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Enhancing Profitability through Total Process Reliability in Maturing Oil and Gas Assets

7 – 9 October 2013

Muscat, Oman | Ritz Carlton, Al Bustan Palace Hotel

Technical Agenda

Monday, 7 October , 0930–1230

Session 1: Introduction to Total Process Reliability

Session Chair: Scott Bittner, Schlumberger

Reliability in the oil and gas industry is especially important as it touches on a multitude of aspects such as safety and integrity of operations, availability, and utilisation of equipment, and thus on its profitability, environmental impact from flaring and pollution and last but not least, on energy security. However, why is the airline industry rated '5 sigma' and the oil and gas industry only '3 sigma', when the latter spends proportionally more? An important reason could be that the oil and gas industry has typically accepted what original equipment manufacturers have recommended as maintenance programmes despite these programmes being generic, at times. Often, the oil and gas industry has focused on executing these more effectively, thus focusing on the ‘how’, whereas other leading industries have worked with the original equipment manufacturers to define what needs to be done and why, rather than taking generic recommendations which may not be suited for the operating conditions.

A good reliability framework consists of three building blocks which are the definition component, the enabling component and the change component which can be described further as:

  • Defining the programme consists of answering the ‘What, Why, and How’.
  • Enabling consists of setting up an organisation, capability and systems that allow for successful execution.
  • Changing consists of working on the day-to-day behaviour and attitudes of people to make the programme sustainable.

In this session, we will discuss the framework to achieve total reliability as well as the counter-intuitive key lessons learned that doing too much is actually not better but worse for reliability.


Session 2: Case Studies and Success Stories

Session Chair: Efrain Campos, Occidental Petroleum Corporation

This session will take a look at examples of the most popular reliability engineering applications such as RCFA, methodologies to solve major incidents/accidents, and repetitive problems with production loss and/or high maintenance cost. The risk analysis tool is used define priorities, analyse whether a piece of equipment is vital or secondary, and in mechanical integrity analysis. RAM (Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability) analysis is used to define the overall and specific availability of the system and equipment, and production profile forecast. Life cycle cost analysis tools help define the best option in terms of money, time and the ability of a system or component to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time. Risk Cost Analysis is used to estimate the optimum inspection and maintenance frequencies and optimum level of spare parts in the warehouses.

Tuesday, 8 October , 0900–1030

Session 3: Human Resources and Reliability

Session Chair: Hani Al-Khalifah, Saudi Aramco

Human resources and organisations are responsible for establishing the policies that guide maintenance and assigning resources to perform the required maintenance activities. This is an essential part of setting the framework for the organisation to achieve better total process reliability.

This session will cover the impact of human resources and organisational structure on total process reliability, and the enabling practices and challenges encountered in this journey.


Session 4: Tools and Technology—Maintenance Programmes

Session Chair: Ashraf Rafail, Baker Hughes

Relying on new technology and tools is becoming more important in today’s maintenance activities. Many new technologies are becoming available to help operators better predict equipment failure before it occurs. Another important function—tools and technologies help maintenance technicians perform better quality work in a shorter time period. For example, new laser alignment tools can extend the running life of rotating equipment.

Tools and technologies can also help bridge the experience gap in the industry.

This session will discuss the essential role that tools and technologies play in improving overall reliability through presentations and case studies.


Session 5: Incident Investigation and Continuous Improvement

Session Chair: Mohammed Ghuloom, BAPCO

Many disasters have occurred because organisations have ignored the warning signs or have failed to learn from the lessons of the past. Learning from industry events is a profitable exercise when we appreciate that an incident can drive a business bankrupt. When an incident is reported in the media everyone is naturally curious about the reasons for its occurrence. But to learn from the incident we have to go beyond simple curiosity.

Recording incident data, investigating incident causes and converting all the data into meaningful information that can then be acted on, is the key to ensuring that we learn from incidents, are able to improve our systems and processes, and prevent catastrophic disasters. The data is often available but to draw meaningful conclusions and find useful information we may need to look at the data through different ‘lenses’.

While investigating incidents, the need would be to focus on systemic or procedural failures or design deficiencies so that viable, effective and long-term remedial measures can be proposed and implemented. For complex incidents, the investigating process may have to move up from simplistic tools such as the ‘5-Why’ to more sophisticated techniques.

It is through this continuous process of learning and fixing the gaps that the industry will be able to move towards excellence in safety, health, environment, reliability and efficiency.

In this session we will discuss the need to learn from the incidents of others, how we can convert the available data into meaningful information, and through case studies, look at some of the more sophisticated investigation techniques available.

Wednesday, 9 October, 0930–1200

Session 6: Integration/Organisational Structure—Wrap-Up

Session Chairs: Andy Wheeler, Occidental Petroleum Corporation; José del Carmen Briceño Pérez, Penspen

Organisational structure refers to how authority and responsibility for decision making are distributed in the entity. Top managers make judgments about how to organise subunits and the extent to which authority will be decentralised. Although the current competitive environment is conducive to strong decentralisation, top managers usually retain authority over operations that can be performed more economically centrally because of economies of scale. For example, financing, personnel, and certain accounting functions may be maintained at headquarters rather than being delegated to organisational subunits.

Ideally, organisational structures should be shaped and implemented for the primary purpose of facilitating the achievement of organisational goals in an efficient manner. Indeed, having a suitable organisational structure in place—one that recognises and addresses the various human and business realities of the company in question—is a prerequisite for long-term success.

There are many structure organisational types, but how to find out which is the best? It is necessary to have political and organisational goals in mind. Some structures are line organisation, functional organisation, line and staff organisation, project organisation, matrix organisation—all of them have advantages and disadvantages.

Current requirements are leading to a change—these types of organisation must change to asset-centred organisations, where the principal goal is to maintain the function of the asset, leaving aside the traditional organisation which focuses on functions and activities. In asset-centred organisation, the organisational strategic plan is defined as “the overall long-term action plan for the organisation that is derived from and embodies its vision, mission, values, business policies, objectives and the management of its risks” (PAS 55 Asset Management).

When the structure is changed to asset-centred, many problems can be avoided because each activity works to minimise the risks and maintain the high life cycle.

In this session, we will discuss the need to learn from other companies’ structures, advantages, disadvantages, success, failures, and how we can change the traditional structure into an asset-centred organisation.