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Petroleum and its derivative products—fuel, oil, plastics, and so on—are some of the most valuable substances on earth. Each day, the refineries that process crude oil produce gallons upon gallons of products for the entire world to use. It is hard and laborious work, for both personnel and the machines they operate. So taxing is the job of refining crude oil that machine malfunctions and failures are not unheard of, prompting workers to shut down their operations to fix the problems at hand.

Mitigating Refinery Turnaround Issues with Proper Fuel Management

Like any manufacturing or fabricating plant, refineries, too, need to take a break for maintenance purposes. These planned shutdowns are called turnarounds. While turnarounds are great opportunities for refineries to address any issues they might be experiencing, they can raise a lot of trouble on their own if not managed properly. Crude oil enterprises planning a refinery turnaround should consider having an onsite fuel service company like Apache Oil Company assist them in conducting the process.

Why Turnarounds Involve Third-Party Fuel Services

During a plant turnaround, a refinery stops all production for the scheduled maintenance procedure to follow. With the refinery inactive, no new petroleum products will be produced, creating a lull in the refinery’s supply. This can have catastrophic effects, as low supplies could lead to highly inflated prices in the market. There are other disadvantages to turnarounds, aside from the risk of inducing inflation:

  • Turnarounds can cost the refinery precious income that could have been theirs. With their plant inactive, refineries can only watch in horror as their customers turn to their competitors for petroleum.
  • Even a single major turnaround can leave an area’s already-delicate fuel market vulnerable. If another refinery suddenly shuts down while one is in a turnaround (perhaps due to an accident or malfunction), the petroleum shortage it creates can be devastating.

Refineries planning to stage a turnaround will most definitely need an onsite fuel service company to keep the supply constant, or at least stable enough. With an onsite fuel service, refineries can continue to distribute batches of their product to their customers with little to no risk of supply shortages. Once the maintenance has been completed, the onsite fuel services will have accomplished their task and refineries can get back to business and hit their usual production numbers.


Aligning Priorities to Yield Successful Turnarounds, refinerlink.com

Shutdowns and Turnarounds in the Oil and Gas Industry, oilandgasiq.com

Posted on Jun 3, 2015

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Kenny Isbell

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