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Blog Series: Best Practices for Your Petroleum Supply Chain

Check out our blog series, "Best Practices for Your Petroleum Supply Chain" and learn from industry experts how to incorporate best practices to improve your planning and scheduling processes.

September 21, 2016 by Allison McNulty / 0 Comment
Allison McNulty

Goldilocks and Refinery Planning and Scheduling

Goldilocks and Refinery Planning and Scheduling

Okay, I confess – in addition to the various news sources I peruse daily, I also learn from “Captivate.” You know, the ingenious screens at the top of the elevator that flash snippets of news to stare at so you can avoid eye contact instead of (gasp!) actually talking to your fellow passengers.


This week, Captivate shared two items. First, that recent studies show brain activity slows down when it’s hot and humid outside. Second, that employers lose approximately 10% employee productivity if the air conditioning is “too cold.” Obviously, this is terrible news for those of us located in the Gulf Coast. It’s either too hot or too cold, just like Goldilocks’ porridge! Are we doomed to be either less intelligent in our natural climate or less productive inside?


It reminded me of the considerations when planning and scheduling a refinery and how difficult it is to get things right. Which crudes to buy? Which products to make? How to profitably, feasibly manage operations? Each of these considerations can make or break your bottom line. Decision support tools are readily available, but are they capturing domain expertise? Do they support industry best practices?


As a refinery planner or scheduler, there is a lot of rhetoric in the market to sift through on a continual basis. There are strategies, platforms and solutions that if Goldilocks were here, could keep her busy for weeks trying each one. How do you determine, with confidence, the best software to support your operations?


With over 35 years of process optimization and industry experience, AspenTech has gathered six best practices for refinery planning and scheduling. Download the whitepaper to learn more. We hope you’ll agree that by implementing these practices, it will help you – and Goldilocks – get it just right.



  • Patrick Garrett
    December 20, 2016 by Patrick Garrett / 0 Comment

    Achieving Work/Life Balance: How the Right Tools Can Help

    Work/life balance may be the most important factor in achieving and maintaining happiness and success as an employee. I know that this concept is true for myself, most of my friends, and my colleagues. It is vital to enjoy your personal time, whether you’re leaving work to play some basketball with your buddies or heading home to play with your newborn son. In my case, it used to be the former, but now it’s the latter…

  • Ruben Ramirez
    November 30, 2016 by Ruben Ramirez / 0 Comment

    It’s Time to Stop Herding Cats – and Spreadsheets

    One of the phrases we sometimes use in our office when assembling global, multi-discipline teams for a project is that it’s just like herding cats. We are in Houston, Texas, so the images of a cowboy, cattle and corral are easy to imagine. The skill demonstrated when herding cattle is impressive, but cats being, well cats, they could make any cowhand hang up his lasso …

  • Patrick Garrett
    October 14, 2016 by Patrick Garrett / 0 Comment

    Weather the Storm With These Refinery and Olefins Planning Best Practices

    Weather is a lot like the energy industry—globally interconnected, hard to predict, ever-changing and cyclic. In different places around the world, weather varies but there are many similarities, just like the energy industry. In summer, Europe is warm and relaxing but in India, it is roasting hot and dry with everyone eagerly awaiting the first monsoon…