Technical support can be provided to independent refiners without the requirement to compartmentalise the service into different scopes of work and go out to tender each time. That is the key message of a presentation to be delivered by InSite, the UK-based technical consultancy, at the European Refining Technology Conference (ERTC) this November.
The presentation, titled ‘A Different Approach to Refinery Technical Service’, will outline a service that InSite provided to an oil refinery, bridging the gap between consulting, technical service and boots-on-the-ground operational advice.
The presentation will be delivered by Jake Gotham, one of the founding directors of InSite. Gotham has over 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
“The approach taken for this case study was to provide a continuous presence on-site via a rotation system,” Gotham said. “The benefit of this approach is that it permitted a relationship to be built up between the refinery operator and InSite, enabling a more focused and better quality of service. Rather than solving one particular problem, InSite were present on site to work through the most pressing problems that arose as the site underwent a significant organisational change after a recent change of ownership.
“The intention of the presentation is to convince the independent refiners, which typically do not have a large technical support team or a corporate HQ-based support team, that there is a way to access this type of support by engaging with a company such as InSite.”
As consultancy director, Gotham oversees InSite’s entire consultancy offering including forging new relationships with clients, and providing consultancy services directly. He has worked at multiple operating sites as an employee and consultant. His roles have included troubleshooting, optimisation, concept studies, technology selection, process safety, business planning, technology licensing, training and commissioning.
Like all InSite’s directors, he has significant experience as a refinery employee, facing the same pressures and constraints that InSite’s clients face, such as safety regulations, environmental permits, site shutdowns, limited maintenance windows, management of opex and capex budgets and threat from competition.
“Because we understand these challenges, we can communicate effectively with clients and provide a better service tailored to their needs,” added Gotham. “We also have the agility to exploit the niche of what are considered ‘small brownfield development projects’. Typically, this is projects up to £5MM on operating sites.
“Larger competitors in this industry struggle to deliver an effective service at this level because their systems and processes are set up for much larger greenfield developments. Our agile and innovative approach is much more responsive and cost effective for our clients.”
He added that InSite is proud to have a presence at the ERTC.