“But we’re different, you know” (Part 1)
PSM in Different Industries: Oil Refineries
In any industry there is a tendency for specialists to believe that only they can address the problems of their particular operation. They do not readily accept that people from other industries can make a contribution.
With regard to process safety management (PSM) this attitude is generally incorrect. Certainly, there are differences between industries, but those differences are relatively minor compared to the concepts and programs that they share. The elements of Process Safety can be used in all process industries. Nevertheless, there are differences in the way process safety is used and managed in different operations.
In this series of posts we will look at different types of operation that fall within the broad topic of “process industries”. Each of these operations has distinctive features. However, it is important to recognize that, when it comes to managing process safety, the different industries have a tremendous amount in common. The similarities far outweigh the differences.
Different types of operation that fall within the general umbrella of “process industries” include the following.
Onshore oil and gas,
Offshore oil and gas (exploration and drilling),
Offshore oil and gas (production), and
We will look at some of these industries in future posts. Let’s start with oil refineries.
Oil that comes from the ground is a mixture of many hydrocarbons, ranging from light components such as butane to heavy, tar-like materials. (The composition will vary considerably depending on the source of the crude oil. Crude from Saudi Arabia, for example, has a high fraction of light components, whereas crude from Venezuela is much heavier.)
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