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oil & gas

HollyFrontier: Redefining refinery safety and productivity.

Improving mechanical integrity with a fully integrated, risk-based inspection software solution

Key facts

  • 01.


    HollyFrontier Corporation subsidiaries

  • 02.


    Petroleum refineries

  • 03.


    Five US sites

Client challenge

The HollyFrontier Corporation is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The independent petroleum refiner and marketer produces high-value, light products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other specialty products.

We have a strong, 10-year relationship with the company’s subsidiaries and mechanical integrity programme. Our support encompasses providing software, implementation and evergreening services, and corrosion studies. HollyFrontier uses our integrated, risk-based inspection tool – Risk Based Mechanical Integrity (RBMI) – to reduce the risk of inspection failures for five of its complex refineries at:

  • Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • El Dorado, Kansas
  • Navajo, New Mexico
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Woods Cross, Utah.

Safety is HollyFrontier's top priority, alongside a commitment to continually enhance equipment and operational reliability. Our client wanted to take its risk-based approach further. The objective was to maximise inspection efforts across the five refineries. This would lead to a reduced risk of inspection failures, ‘surprises’ and, ultimately, costs during turnarounds.

How we helped

Our client chose us based on our expertise in quality risk-based inspection and maintenance solutions that increase uptime efficiency and reduce frequency of inspections.

We helped to detect and mitigate equipment integrity threats through the development of a more efficient and effective equipment maintenance and inspection system. This resulted in on-time testing, reduced risk of equipment failure and chemical release, and a safer environment for employees and the community.

We carried out technical reviews to support risk studies. These included:

  • information capture for RBI analysis
  • corrosion studies to identify materials of construction and process conditions that can cause equipment deterioration
  • identification of damage mechanisms and critical process variable
  • previous equipment inspection summaries.

We also examined equipment type and failure mechanisms to generate a recommended inspection plan. Our software solution automatically tracks inspection due dates and provides notifications. Our tasks included:

  • calculating deterioration rates for various deterioration mechanisms, based upon industry experience in lieu of measured data
  • performing what-if analysis to predict future risk
  • assessing the probability and consequence of failure for each piece of equipment
  • providing criticality calculator performed risk analysis for each type of equipment and component being evaluated, considering both the likelihood and consequence of failure
  • prioritising inspection categories.

Insight & Client comment

RBMI is a fully integrated risk-based inspection (RBI) software package for upstream, downstream and power industries. It can be applied to a wide spectrum of asset types, including pressure vessels, piping, storage tanks, heat exchangers (including bundles), relief devices, pipelines, rotating and instrumentation.

The RBMI tool is API compliant and meets all API 580 recommended practice requirements for RBI, including inspection data management. RBMI also meets the latest API Standards 510 and 570 requirements.

Our RBMI solution has since been preceded by Axxim™. This unique software solution optimises management of asset integrity and reliability. It provides a single resource to identify critical assets, increase equipment reliability and uptime by at least 20%, reduce failure risk by 80%, and determine the optimum approach to inspection and maintenance that can achieve costs savings of up to 50%.

Client comment 

“At HollyFrontier, safety is our top priority, as is our commitment to continually enhancing the reliability of our equipment and operations across all of our sites. The implementation of RBMI at the Navajo Refinery marks our fifth refinery to begin implementing the RBMI solution. The final implementation project will be the west half of our Tulsa Refinery. RBMI has proven to be instrumental in helping to reduce the risk of unexpected equipment failures.”


Jim Stump

Senior Vice President, Refining


Key results & Business benefits

  • Prolonged equipment life.

  • Lower life cycle costs.

  • Increased reliability and asset utilisation safely.

  • Reduction in equipment failures.

  • Reduced downtime.

  • Identification of critical assets.

  • Compliant inspection and maintenance programme.

  • Optimised inspection and maintenance schedules.

  • Systematic approach to managing repairs and replacements.

  • Continuous improvement of the inspection programme.

  • Focusing limited resources on critical equipment.

  • Cost savings by optimising inspection regimes.


Business benefits

  • Fewer inspections points required by RBMI,

    compared to a traditional API time-based programme.

  • Reduction in failure risk.

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