Category: Processing

NAICS CODE: 324110 Petroleum Refineries

Description of Operations:

Refineries take unprocessed petroleum, fossil fuel or crude oil, add or treat it with chemicals, remove the natural gas, and then heat it to remove the excess water, moisture, waste solids, and contaminants. Refineries may operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once the refining process is complete, the petroleum and natural gas usually are stored in large tanks in the yard until ready for transport. Some refineries use pipelines as a distribution method.

  • Property exposure is extremely high because of the flammable gases and liquids that are part of the process. Explosions are the primary cause of refinery fires, and may result in loss of use of the entire facility. Ignition sources should be separated from areas where petroleum is being processed as a fire may result from a vapour leak. Refining equipment is very expensive, and the value of finished goods continues to increase exponentially. While crude oil is not highly flammable, finished products such as gasoline or diesel fuel are highly combustible. Crude oil may take a while to begin burning but is incredibly difficult to extinguish. Fire suppression systems and tight controls are part of any refinery. The potential for theft and vandalism can be high due to its value. Alarms, premises controls, and other security measures are needed to prevent unauthorized access.

  • Business income exposure is severe as the entire facility may be shut down after a loss. Rebuilding could take years, not months, and an alternative production facility is not likely to be available.

  • Equipment breakdown exposure is severe due to the use of boilers and heavy equipment during the refining process. Operators may be required to be licensed. Safety valves should be in place and tested regularly.

  • Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. All ordering, billing and disbursements must be handled as separate job duties and regularly audited. Background checks should be conducted prior to hiring any employee. Physical inventories should be conducted on a regular basis.

  • Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable, computers, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records. High-valued computers may be used to run the refinery operations. Computers should be regularly inspected and data backed up. Pipelines may extend over hundreds or thousands of kilometres of rough terrain. These are subject to weather conditions, vandalism, and natural disasters.

  • Occupiers’ Liability exposure is extremely high due to the potential for a catastrophic event such as an explosion. While refineries are generally located away from residential and business areas, toxic chemicals could be dispersed over a wide area, damaging property and causing bodily injury. Access to the refinery should be restricted by fences and adequate security monitoring as they may be targeted by environmental activists or terrorists.

  • Products liability exposure could be serious if a contaminant is introduced during the refining processed and passed on to consumers. Contaminated fuel can cause an engine to fail, which could be a problem with vehicles, but even more deadly with airline fuel. Quality control is critical.

  • Environmental impairment exposure is severe due to the potential for air, water and ground pollution. The industry’s products are regulated by Environment Canada and are subject to rigorous standards regarding the composition of finished products, such as gasoline and diesel fuels. Disaster planning is critical to minimize the environmental effects of a chemical leak or an explosion.

  • Automobile exposure is high if the operation does any pickup or delivery of unprocessed petroleum or finished products. All drivers transporting goods must have appropriate HAZ-MAT licences, and their MVRs should be reviewed on a regular basis. Vehicles should be regularly maintained, with documentation retained. An awareness of cleanup techniques should be required. Routes must be laid out to prevent potential overturns, which can result in high cleanup and decontamination costs. Private passenger vehicles may be provided to executives or sales representatives, requiring standards for personal use.

  • Workers compensation exposures are extreme. Employees work with chemicals that can result in burns or eye, skin, or lung irritation. Falls from heights, cuts, burns, lung damage, and lifting injuries are possible. An explosion could result in a large number of workers being killed. Since refineries may operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, adequate supervision is required for all workers. Training, careful monitoring, use of safety equipment and adherence to strict disciplines are the only way to prevent accidents that can maim or kill.

Minimum recommended Insurance coverage for refineries:

Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Goods in Transit, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto, Workers Compensation

Other Insurance coverage to consider for refineries:

Pipelines, Employment Practises Liability