Smith & Burgess' Blog

Top Ten Things Affecting the Quality of your Relief Validation Study

Posted by Brandon Ring on Feb 24, 2019 1:31:43 PM

Pressure relief systems and devices are used to prevent equipment and pipework from over-pressurization which can lead to mechanical failure and associated release of containment.

In order to function correctly, relief systems need to be properly designed to recognized standards, correctly installed and properly maintained. Changes to associated plant and pipework also need to be appropriately managed; often, seemingly unrelated changes can have an impact on the relief case of the system and render it incapable of protecting the system as designed. This is seen particularly on older plants with poor change management history.

The following list provides some details on the areas you should focus on when improving the quality of your Relief Validation Study.

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Topics: Process Safety Optimization, Engineering Review, Engineering Analysis, Relief System Design, Relief Systems Revalidation

Case Study: Flare Modifications Due to Rate Increase

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Dec 6, 2018 4:28:04 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery was in the process of installing a site-wide rate increase and hired a competing engineering firm to perform the feasibility study. The engineering firm sized their crude fractionator and recommended new relief devices that would require modifications to their existing flare header. The refinery’s corporate office called Smith & Burgess and asked us to perform a third-party review on the engineering firm’s recommendations. 

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Topics: Flare Study, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Engineering Review, Flare Header, Third Party Review

Case Study: Relief Systems Evaluation and Mitigation

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on May 1, 2018 6:04:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States Refinery hired Smith & Burgess to perform a site-wide revalidation.

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Topics: Pressure Relief Valves, Relief Systems, Case Study, Refinery, Engineering Review, PRV Study, PRV, Relief System Design, Relief Systems Revalidation, Undersized PSVs

Case Study: Elimination of a Remote Flare System

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Mar 4, 2018 6:09:00 PM

The Opportunity:

An offshore floating production facility was originally designed with two flares: one on a boom riser and the other remotely located. Due to the design, the remotely located flare required large amounts of gas to operate. The site was interested in reducing operational costs and emissions by consolidating the two flares into the flare on the boom riser, eliminating the remotely located flare. However, there were concerns with the feasibility of such a flare consolidation, the effects of thermal radiation, and the possibility that system changes would increase the backpressures on the relief devices. Smith & Burgess was hired to review this system.

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Topics: Flare Mitigation, Flare Analysis, Flare Study, Case Study, Flare System, Refinery, Engineering Review, Flare Header, Flare Management, Flare Optimization

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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

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