BY DITTE NAMER
In close partnership with Qatar Petroleum (QP), Maersk Oil operates the Al Shaheen field offshore Qatar. Although it is a complex and challenging field, one that was originally considered marginal and unattractive for development, it now produces more than one-third of Qatar’s daily oil production. Safe and reliable operations are important not only to Maersk Oil, but also to our partner QP and the State of Qatar.
“With nine offshore locations and 33 platforms, it takes a high level of experience, expertise and timely planning to maintain stable and reliable production from the Al Shaheen field,” says Brian S. Welinder, Head of the Operations Department in Maersk Oil Qatar.
“Maintenance is really at the heart of a reliable operation, and high performing equipment is central to delivering safe and stable production. Taking a structured approach to maintenance ensures improved plant equipment reliability, safety.
Of course, by minimising expensive unplanned change-outs and shutdowns, it significantly reduces long term costs. It also frees up time and enables our offshore colleagues to work more efficiently,” Brian explains.
‘FIX FOREVER’ OR ‘FOREVER FIXING’
One of Maersk Oil’s global priorities for 2014 is improving asset reliability and enhancing overall asset performance. Maintenance Excellence (MX) is an integral part of Operational Excellence and can be considered as a good-practice example of how Maersk Oil Qatar is applying a rigorous focus on plant reliability, according to Kenny Smart, Head of Integrity and Reliability team.
“MX is about managing the basics, it is about sticking to our principle of ‘fix forever’ instead of ‘forever fixing’, and understanding and treating the root cause of any issue that might arise,” he says.
“A safe plant and efficient operation depends on three things: people, processes and technology. When combined most efficiently, it improves our ability to predict and prevent equipment failures, improves facility and production uptime and helps to deliver a stable and reliable operation.”
DATA IS KEY TO PREDICTABILITY
In 2013 a new pilot project was initiated in Maersk Oil Qatar using ‘Smartsignal’, a predictive monitoring tool that quickly picked up a performance abnormality on a high pressure (HP) offshore turbine. The early identification of this potential issue allowed the team to change the turbine during an outage, thereby saving at least five days production downtime.
Another pilot project aims to improve Maersk Oil’s understanding of equipment performance and improve predictability by mapping historical data. Offshore supervisors were asked to report on the performance of selected equipment, including actuated valves, pumps and transmitters. The data is used to analyse and study trends, allowing the team to better understand and predict the causes of equipment failure. This enables them to take timely action and seek a more reliable equipment performance – and a safer and more efficient operation.
It’s one thing to have robust processes and technology, but ultimately people are key to success.
“The success of MX relies on our people, and a key focus area for us is training and coaching, to ensure our colleagues have the right tools and knowledge to use the processes and technology. It’s imperative that these are used consistently and accurately - by everyone,” explains Kevin Blakey, MX Implementation Manager in Maersk Oil Qatar.
“We have two offshore maintenance coaches working back-to-back, covering a number of our offshore locations to help people apply the MX processes and use the new systems and tools correctly. Essentially, this is about working in a more effective way, with a common goal of unlocking the maximum potential of the Al Shaheen field,” he concludes.