Project Synopsis

Develop refinery process safety information for the purpose of compliance with OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) and EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, an independent U.S. petroleum refinery, to develop the following process safety information:

  • Process descriptions with process chemistry
  • Maximum intended inventories (MII)
  • Safe operating limits (SOL)
  • Material interaction matrices (MIM)
  • Relief valve sizing summary.

The information that was developed for each category is described below.

Process Descriptions
PROCESS documented the process chemistry in the process descriptions for all units throughout the refinery that have chemical reactions occurring within their processes.

Maximum Intended Inventories (MII)
PROCESS developed an Excel spreadsheet for determining the maximum intended hazardous liquid inventories for a selected processing zone of the refinery.  The zone consists of a Delayed Coker Unit, Amine Unit, Sulfur Recovery Unit, Tail Gas Treating Unit, and a Sour Water Stripper Unit.  The spreadsheet summarizes the MII for each process unit in a separate tab.  Each tab uses a volume function created in Visual Basic that uses the equipment data entered in the spreadsheet and calculates the equipment volume based on the equipment type selected from a drop-down list. The spreadsheet reports the MII in both volume (barrels) and mass (pounds).

Safe Operating Limits (SOL)
PROCESS developed SOL tables for the zone using information from P&IDs, process flow diagrams (PFDs), operating procedures, current Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) tables, Cause and Effect Diagrams, the zone Alarm Summary, and interviews with operations personnel.  The SOL tables contain the upper and lower limits for safe operation of the units.  The tables also contain the consequences of deviations for exceeding the SOLs, detection capability, automatic corrective actions, and manual corrective actions.

Material Interaction Matrices (MIM)
PROCESS developed the MIM for the processing zone using information from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), P&IDs, PFDs, Piping Specifications, Equipment Files, and Material Selection Diagrams. The matrices can be used as a reference tool for identifying incompatibilities of material interactions, including process material, injection chemicals, and materials of construction.

Relief Valve Sizing Summary
PROCESS developed the pressure safety valve (PSV) summary tables from pressure relief valve (PRV) sizing documentation, selection reports, and other supporting documentation as found in the processing zone detail design books.

Industry Type

  • Petroleum Refining

Utilized Skills

  • Plant process data collection
  • Process safety program assistance

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