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Case History: Sudden Drop and Tilt of an Operating Coke Drum

Presented By

Bobby Wright - Becht Engineering with a US Operating Company

Dave Dewes - Becht Engineering with a US Operating Company



A US Refining Co. had an unscheduled shutdown in December 2018 of their Coker caused by severe skirt and skirt to shell cracking in one of their six coke drums. This presentation outlines what caused the cracking, the repairs made to get the drum back in service in the short term, and development of a long-term plan to reliably run the drums and unit for the next two turnaround cycles.

Recommendations include process and operational guidance from Subject Matter Experts (SME) drawing on decades of experience from a wide variety of coke drum operations and experiences. This information is coupled with a detailed engineering analysis to produce practical solutions leading to reduced damage rates while balancing desired cycle times to obtain the maximum life-cycle value.

In summary, this program produces a plan for engineering, inspection, maintenance, repairs and optimized timing for replacement based on an economic strategy to meet site needs for optimal performance now and in the future.

Bobby Wright has over 38 years of refining, petrochemical and power generation fixed equipment and mechanical integrity problem solving experience. He has worked in most plants in North America, including the US, Canada, Trinidad, Aruba, Europe with some experience in other areas of the world. He is very involved in industry technical associations such as API, IPEIA, ASME, NACE. He holds a Texas PE and a BSME.



Dave Dewees has worked in the refining, petrochemical, and power generation industries over the last 19 years. Dave’s specialties include:

He is a long time member of ASME (Sections I, III and VIII) and API committees, as well as AWS (weld residual stress modeling). Dave lives in the Cleveland, Ohio area. where he works out of the Medina, Ohio office.

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