This ad will close in 15 sec
Tags
Asset Management
Software & IT

How to cost-effectively manage assets in a volatile market

In the oil and gas market, where prices and profits are volatile, cutting costs and expenses becomes a higher priority. Even with signs of a market recovery, companies must focus on viability for the long term by not compromising on productivity and safety standards. How can companies most cost-effectively manage assets in this economy?

Maintenance should be one of the departments least impacted.  Controlling costs and protecting assets in oil and gas has always been critical, whether it's upstream, midstream, or downstream. It is even more critical in a down-market, when companies look hard at their investment plans to figure out where and how much they can cut or defer. The overall result of lower prices is often a shutdown or slowdown and reduction of significant new investments. So, managing existing assets becomes even more critical--doing more with less while maintaining production. With this added pressure, the need to improve efficiency as well as reduce unplanned downtime and other costs become higher priorities. 

Where to begin? The first thing to understand is what not to do. You cannot suspend or defer maintenance on your critical assets. And since production is a vital component to a company's profit, it will be essential to continue to support it. That means you may need to change current processes if they don't have the proper focus. Most importantly, you always need to perform all tasks and operations safely. 

Management, engineering, and maintenance should come together and closely collaborate to improve asset management strategy. That feeds into the second point: you need to define a strategy. Do you fall into the category of planned or reactive? If you are doing only routine maintenance, you should consider moving to a more advanced approach to reduce cost further and minimize unplanned downtime.

Does this mean that a more complex maintenance strategy with the possibility of more upfront costs is required? Will such a plan help to save money in other areas?

Think about some creative ways to control cost. First, consider a reduction of asset failures. Unplanned downtime is costly - regardless of the market - and that is the case regardless of the segment in which you operate. From out-of-service days on rigs to pipeline leaks and refinery shutdowns, asset failures are expensive. Moreover, the environmental impact of these failures may add even more cost.

Second, take labor planning and lifecycle cost into account. Oil and gas operations require specific inspections multiple times per day. The detail collected for a review might include a checklist to show that the inspection was performed, and can also be used to provide the means to record pass, fail, quantitative, qualitative or meter readings. Recording this data in your enterprise asset management (EAM) system will streamline the maintenance process.  The system is based on meter readings that trigger preventive maintenance work orders or inspection readings that automatically create a corrective work order due to a result that falls outside the safe operating range.

Condition-based monitoring and geographic information systems (GIS) are becoming increasingly essential pieces of an oil and gas company's maintenance strategy. Predictive maintenance and condition-based tracking are processes that have been around for years. Examples include vibration, tomography, oil analysis, acoustic, motor circuit analysis and energy consumption measurement.

Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) focus on the most critical equipment for specific conditions. RCM processes define what you are going to look for and how to do it. However, the devices and data collected were previously disconnected from your EAM solution. With today's technology, this data can now be uploaded and live in one place. Integration of data allows engineers to use the EAM application to analyze information, form trends and historical records, and, most importantly, rely on the application to automatically create corrective action before a failure occurs based on predefined safe operating ranges.

Managing maintenance for linear assets is different from overseeing other equipment types since linear assets can be spread over a wide geographical area--even across countries. Given their nature, maintenance of linear assets needs to be scheduled differently.. Geographic proximity to other assets should be taken into consideration and scheduling such that work can be accomplished for all assets in a given area with the same crew. Learning how to effectively schedule and efficiently carry out maintenance of linear assets will be vital to the success of any oil and gas organization, regardless of the status of the market.

Kevin Price is with Infor.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Instrumentation, Systems & Automation

Festo’s new EFSD electric stopper delivers upfront, downstream cost saving

EFSD comes in sizes 20, 50 and 100, enabling users to match the mass range depending on the speed of the conveyor up to a maximum of 100 kg.

Festo's new EFSD electric stopper provides exceptional stop-and-release functionality in the movement of product from station to station in assembly and transfer systems. With benefits such as a lower installation cost, faster commissioning and operational energy savings, it is the ideal choice in stop-and-release wherever an electric actuator is preferred to a pneumatic option.

Read More

Tags
Drilling & Production
Industry News

QuickFRAC from Packers Plus boosts production for Middle East producer

Compared to four offset wells, the QuickFRAC well achieved the highest initial production among the wells. Initial production data showed this well achieved 32% to 76% higher production compared to the offset wells.

Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. is pleased to announce a successful completion using the QuickFRAC multi-stage completion system for an operator in the Middle East. A new configuration of the open hole, limited entry system was designed and implemented for the lowest cost with maximal operational efficiency and improved reservoir productivity. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Notley seeking industry interest in increased refining capacity for Alberta

Premier Notley greets members of the Building Trades of Alberta while announcing a new Expression of Interest for refining in the province.

As part of a made-in-Alberta strategy to get more value for Alberta's energy resources, Premier Rachel Notley announced the government is issuing a Request for Expression of Interest to determine business cases for investing in a new refinery in Alberta or tied to Alberta production.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

U.S. imports of Canadian heavy crude more than double 2012 levels

This year the United States will import more oil from Canada than all the OPEC countries combined—and four-fifths of those imports will be heavy oil.

