Practical Risk Reduction for Refining Processes

Process safety has been emphasized in the petroleum refining and petrochemical industry over the decades. This is especially true in the refinery unit processes, where reactive and hazardous materials are handled at elevated temperatures and pressures. The guiding principles of inherent safety have been clearly illustrated by Trevor Kletz. While there is no argument against the concepts of inherent safety principles, the application of these principles often gives rise to a discussion of overall risk. The current research includes a literature review of the fundamental concepts and evaluation systems that have been applied to the petroleum industries for previously implemented risk reduction projects.

This project is an attempt to identify practical risk reduction options for the petroleum industry to make its operations inherently safer in a pro-active manner. Future directions of this research include an in-depth review of the hazards existing in the major processes in the petroleum industry and a comprehensive synthesis of the technology and equipment that have been used or proposed to enhance safety and reduce risk. General guidelines to evaluate a process in terms of the holistic impact to the greater system can be developed from this study.