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All oil and gas exploration and processing projects should be supported with a tailored strategy for their maintenance and inspection requirements, and facilities should be started up with their maintenance and inspection program properly defined by function and should be readied in systems that will support the execution of that work. These are typically big support activities covering all equipment and their sub-assemblies.
Such projects are also extremely complex due to the number of equipment tags that must be addressed, the level of detail for critical and vital equipment, and the accuracy of attention to ensure expected operational uptime at the same time managing risks. That’s probably why such program developments traditionally have been carried out as separate activities by most oil and gas companies.
But now, French oil and gas company TOTAL has taken the bold step to combine these maintenance and inspection engineering (MIE) activities. It has contracted SKF to develop the complete engineering strategy for its new Indonesian gas extraction and processing plants.
Tasked with the challenge of managing this “new adventure”, Philippe Grosbois, contract manager for TOTAL, was enthusiastic and confident halfway through this two-year project.
“We have well-experienced teams at TOTAL for the execution of both maintenance and inspection routines,” said Grosbois. “They know the oil and gas industry and they know all of the machines and equipments that make these plants run. What we needed, in addition, was an experienced partner to develop a maintenance and inspection strategy based on best-in-class practices carried out on similar equipment in oil and gas, and other industrial applications. Much of the equipment – such as pumps, motors, compressors, gearboxes – are used in other industrial plants, as is much of the power generation, electrical and instrumentation needs that our Indonesian project will utilize. Our goal was to use best-in-class practices and routines to optimize our plant reliability and efficiency; machinery uptime; and gas production, transportation and processing; and to reduce our maintenance and inspection costs. In full compliance with Indonesian regulation PTK07 factors, we evaluated a number of potential service suppliers, and finally the MIE contract was awarded to SKF. Their track record of delivering successful similar projects and their policy of keeping best-in-class databases and applying latest methodologies and technology were key factors.”
The project also is a first for TOTAL E&P Indonesia because the maintenance and inspection strategy will be developed and applied for one sea-based gas extraction plant and four land-based processing plants. Such a five-plant application has not been simultaneously implemented before. Grosbois is expecting time and cost synergies and savings due to a large degree of overlapping and replication as each of the processing plants is constructed and comes on line.
Major project steps
The major steps in the project will cover:
The project provides the justified content for TOTAL’s SAP system for the maintenance and inspection functions across five new facilities ready for startup.
The full scope of the contract requires that SKF also deliver a spare parts management program that identifies spare parts items for vital and critical plant items over a two-year time span. SKF’s history in supplying products and solutions for rotating machinery has allowed it to accumulate much knowledge for determining the parts most sensitive to requiring replacement throughout the life cycle of the machine. This will enable TOTAL to start operations and continue running with the right balance of the optimal number of spare parts, the optimal cost and the ability to maintain plant reliability.
Grosbois believes that a key to success has been the co-location of TOTAL and SKF teams in the SKF offices in Jakarta. With such close proximity of the teams, any questions or technical concerns can be dealt with immediately. And with such a big and complex project, questions occur each day. The ability to easily schedule meetings to discuss the weekly and monthly reports speeds up problem solving and enhances the progress of the project.
Project progress is monitored closely and mutually against key performance indicators agreed upon in the contract specification.
In addition to the specific project deliverables, Grosbois sees this groundbreaking project as an opportunity for TOTAL Group to test the combining of maintenance and inspection strategies in single projects.
“Already, I have been able to identify a lot of value, knowledge and methodologies being transferred from SKF to TOTAL and am anticipating that many of these will provide valuable learning that can be replicated inside TOTAL and deliver quite some advantages,” he said. “Even though, at times during the contract, there have been setbacks and learnings that SKF has had to do, we will succeed in completing the project on time, within budget, and deliver all the components and benefits that we expected when we signed up with SKF. TOTAL is among the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, and this project shows that we are committed to continue developing our company in all areas to retain and extend our operational excellence.”
Continuing the challenge
The challenge as this project enters its latter stage is to transition to the field operations function a workable package that is suited to the capabilities of that organization. The success of the project comes ultimately when the new work is actually executed well in the field. This project “sets the scene” for optimal life cycle costs. SKF is also intimately aware of TOTAL and its local operations and will continue to help the company with its pursuit of those optimal life cycle costs, while managing its own risks.
For more information, visit www.skf.com.