Imports of Canadian heavy crude are an increasingly important source of supply to the United States, the world's largest refining market for such crudes, according to a new report by IHS Markit. U.S. imports of Canadian heavy crudes will approach 2.8 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2018—more than double what they were in 2012—and could exceed 3 million mbd in 2020.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Athabasca Oil Corporation announces $265 million Leismer Infrastructure Transaction

Athabasca has taken a number of steps to enhance liquidity to ensure financial resiliency. Early in Q4 2018, the Company obtained the release of a $41.5 million letter of credit related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and secured a $25 million increase to its letter of credit facilities.

Athabasca Oil Corporation is pleased to provide an update on its midstream process, preliminary 2019 capital guidance expectations and its recent reductions in corporate costs.

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Pipelines

Cenovus’s 2019 budget demonstrates cost leadership and capital discipline

The structural improvements Cenovus has achieved at its oil sands operations have resulted in reduced costs for maintaining base production and adding new production and have positioned the company to create additional value with more efficient use of capital.

Cenovus Energy Inc. remains committed to increasing shareholder value through cost leadership, capital discipline and safe and reliable operations. These commitments, in combination with the company's high-quality upstream assets and joint ownership in strong refining assets, are expected to further strengthen Cenovus's ability to generate free funds flow and continue deleveraging its balance sheet in 2019.

Read More

Tags
Instrumentation, Systems & Automation

Spring-loaded LVDTs perform in applications with corrosive environments and vibration

NewTek offers customized options for its spring-loaded LVDTs including extended temperature ranges up to 400°F (200°C), mild radiation resistance to 30 MRad, air extend probes and custom spring rates.

NewTek Sensor Solutions offers an extended series of spring-loaded LVDTs that provide accurate dimensional feedback for a variety of position measurement and quality assurance applications including go/no-go measurements, automotive part quality testing, roller position/product thickness control, TIR measurements and material testing under stress.  

Read More

Spray dispenser ideal for applying Sulzer MIXPAC abrasion-resistant coatings

Paired with the unique DPS Spray Dispenser for maintenance and repair projects, the complete MixCoat Spray system includes cartridges containing the packaged coating material, a mixer that ensures consistent coating mix, and the pneumatic operated spray.

Sulzer Mixpac USA, Inc. offers the MIXPAC MixCoat cartridge-based system for a variety of mining applications, including applying abrasion-resistant coatings on pipes and transportation equipment, bores, walkways, and conveyor equipment.

Read More

Tags
Drilling & Production
Industry News

Canadian rig count down slightly year-over-year for November

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for November 2018 was 991, down 26 from the 1,017 counted in October 2018, and up 49 from the 942 counted in November 2017. The international offshore rig count for November 2018 was 206, down 1 from the 207 counted in October 2018, and up 23 from the 183 counted in November 2017.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Thousands of Rotork electric actuators installed at Chinese oil refinery

More than 2,500 Rotork IQ3 electric actuators have been installed at a Chinese oil refinery and petrochemical complex.

More than 2,500 Rotork IQ3 electric actuators have been installed at a Chinese oil refinery and petrochemical complex. Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Company Ltd, which refines oil and manufactures chemical products, ordered the actuators for the refinery in construction on the island of Zhoushan, near Shanghai.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

xLC stator adjustment unit triples service life of NETZSCH pumps

In case of wear, the setting nuts of the xLC® unit are adjusted, com-pressing the elastomer to re-establish the reduced sealing line.

The new xLC unit on the NEMO progressing cavity pump from  NETZSCH triples the service life of the pump, particularly when conveying difficult, abrasive media. When wear occurs in the rotor-stator system, the new xLC unit allows the performance of the pump to be re-established by adjusting the preload between the conveyor elements. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Pipelines

Innovative solution delivers additional natural gas to eastern markets on Canadian mainline

TransCanada Corporation has secured 675,000 gigajoules (GJ) (630 million cubic feet) per day of new natural gas transportation contracts from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) on TransCanada's Canadian Mainline. Its North Bay Junction Open Season resulted in long-term, fixed-priced contracts for service that will reach markets in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and the Northeastern U.S.

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Pipelines

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. announces agreement to acquire Enbridge Gas New Brunswick

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. announced that its subsidiary Liberty Utilities (Canada) LP has entered into an agreement to purchase Enbridge Gas New Brunswick Limited Partnership , a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., along with its general partner for C$331 million, subject to certain customary adjustments. New Brunswick Gas is a regulated utility that provides natural gas to approximately 12,000 customers in 12 communities across New Brunswick, and operates approximately 800 km of natural gas distribution pipeline.

Read More

Tags
Instrumentation, Systems & Automation
Software & IT

5 reasons why organizations are outsourcing pipeline control room services

Houston-based Remote Operations Center (ROC), a leader in oil & gas control room operations, provides outsourced control room services to over 6,000 miles of pipelines, spanning crude, natural gas, saltwater disposal, and refined products.

A pipeline control room is the central nervous system of oil and gas operations - continuously receiving and processing tremendous amounts of sensory data, quickly highlighting important information requiring action and using that information to coordinate and control operations to mitigate risks and optimize performance. With heightened public attention on pipeline assets, growing regulatory oversight over operations, increased market competition amongst operators, and an ever-aging asset base, the ability to effectively and efficiently manage all aspects of pipeline operation has become increasingly difficult. More than ever there is a pressing need to ensure each pipeline is operated safely, reliably and compliant with the latest regulations.

Read More