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Panel Operator Training Course

35 days OPE/FBMOC-E
  • Experienced field operators moving on to panel operator positions in refining and petrochemical plants.
  • To provide basic knowledge and know-how for a rapid mastery of panel operator skills.
Learning Objectives
  • To be familiar with their duties and control room organization.
  • To communicate efficiently with colleagues.
  • To acquire the necessary theoretical foundations to understand how production processes work.
  • To read and analyze process control schemes (PFDs, P&IDs, control schemes, logic diagrams).
  • To understand the risks related to equipment and machinery operation; and enforce adequate preventive actions.
  • To adapt the plant process parameters according to operating conditions, products quality, energy consumption and environmental constraints.
  • To determine possible causes of a disturbance from process analysis and act accordingly, in a methodical way.
  • To anticipate possible consequences of a disturbance affecting the process.
Ways and means
  • Training involves on-site work and supervision from mentors in the plant.
  • Case studies and applications on generic dynamic simulators: half of the course takes place in the training center.
  • Interactive delivery method.
Customized simulators may be used as a complement to this training program.

Panel operator duties and control room activities 2 days
  • Panel operator role within the operation team; control room staff. Reporting and handover duties.
  • Plant documentation: inventory, content, usage, role and duties of the panel operator.
Basic professional training 4 days
  • Notions of industrial chemistry. Fluid mechanics: pressure, flowrates, fluid flow, pressure drops.
  • Heat exchange: exchange mechanisms, resistance to heat transfer.
  • Liquid-vapor equilibrium of pure substances and mixtures.
  • Simulators: impact of operating parameters on the chemical reaction, heat exchanges, flash drum.
Process control, automation & DCS usage 6 days
  • Process control
  • Constitution of a control loop, symbols used. Sensors and transmitters. Control valves.
  • Controllers operating principles, inputs/outputs, internal parameters and tuning.
  • Complex control loops (cascade, split range, multiple calculation blocks).
  • Simulators: Valves characteristic curves. PID parameters tuning. Heat exchanger duty control. Split range configuration. Behavior analysis of complex control loops.
  • Distributed Control System (DCS)
  • Architecture and system components. Man - Machine Interface (MMI). Trends tools. Information flux between site and control room.
  • Automation
  • Safety instrumented systems: PSS, ESD, HIPPS, EDP; architecture and relationship with DCS. Safety logics and cause & effect matrix
  • PLCs and automation: grafcet analysis, study of specific sequences.
  • Simulators: structure of the ESD system on a two-phase drum; furnace safety logics.
Equipment operation 8 days
  • For each: working principles, technology, ancillary systems, process control scheme monitoring, operation, alarms, safety devices.
  • Pumps, compressors, drivers
  • Simulators: operation of two pumps in parallel, pumps switch; changes in operating conditions, capacity control, troubleshooting of a compressor; start-up of a steam turbine driven centrifugal compressor.
  • Thermal equipment: heat exchangers, air coolers, furnaces, boilers
  • Simulators: fouling of a heat exchanger; changing fuel supplied to burners, coil fouling, ...
  • Specific equipment for a given assignment unit (gas turbines, solid handling, extruders ...).
Products and processes 6 days
  • Composition and physico-chemical properties of feeds and products.
  • Commercial products quality requirements, specification and standard tests. Mixing rules.
  • Process units: role, principles, main equipment, specific hazards. Influence of the main operating parameters on the operation, consequences on process and products. Material balance.
  • Distillation, absorption, stripping.
  • Utilities: flare systems, air production, effluent treatment units, steam, waters treatments, …
  • Simulators: start-up and shutdown, operation and control of various process units (for instance: two-product distillation columns, multi draw-off distillation column, amine absorption and regeneration, sulfur recovery unit, hydrotreatment unit).
Integrated plant safe operation 6 days
  • Panel Operator safe behavior
  • Radio communication, other communication equipment. Teamwork, responsibilities sharing.
  • Alertness, forward thinking plant operation. Alarms management.
  • Application: role plays using the simulators (with panel operator views and FODs).
  • HSE in operation
  • Product, equipment and process-related risks; prevention and protection.
  • Risks related to operation of equipment, to decommissioning-commissioning and start-up of equipment, specific prevention measures.
  • Routine operations. Permit to work, work order, consignations and isolations.
  • Special operations: SIMOPS, black start. Emergency operation and crisis management.
  • Impact of plant operation on gas release to atmosphere and on the waste water treatment unit.
  • Integrated plant operation
  • Steady state runs: routine checks, integrated plant behavior (inertia, interferences), global performances.
  • Identification, analysis and reaction to upsets and equipment failures; stabilization.
  • Simulators: field round on a running process unit; commissioning, start-up and shutdown procedures, justifications of different steps; inhibitions management; operations in downgraded situations; practice of emergency operations.
Assessment 3 days
  • Continuous assessment (incl. practical exercises on simulators).
  • Final test with real-life situation simulation exercises to validate objectives.