Safe Working in the Refining Units

Risks Related to Products & Processes


Who should attend?

  • This course provides a technical information on the processes and highlights the risks related to the products and processes used to better anticipate the constraints associated with safety in preparation to works and interventions.
Audience :
  • Technical, manager or safety correspondent in a subcontracting company.

Level : Discovery

Course Content


      • Main components of petroleum products: hydrocarbon families and main impurities; risks related to the presence of aromatic compounds and benzene in particular, risks related to the presence of H2S.
      • Crude oils: properties, classifications, yields of petroleum cuts.
      • Main characteristics of commercial products, link with their composition, changes in the market structure and the product characteristics.
      • Risks related with flammability, LEL, UEL.

      • Operating principle, schemes of the industrial units, operating conditions:
      • Crude oil atmospheric distillation.
      • Separation of gases and gasolines.
      • Atmospheric residue vacuum distillation.
      • Risks of corrosion, crude desalting.
      • Purpose of the quality control tests related to volatility: vapor pressure, flash point; impact on the storage method.
      • Risks related to pressure: justification of the protection devices against overpressure, flare network.
      • Risks related to temperature: protection of personnel, risks of self-ignition in case of leak.
      • Specific risks related to the operation of furnaces: hazards of a pressurized furnace, depression and air supply to burners, risks related to the flow rate decrease in the passes, safety devices.
      • Risks related to the firing phases of a furnace.

      • Problem due to the improvement in octane number in gasoline cuts.
      • Principle of the processes, main equipment, operating conditions, role and action mode of the catalysts.
      • Justification of shutdowns for regeneration.
      • Risks related to hydrogen: LEL, UEL, corrosion, metallurgy aspect.

      • Problem due to the presence of sulfur in petroleum products.
      • Principle of the impurity removal from the petroleum cuts by hydrorefining: application to gasoil desulfurization.
      • Amine washing units, sulfur production units (Claus units), principle of complementary treatments (CLAUSPOL, SULFREEN, SCOT).
      • Justification of the shutdowns for regeneration.
      • Specific risks related to H2S: toxicity, flammability, corrosion; specific risks related to the formation of pyrophoric compounds; metallurgy aspect.
      • Specific risks related to the presence of nitrogen in a vessel.

      • Interest of heavy cut conversion, characteristics of the feedstock to be converted.
      • Conversion process principle, coke formation mechanism and consequences, industrial unit schemes, operating conditions: visbreaking of residue, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), hydrocracking.
      • Yields and quality of the products.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • describe the composition and the main characteristics of petroleum products, in particular those related to risks of flammability and toxicity,
  • identify the function and the operating conditions of the main refining units as well as risks associated with the operating conditions of the equipment involved,
  • explain to their staff the main hazards related to each type of refining unit.

Ways & Means

  • The course focuses on safety in daily interventions, in relation to each unit and each product produced in order to highlight the risks and the way to get protected from them.