Decision Analysis to Avoid Unplanned Shutdown and Catastrophic Failure Due to Sour Crude Oil Processing in Crude Distillation Unit (CDU)

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Yanto Karnosaputra
Santi Novani


The Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) plays a pivotal role as the primary production unit in crude oil processing. Changes in the operational patterns of crude oil processing have unveiled potential issues that demand the refinery's capability to process Sour Crude. This type of crude oil contains relatively high impurity levels, with a Total Acid Number (TAN) of 0.3 Mg KOH/g and a sulfur content of 1.5 wt%. This has the potential to impact the remaining life and damage modes of equipment and pipes in the Preheater System due to an increase in corrosion rates. This study aims to identify the root causes and propose alternative solutions to address the possibility of damage, particularly leaks, in the Preheater system of the CDU. The focus is on preventing unplanned shutdowns and reducing the risk of catastrophic issues that may arise from the damage to the CDU's preheater system. These steps are crucial to ensuring the continuity of feed supply for secondary processes and valuable product stocks, essential for the operations of Refinery unit. The research employs Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methods to evaluate several alternative solutions. The analysis results are expected to provide guidance in selecting the most effective and efficient solution, minimizing the risk of preheater system damage, and maintaining the optimal performance of the CDU.


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Karnosaputra, Y., & Novani, S. (2023). Decision Analysis to Avoid Unplanned Shutdown and Catastrophic Failure Due to Sour Crude Oil Processing in Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) . Journal of Integrated System, 6(2), 243–254.


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