In the oil and gas industry, failing to perform ongoing maintenance on equipment can have severe consequences including reducing equipment service life, causing unplanned shutdowns and degrading performance. Ongoing maintenance is required to remove rust, corrosion and other accumulated material from the inside diameter (ID) of valves, pumps, piping, diesel engines, motors, natural gas compressors, flow meters and other large bore equipment. Often, this maintenance work is performed in the field under harsh conditions.
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.
More from Asset Management
Sulzer Mixpac USA, Inc., an innovator of 2-component adhesive dispensing systems, announces the availability of MIXPAC MixCoat Manual, a member of the innovative MIXPAC MixCoat cartridge-based 2-component dispensing system family. The MixCoat Manual protective coating dispensing system features a lightweight design with a unique brush assembly on a manual dispenser, which greatly increases stripe coating productivity and speed. The MixCoat Manual system is ideal for repairs and rope work on offshore oil and gas, petrochemical, marine, and bridge repair applications.
With asset utilization critical and community and regulatory pressure always looming, it is essential that tank farm owners proactively prevent any loss of containment with reliable, cost effective corrosion protection. This is crucial since atmospheric corrosion is one of the main culprits of tank leaks, containment loss, and early replacement.
Alcad, a manufacturer of nickel-technology battery solutions for industrial power backup, has supplied battery systems to form the heart of a solar-powered cathodic protection scheme at Qatar Petroleum's Dukhan Gas Field.
Ritchie Bros.' latest solution for the market, RB Asset Solutions (rbassetsolutions.com), is a complete end-to-end asset management and disposition system. The new cloud-based SaaS solution brings together a suite of tools and services to help customers better manage, analyze, and sell their assets. From any internet-enabled device, customers will be able to access a complete inventory management system, data analytics and dashboards, branded e-commerce sites, and multiple external sales channels.
Trimble announced that the Video Intelligence solution is now available for its Oil & Gas Services fleet customers. Video Intelligence brings together forward-facing cameras combined with an onboard event recorder (OER) to provide fleets a comprehensive view of their vehicles.
In a collaborative effort, designed to improve vital protection of offshore assets, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) in Aberdeen, UK is successfully conducting trials of an advanced anti-corrosion coating on two North Sea offshore platforms.
SGS and Baker Hughes, a GE company, announced a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) for the joint deployment and commercialization of BHGE's real-time software and sensor-based Predictive Corrosion Management (PCM) solution. Leveraging the capability of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), PCM will enable asset owners to increase their ability to monitor their facilities, and detect and predict corrosion issues using real-time data powered by BHGE's ultrasonic sensing technology and advanced analytics.
National Oilwell Varco, Inc. has announced the commercial launch of GoConnect condition monitoring services for intervention and stimulation equipment, which provides real-time process monitoring, predictive analytics, and condition-based maintenance capabilities for NOV's pressure pumping, coiled tubing, nitrogen, and wireline equipment. The GoConnect system uses machine learning to provide data-driven insights into the condition, health, and performance of customers' equipment and operations. The GoConnect system's capabilities allow customers to reduce downtime-related costs, enhance equipment performance, and improve operational efficiencies of completion services.
Connected logistics startup LoadDocs is tackling one of the oilfield service industry's most vexing daily challenges: completing paperwork in the field.
Global pipeline solutions provider T.D. Williamson (TDW) received a patent for its Positive Material Identification (PMI) process from the U.S. Patent Office.
Weir Oil & Gas, an upstream provider of pressure pumping and pressure control equipment and services, introduced its second-generation SPM Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and RFID Mobile App at OTC 2018. The new RFID enhancements enable flawless iron fleet maintenance in the field, even in the most remote locations plagued with low Internet or cellular connections.
The discussion about climate change has been taking place for many years and is still a hot topic, now more than ever before. This debate has led to global initiatives to reduce carbon footprints, which is high on the agenda of almost every country's government. Regulations on a global, regional and local scale have been established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which heavily impacts the oil & gas industry. To achieve those goals and prove regulatory compliance, the industry is rapidly adopting the ISO 50001 standard to improve the organization's energy performance and make climate part of their corporate strategy.
UTEC, a global survey company in subsea services group Acteon, has delivered a bespoke Virtual Asset Management tool to an offshore Operator in Eastern Canada to allow its team to remotely access its Floating, Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), from their desktop.
To support a number of contract wins in Brazil and western Canada, Wood is establishing new in-country teams for its asset integrity solutions service offering. This expansion follows major successes in the region including provision of a downstream risk based inspection management program, as well as the development of subsea integrity management systems.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions announces the launch of the new polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) based O-Ring energized single-acting rotary seal, Turcon Roto Glyd Ring DXL. This seal is specifically designed to meet the demands of high pressure rotary applications within the oil and gas industry.
