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  • Manuel J. Sanabria Urriola

Manuel J. Sanabria Urriola

Group Head; Senior Engineer II
Years of Experience:
Education & Licenses:

Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, 2002, Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela
Colegio de Ingenieros de Venezuela, CIV 162.019

Areas of Specialization:

Oil Refining
Process Engineering
Conversion Units (FCC, HF Alkylation), Storage Tanks, Utilities, Projects


Mr. Sanabria is a Senior Engineer II with the Process Technology Team at E2G.  His work at E2G has included collaboration in HYSYS® process simulations for Heat and Material Balance and PSVs revalidation including Flare System modeling at Hydrotreatment facilities, heat exchanger Tube Rupture Credibility Assessments (TRCAs) per API STD 521 in petrochemical services using HTRI Xchanger Suite, and a natural gas network hydraulic evaluation using HYSYS® for new dehydration technologies selection.  Some of his field work has covered the assessment of pressure relief device (PRD) management in pharmaceutics manufacturing, as well as PRD revalidation in the adhesives and petrochemical industry.  Updating and providing support on several Engineering Practices and collaborating in risk-based inspection (RBI) activities for oil & gas systems have been part of Mr. Sanabria’s responsibilities as well.

Two articles have been published in E2G’s Industry Insights publication with him as a co-author: the first one titled “Venting Atmospheric and Low-Press Storage Tanks” analyzing API STD 2000 latest edition changes, and the second one titled “Safely Purging Tanks, Vessels, and Pipes during Decommissioning and Commissioning” reviewing procedures to purge gaseous content from equipment.  A calculating tool to evaluate multiple safe purging methods when decommissioning pipes and equipment has also been developed by Mr. Sanabria.

The majority of Mr. Sanabria’s experience comes from working at PDVSA El Palito Refinery in Venezuela for almost 13 years (2003–2016), where he began as a Process Engineer and was later promoted to Process Engineering Supervisor.  His responsibilities included conversion units for gasoline and LPG production, but during his early years, he was also involved in utilities, products storage, and process improvement projects.  He participated in multiple Root Cause Analyses to solve FCC Reactor/Regenerator/Main Fractionator issues, a major committee for FCC catalyst selection, and significant evaluations to fulfill the refinery’s technical requirements.

As a Process Engineering Leader, Mr. Sanabria was a key contributor to the Technical Management Team, organizing detailed inspection activities during major turnarounds, ensuring P&IDs were drawn as-built (FCC & Alky), reviewing equipment internals specifications/installation, and guaranteeing procedures were closely followed.  He also collaborated in the safe-out step for decommissioning/commissioning vessels, spheres, and tanks.

Prior to his position at E2G, Mr. Sanabria was the Procurement Manager for a specialized contractor in oil & gas facilities constructions, mainly involved in pipelines and process unit revamps.  During this time, he collaborated in the go-live phase of ERP Microsoft Dynamics GP, reviewing workflow and internal processes categorizing requirements to streamline the purchasing step.  High-level report sequences were customized by Mr. Sanabria to improve information available to other managers and directors pertaining to projects.  Under his leadership, the Procurement Team closely collaborated with the Financial Team to guarantee the accounting information regarding project costs remained accurate when historical data migrated to the new software.

For his undergraduate thesis, Mr. Sanabria synthetized a polymer to control bentonite clay particles binding in oil well drilling muds.  He determined the molecular weight of the polymer by viscosity methods and correlated it to bentonite suspensions rheology changes.  The synthesis procedure was designed based on the framework proposed by Japanese engineer Dr. Taguchi, controlling several reaction variables in different levels.  This work received a letter from the University Evaluating Committee conferring it the “Honorific Mention.”

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