responsibility for Smith & Burgess to share our years of accumulated safety knowledge.


>>> Keep up-to-date with our latest Process Safety knowledge, research, and content by subscribing below. >>>

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

Post By Topic

See all