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Production Process Insights

Improving Refinery Sampling With ProShield Service

Posted by Randy Cruse on 3/29/21 8:00 AM

Improving Refinery Sampling as an Oil and Gas Service Provider

Gleaning insights from sampling equipment is essential to product quality, safety and operational processes. A comprehensive sampling program including full service and support helps your plant expertly manage these elements by combining product updates and technical expertise.

Oil and Gas companies undergo multiple processes and personnel changes during the lifetime of their sampling equipment. Proper equipment installation and maintenance services help ensure that your system can navigate these changes and anticipate future maintenance and improvement needs, regardless of equipment brand, age, or sampling process.

An adequately managed representative sampling system with the right sampling equipment ensures process samples are repeatable and reliable, every time to help refineries:

  • Maximize return on investment
  • Better manage loss control
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Comply with industry standards

However, sampling in a refinery often doesn’t fall into an existing area of responsibility, and the care and support of sampling equipment are often pushed on operations by default. Refineries operate sampling systems as separate entities managed by various locations and operators that don’t have a big-picture look at how the entire system is performing.

Also, plant personnel is often not up to date on the latest technology and sampling techniques to maximize their program’s effectiveness. Small, overlooked items can make a significant impact on safety, production and compliance.

While day-to-day plant operation isn’t usually a problem with adequate training, many refineries and petrochemical plants need a comprehensive sampling management program that far exceeds procedures and process engineering obligations.

CASE STUDY: Supporting Operations With comprehensive service

A leading downstream energy company approached Sentry Equipment to help the corporation develop and maintain a cohesive sampling program that controlled the entire sampling process. The company operates the nation’s most extensive refining system, with more than 3 million barrels per day of crude oil capacity across 16 refineries.

As an oil and gas service provider, Sentry’s ProShield Lifecycle Services brought a team to assess and improve the sampling installation and refinery processes.

Migrated to New Sample Needles. This company moved from a two-needle design in its sampler equipment to the Sentry Cobra SS sampler with a unique coaxial needle system, which dramatically reduces the risk of bent or broken needles. As a result, the company has reported significant reductions in emissions and unplanned events.

Installed Sight Flow Indicators. A sight flow indicator was added on existing cylinder panels sampling LPG processes. Now, operators can visually confirm that a sample stream is flowing as specified through a cycle without disrupting the process or flow. Sight flow indicators provide a safe way for operators to monitor high pressure closed-loop sampling processes. This also gives the site an evacuation step to ensure cylinder outage.

Trained Personnel. Sentry Equipment performed comprehensive training for operations and maintenance personnel to help them better understand proper troubleshooting techniques, preventive maintenance and general care of their sampling assets.

Conducted a Sampling Asset Audit. During an on-site visit with this customer, our experts assessed every sample point and developed a spreadsheet with sampler information, key components and process information. They also recommended corrective actions, upgrades or improvements, and replacements where necessary. 

Conducting a site-wide sampling audit evaluated the plant’s sampling program to ensure that all sampling stations seamlessly worked together. This comprehensive audit also helped operators and managers develop a clear plan of action to ensure their processes remain safe and running correctly.

A specialized sampling audit can also help guide plants in making critical business decisions and implementing high-quality sampling processes.

Equipment Installation. Since the audit, Sentry Equipment has installed several sampling equipment pieces to ensure best practices are used for tie-in points, block valves, and utility and vent conditioning.

Through our ProShield Install and Retrofit services, full service and support can help improve the efficiency of a single sampler or an entire sampling and analysis system. By protecting plant assets, we help you confidently ensure your plant operators' safety and maintain uninterrupted production.

Learn how Sentry’s ProShield Install and Retrofit services can help your facility.

Learn More About Sentry ProShield Lifecycle Services

Topics: Downstream, Liquid & Slurry, Gas

Written by Randy Cruse

Picture of Randy Cruse
As Senior Service Manager, Randy dedicates his lengthy career to developing and delivering service programs designed specifically for refineries and their sampling programs. He understands the risks and safety requirements that come along with being a service provider in the Oil & Gas industry and brings that expertise to each and every call.