Delayed Coker Fundamentals, Coker Operations, and Reliability

RegisterDownload Brochure

This two-day course will cover an introduction to the process, equipment, and operation of a delayed coker unit (DCU) in the refinery.

The coker is unique in the refinery world with a batch process and specialized solids removal (decoking) and handling equipment. All the unique aspects of the DCU will be covered with an in-depth review of the coker structure (coker island) operation and equipment.  Special focus will be given to operator-based perspective on unit equipment and usage. Common safety and reliability concerns will be discussed at length.

Who Should Attend

Refinery staff new (less than 1 year) to delayed coking. This includes operators, engineers, inspectors, or maintenance staff. Everyone associated with the unit should have a fundamental understanding of the unit and this course delivers just that.

Vendor staff who supply services or equipment to delayed coker units. Get to know how your unit fits into the overall scheme.

Project staff working on design projects. Designing a pump or tower takes on new meaning when you understand the process from an operations perspective.

You Will Learn

  • Learn the history of this process, the second oldest in refining
  • Explore the process flow and semibatch sequence
  • Introduction to the specific design and operation of specialized DCU equipment:
    • Steam purged valves
    • Decoking equipment
    • Heater fouling and decoking
    • Fractionator (distillation) dynamics with batch operation
    • Blowdown system
  • A special focus on real experiences in safety and reliability:
    • Operator ownership of safety
    • Common reliability issues with DCU equipment
    • A review of major safety incidents over the past 20 years.


Familiarity with delayed cokers.


Gary Pitman Gary Pitman is the Delayed Coking SME for Coking.Com. His roots run deep as an operator, maintenance technician and turnaround planner at ARCO/BP. He commissioned the Hovensa Coker in the Virgin Islands doing training for the structure block to the operators, then managed 315 craft people for a maintenance contractor on site. He has performed Coker Site Safety Audits and training in Asia, Europe, South America and North America and served as the subject matter expert for new product development for major manufacturers of delayed coking equipment. With his vast experience working with coker people close to the iron, “Mr.” is in high demand for consulting on un-heading, coke cutting, unit operations, design review, training and commissioning with his start-up team.

Ryan Schoel has more than 20  years’ experience in the refining industry, working his way up from Operator to Area Manager. He has worked extensively in the coker and sulfur units, focusing on training and reliability. While working on a commissioning and start-up of a new coker unit, Ryan supervised operators on emergency & start-up procedures, practiced switch deck procedures and trained operators on coke cutting equipment. As a Senior Consultant at, Ryan will be bringing this experience into the field as well as the classroom.  

Refining Community