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A plant shutdown is necessary for all oil or gas refineries. During the shutdown, necessary inspections and repairs are carried out in order to ensure the smooth running of all machineries and equipment until the following year’s turnaround. When done properly, the refinery will have lower risk for emergency shutdowns or repair, and can thus be productive and safe all year through.


In many ways a plant shutdown or turnaround is a necessary evil. On one hand the refinery will lose production for a few days and will be unable to earn, but on the other hand the turnaround will make sure the plant will be optimally productive for the rest of the year.

As one would imagine, planning and executing a refinery turnaround is not a simple task. There are numerous factors that must be considered to ensure that everything goes according to schedule. If not done correctly, the consequences could be dire, not only for the plant itself, but the overall oil economy as well. Here are a few things to consider when planning a quick but effective turnaround:

  • Time – Time is the biggest concern during a turnaround. The longer the repairs take to finish, the more the supply in the market will drop. Once the supply drops, two things are expected to happen: the first is that companies will observe a decrease in income, and second, the price of oil will rise in the public market. It is extremely dangerous for the oil supply to drop significantly because it will affect a lot of households and businesses with strict budgets.
  • Budget – A quicker turnaround would have to mean you spending more money on manpower and machinery; however the more money is spent on repairs, the longer it will take for the company to recover their expenses. Similarly, the longer the repair takes, the more “no income” days there will be.
  • Stock and Supply – Before a turnaround process, it is ideal to have stocked a large amount of oil that should at least last until all repairs are finished. Pay attention to when repairs are behind schedule, as the supply can run dangerously low.

To help with your turnaround, contact a trusted emergency fuel-service like Apache Oil Company. This will ensure that your facility will have enough supply of oil until the turnaround is completed.

Managing a Successful Temporary Plant Shutdown and Return to Service, Area Development
Shutdowns and Turnarounds in the Oil and Gas Industry, Oil and Gas IQ

Posted on Sep 23, 2015

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Kenny Isbell

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