Inspectioneering Journal

A Roadmap for Successful Turnaround Inspections: Turnaround Completion and Inspection Documentation

Part 3

By Scott Corey, President of Operations at Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc. This article appears in the November/December 2014 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
This article is part 3 of a 3-part series.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Oil refineries and petrochemical plants conduct turnarounds for a variety of reasons, such as scheduled maintenance, facility upgrades, or code compliance. Many equipment items are inspected before, during, and after the turnaround to ensure safe, efficient and reliable operations. Without sufficient, high-quality inspection, damaged or failing equipment can be improperly inspected, documented, or overlooked completely. Inspection services should include proper pre-turnaround inspection planning, turnaround inspections, and post-turnaround activities and documentation. In the March/April 2014 and July/August 2014 issues of Inspectioneering Journal, I covered pre-turnaround planning and turnaround inspection roadmaps. This article completes the series with the third and final installment covering post-turnaround inspection activities.

Post-Turnaround Challenges

One of the major challenges inspectors and plant operators face after each turnaround is to ensure that all repair and scope work is and was completed in accordance with the client’s requirements. Sometimes that verification will be to ensure work was completed in conjunction with the applicable codes, and sometimes that it was completed in conjunction with the client’s own in-house specifications. As inspectors discover additional areas of deficiency that need to be repaired or replaced, they issue repair recommendations (such recommendations were covered in Part II of this series of articles).

During post-turnaround, inspectors and operators must be confident that necessary repairs that were identified and approved were, in fact, undertaken and completed in cooperation with the applicable requirements of the code and the client’s specifications by conducting ongoing monitoring throughout the entire duration of the turnaround. Because most turnarounds involve hundreds of pieces of equipment that have numerous parts and seals, facility managers must have the appropriate manpower and skill set on the job to monitor and carry out all inspections required by the code and client specifications.

Another challenge involves the potential for leaks. As operations bring down each unit, they create blind/isolation lists, which involve disassembling flanged connections, creating isolation points, draining lines and vessels, and de-inventorying and cleaning everything subject to maintenance and Inspection. All vessels, exchangers, heaters, bypasses, and piping are opened, inspected per the Turnaround work scope, and designated as either sufficient for continued operation, in need of repair, or in need of replacement. New gaskets are typically installed and valves might be repaired or replaced.

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