Air Blowing of a Diluent Recovery Unit - Case Study

July 27, 2023

  • Oil & Gas
  • Canada
  • Pre-Commissioning

Air Blowing of a Diluent Recovery Unit

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Extensive pre-planning combined with solid project management and daily progress tracking resulted in a streamlined air blowing execution completed ahead of schedule and 22% under budget.

Air Blowing to pre-commission a diluent recovery unit (DRU) of a major oil and gas producer located in Fort McMurray was conducted on the following plant systems:

  • Boiler feed water
  • Fuel gas and natural gas
  • Instrument air
  • Cooling water supply and return
  • Plant air
  • Process
  • Low pressure and medium pressure steam
  • Low pressure and medium pressure condensate
  • Warm flare
  • Utility water
  • Nitrogen line
  • Intermediate blowdown drum line
  • Hydrocarbon diluent header
  • Process, BFW and steam coils

Procedure development

First draft procedures were verified by site walks prior to execution and were revised with constructability considerations for streamlined execution. Regular onsite meetings with the client to review the procedure plan feasibility and project schedule allowed for a quick turnaround on procedure approvals.

Pre-planning and logistics

Often pre-commissioning projects are bottlenecked by system availability. Pre-planning of this project started by examining construction completion dates. It was further enhanced by project engineering that delved into equipment staging so that execution could minimize the movement of temporary equipment to reduce craft support such as craneage. Considering both factors, an execution priority list was designed with the Owner and the EPC, ending in early completion.

Project management and execution

The advanced planning, along with solid communication of the plan with the client and monitoring of the construction progress, led to timely decision-making, including mobilizing a second crew on site, resulting in earlier completion and reduced equipment cost.

All FQE team demonstrated outstanding performance, professionalism, and experience as expected for the scope. Safety oriented mindset of each of the crew team in site, with always positive aptitude to any of the faced challenges during the development of the tasks, to get the job done safely, right and on schedule.

Client Representative


On-site client meetings led to constructible procedures and fast-tracked approvals

Activity driven project management techniques such as S-Curve reporting prevented delays and earlier completion of the project by 2 weeks

Experienced operations team worked closely with construction for expedited execution resulting in cost savings of 22% of project the budget