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Risk Ranking and Life Cycle Management of Coke Drums

Presented By

Brent Ray - Marathon

Dave Dewees - Becht Engineering

Bobby Wright - Becht Engineering


An original risk ranking program has been developed which evaluates the current condition of coke drums including contributions from design, fabrication, operating and process conditions, maintenance and inspections practices. The result provides a reliability “score” ranking which provides guidance on damage evolution, damage rates, and risk. The purpose of this coke drum assessment is to reliably estimate the current drum condition and to predict a future safe operating window to allow normal scheduling of maintenance activities and spending. Reliability targets are predicted to meet future needs and the assessment is intended to provide actionable mitigations and recommendations for preferred inspection types, inspection intervals, repairs and remediations.

These 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. These practical recommendations are coupled with a “Health Monitoring Program” which measures and monitors actual damage done to the drums. This information often-times leads to reduced damage rates while balancing desired cycle times to obtain the maximum life-cycle value.

This approach has been calibrated based on our internal experiences, published performance data from coke drums, proprietary company work, and damage situations such as bulges, through-wall cracks, and skirt-weld cracking.

In summary, this program produces a plan for inspection, maintenance and repairs for upcoming and future turnarounds, and a detailed plan to cost-effectively operate the drums for optimal performance. Finally, the program will dovetail into API RBI and IOW efforts, providing detailed recommendations so the site and corporation can plan for the financial aspects of coker operation to help optimize maintenance and capital spending across one or multiple sites.

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