Maintenance solutions Shutdown

Turnaround Work in Oil and Gas Refinery


Oil and gas refinery is a complex and crucial industry that significantly impacts the global economy. Refineries are large and intricate machines that must run continuously to keep up with the world’s growing demand for energy. Refineries require maintenance, including shutdowns or “turnarounds,” to maintain this production level.

Turnaround work in refineries is a big job that requires careful planning, skilled labor, and complete adherence to safety regulations. This blog post will explore what turnaround work in an oil and gas refinery entails, the steps involved in planning and executing a successful turnaround, and the tools and technologies used to make the process more efficient.

What is a Turnaround in a Refinery?

A refinery turnaround is a scheduled shutdown in which a refinery is overhauled and undergoes maintenance to keep it running at optimal levels. Refineries are typically shut down every three to five years for turnaround work. During this time, the entire facility is inspected, repaired, and cleaned. This regular maintenance ensures that all of the equipment is in good working order, which reduces the risk of expensive repairs or accidents. The turnaround is also a time for the refinery to adapt to any new regulatory requirements or changes in market demand.

Planning a Successful Turnaround in Refinery

Turnaround planning is a complex process that requires coordination and cooperation between different departments within the refinery. Planning typically takes six to twelve months and involves various tasks, including selecting contractors, defining job scopes, and organizing logistics. Some critical functions in turnaround planning include:

  • Risk Assessment: The refinery will thoroughly review all aspects of the turnaround, identifying any risks and developing plans to mitigate them.
  • Scope Definition: Each maintenance activity is defined and divided into smaller, more manageable packages.
  • Scheduling and Resource Allocation: The work packages are scheduled, and resources are allocated.
  • Contractor Selection and Management: Contractors are selected based on their experience, qualifications, and safety records.

Executing a Successful Turnaround in Refinery

The most critical phase of any turnaround is the execution phase. Execution typically takes four to eight weeks and involves thousands of contractors and workers. During the execution phase, safety is of utmost importance, and all work is carried out according to a strict set of procedures and regulations. Some of the critical steps involved in executing a successful turnaround include:

  • Turnaround Project Management: The project’s scope is managed using software that tracks all the work packages and communicates any delays or overruns.

  • Safety Management: A comprehensive safety program is implemented, and safety is monitored and enforced throughout the entire turnaround.
  • Quality Control: Rigorous quality control processes are in place to ensure that all work is up to industry standards and codes.

Mobile apps enable workers to access real-time information about the turnaround work and communicate with each other. FAT FINGER has a library of customizable shutdown and maintenance checklists that can help you create shutdown plans for your plant. Its thorough checklist can ensure proper planning and execution of shutdowns, which can help your manufacturing plant run efficiently.

Turnaround work is essential to the refining process, ensuring facilities are maintained, safe, and compliant with industry standards. With careful planning, skilled labor, and the use of cutting-edge technology, turnaround work can be executed efficiently and safely, reducing downtime and improving the overall performance of the refinery.


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