Refining and Petrochemicals

The refining and petrochemical industries are a significant part of the world economy, so avoiding unscheduled downtime is more important than ever. Beyond simple delays, a single failure incident can cause injury, loss of life, extensive property damage, and loss of production. With over 40 years of experience in accident investigation and failure analysis, Exponent is a leader in the investigation and prevention of refining and petrochemical process accidents. Our project experience ranges from the analysis of small-equipment failures to investigation of the catastrophic loss of an entire production facility. In addition, our expertise has enabled us to assist clients in understanding the limits and capabilities of their refineries and petrochemical plants. This experience provides a valuable knowledge base of lessons learned for assisting clients in evaluating and improving the safety of their facilities. 

Exponent engineers and scientists have unique insights in various risk and reliability, environmental impact, and health assessments, to help clients improve the safety practices and procedures for their personnel, processes, and facilities, and minimize operational disruptions and property loss. Additionally, our expertise in risk assessment, release characterization, dispersion modeling, vapor-cloud explosion analysis, industrial hygiene, toxicology, and epidemiology allows us to comprehensively examine the consequences of both hypothetical and actual releases of toxic and flammable substances. Our expertise in site investigation, environmental fate and transport, modeling, and remediation allows us to provide groundwater and soil remediation support, as needed.

Further, Exponent is actively involved in providing business continuity assessment services for owners and operators of onshore refining and petrochemical process facilities. These assessments focus on naturally occurring hazards such as hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as man-made hazards, such as vapor-cloud explosions. Exponent can provide probabilistic and deterministic hazard definitions, onsite inspections, structural and material load and stress analyses using advanced modeling tools, vulnerability determinations, probable maximum loss estimations for property and business, and mitigation planning. The broad range of expertise among various Exponent practices enables us to offer clients the skills necessary to conduct such assessments in a thorough and timely manner. The benefits include better understanding of employee exposures to potentially hazardous situations, current knowledge of asset vulnerabilities, identification of opportunities for cost-effective mitigation measures to reduce potential losses, and better knowledge of loss exposures from an insurance perspective.

For specific services that we offer for the Refining and Petrochemical Industry, please visit our Practices and Industries page. 

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