Dover announced that its "Wellsite" upstream energy businesses will be named Apergy. Apergy will be a publicly traded company headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas with the tagline: "Unlocking Energy." The spin-off transaction is on track for completion in May of 2018, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain customary conditions.
The MIZ-21C from Zetec Inc. is the first truly affordable handheld eddy current instrument with surface array capabilities, according to the manufacturer.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has received a five-year contract renewal from Shell Canada Limited to provide mechanical maintenance and turnaround services on the company's Scotford site located in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. Employing approximately 300 full-time personnel on the site, Jacobs will continue to provide mechanical maintenance and turnaround services for the full facility.
Cyberhawk Innovations, a leader in aerial inspection and survey using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has been appointed by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) to develop the UK's first industrial training syllabus for drones in the engineering and construction sectors.
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company announced that it has signed a three-year joint development agreement with MagnaBond, LLC to develop new technologies that could enhance cost-effective evaluation of well cementing, casing and tubing. The agreement was facilitated by the Industry Technology Facilitator as part of its initiative to address challenges associated with well decommissioning activities such as plugging and abandonment.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has expanded its HiMod Slydring HC wear ring range, introducing over 180 additional part numbers in outer diameters from 1 to 12 inches. The enhanced range becomes available early 2018, serving various fluid power applications including industrial machines, mobile hydraulics and other industries.
Pure Technologies Ltd. has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with Xylem Inc. whereby Xylem will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Pure for CAD $9.00 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value for Pure of CAD $509 million.
NACE International Institute is proud to announce the release of its innovative IMPACT PLUS corrosion management product - the world's first platform to benchmark practices and improve corrosion management. This one-of-a-kind platform is designed to advance corrosion management performance across all industry sectors, from pipelines and bridges to maritime and defense systems, and beyond. Built as a tool for management professionals, the program balances technical and business solutions by utilizing process classification frameworks, maturity models and benchmarking expertise.
In the oil and gas industry, protecting massive carbon steel assets from corrosion is a continual challenge around the world, including China, particularly along coastline exposed to high humidity and salty air near oceans or other bodies of water.
With its big October auction in Edmonton last week, Ritchie Bros. sold more than 6,800 equipment items and trucks for CA$94+ million (US$73+ million). The four-day event held October 24 - 27, 2017, attracted more than 9,850 bidders from 47 countries, including 7,300+ online bidders.
As seasons change so do equipment fleets for many companies. Summer work is done, winter work is on its way; making October the perfect time to upgrade your gear.
Keyera Corp. has entered into a 20-year midstream agreement with Chevron Canada Limited to fractionate and handle natural gas liquids from Chevron's Kaybob Duvernay operations near Fox Creek, Alberta. The Agreement includes an area of dedication that is in excess of 230,000 gross operated acres and also includes take-or-pay commitments. Under the terms of the Agreement, Chevron will deliver approximately 50% of its natural gas liquids from the area of dedication to Keyera for fractionation, storage and terminalling services on a fee-for-service basis.
Texo Drone Survey and Inspection (UKCS), the dedicated Oil & Gas services division of Texo DSI - owner-operator of the world's most comprehensive and dynamic fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles - is pleased to announce the deployment of the world's first UT (Ultrasonic Thickness Testing) integrated UAV system.
A Texas-based company achieved back-to-back 30 percent reductions in operating costs by utilizing Cat Connect technology and services to gather and analyze the data generated by its equipment.
With an expanding educational portfolio, Lincoln Electric has consolidated its education products, services and resources into one convenient website. This new site provides students, educators, corporate trainers and design engineers with a common interface and access to leading welding education information and products.
A new UK-based technology company will premier a number of safe, unique and innovative asset survey & inspection applications for the oil and gas industry at the Offshore Europe conference and exhibition in Aberdeen next week.
Bluestream, a provider of innovative inspection services to the oil, gas and wind industry, and Skeye BV from Alphen aan den Rijn, one of the most successful UAV operators in the Netherlands and UK, have announced a partnership providing visual inspection services and geographic data acquisition for offshore assets using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Chicago Pneumatic has launched a new nutrunner that offers high power, low maintenance and almost no vibration in the toughest environments. Weighing as little as 3.8kg (8.3lbs) and equipped with a sturdy stabilising arm to aid operator comfort, the CP66 is perfect for flange-related and other bolting applications in the oil & gas, power generation and wind energy industries. It also provides a more durable, powerful and safer alternative to an impact wrench in remanufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul operations within the mining, off-road and heavy-truck sectors.
Add Energy, the international energy consultancy provider, is joining forces with fellow local industry specialists Matrix Risk Control and STC Global to offer an exciting new service that is designed to optimise asset performance.
Weir Oil & Gas has developed a mobile application for iPhone or Android devices that furthers its goal of digitizing the oilfield to the benefit of service companies of all sizes. This new app is designed to bring many of the benefits of the previously launched SPM Asset Management Program (AMP) directly to the field.