What is Commissioning and Start-up in Oil and Gas? 

One of the most important project milestones that assures a successful, responsible launch of an oil and gas facility is commissioning and start-up. Building a refinery is one thing; putting it into full operation is quite another. So when it comes to safe start-ups in oil and gas, what exactly is it?

The meaning of commissioning and startup

 Commissioning helps to ensure that an industrial plant’s systems, processes and components are under operational needs. This process includes verifying and ensuring that each unit and system of the facility is designed, installed, tested and run following the project’s specifications. 

The primary goal of commissioning is to ensure that the project is delivered in a safe and organized manner while maintaining its performance and safety standards. 

In the commissioning phase we can break it down into three separate stages:

  1. Planning
  2. Plant Startup
  3. Execution


Planning is a key element of commissioning. As the initial step in the process, detailed planning is required to continue with a successful commissioning procedure. Responsibilities such as identifying the many types of checklists, such as structure, piping, mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation, and creating an operating manual.

During this stage, commissioning status progress reports and test reports must be created to keep track of the process. This should include the pre-commissioning team, commissioning team, operational team, maintenance team, as well as the client and their engineers/operators team. 

Procedures that must be followed after the planning stage

  • Commissioning procedures for utilities and services
  • Commissioning procedure for uses of water or a solvent in each system
  • Commissioning procedure for introducing process fluid in each system
  • Procedure for Interfacing (operation and maintenance work with commissioning work)
  • Product quality control procedure
  • Procedure for laboratory analyses for the new facilities
  • Procedure for production planning

Plant Startup

During this phase, the whole plant is brought into operation. All systems and subsystems get activated, process fluids are introduced, and process conditions are set with the goal of producing a final product. Ensure that adequate interfaces are established, including operations and maintenance, product quality control, production planning, emergency response, and security and safety. For this stage, contractors, employees, the client, some vendors and licensors must be available at all times. After a thorough startup is done, the plant is ready to move to its final stage. 


This is the final phase of the process. Is when the plant is properly running and ready for a performance test. Keeping all important equipment data and performance data are required for performance tests which usually occurred after the execution process.

The process of commissioning and start-up can be overwhelming with the procedures and all the safety measures that need to be taken, but when done properly, with detailed planning and a specialized team like Intricate, a safe commissioning and successful plant will be the outcome. 

Electical and Instrumentation services

Intricate has specialized in providing Commissioning and Start-up services for over 14 years and can assist in your project’s success and safety.

To learn more about what we can offer, visit our page on commissioning and start-up.  Please feel free to contact keithrunco@intricategroup.com or call 587-760-1616

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