Operating several assets has resulted in more complexity and so occurrence of some major accidents in the refining industries. The process operations risk factors including failure frequency and the consequence components like employees' safety and environment impacts, operation downtime, direct and indirect cost of operations and maintenance, and mean time to repair should be considered in the analysis of these major accidents in any refinery. Considering all of these factors, the risk based maintenance (RBM) as a proper risk assessment methodology minimizes the risk resulting from asset failures. But, one of the main engineering problems in risk modeling of the complex industries like refineries is uncertainty due to the lack of information. This paper proposes a model for the risk of the process operations in the oil and gas refineries. The fuzzy logic system (FLS) was proposed for risk modeling. The merit of using fuzzy model is to overcome the uncertainty of the RBM components. This approach also can be accounted as a benchmark for future failures. A unified risk number would be obtained to show how the criticality of units is. The case study of a gas plant in an oil refinery is performed to illustrate the application of the proposed model and a comparison between the results of both traditional RBM and fuzzy method is made. For the case study, 26 asset failures were identified. The fuzzy risk results show that 3 failures have semi-critical level and other 23 failures are non-critical. In both traditional and fuzzy RBM methods, some condenser failures had the highest risk number and some pumps were prioritized to have the lowest risk level. The unit with unified risk number less than 40 is in the non-critical conditions. Proposed methodology is also applicable to other industries dealing with process operations risks. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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