New maintenance guidelines aim to halt slump in N. Sea production efficiency

Oil worker training skills general photo ScotentBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

Oil & Gas UK has launched new guidelines to minimise the frequency and duration of planned maintenance shutdowns and to improve the reliability and safety of N. Sea platforms.

In addition, the new guidelines – Efficient Execution of Planned Maintenance Shutdowns – form a key component in the increasingly imperative industry-wide drive to improve efficiency.

They comprise of good practice for all types of planned shutdowns including corrective, breakdown maintenance, inspection activities, engineering and construction work, ranging from new tie-ins to modifications. Guidance is provided on topics including minimising the frequency and duration of PMSDs, good planning and delivery and ensuring that the industry identifies the resources required well in advance.

Oonagh Werngren, Operations Director, Oil & Gas UK, said: “Better management of summer shutdowns, when major maintenance and construction to bring new production on-stream are undertaken, is seen as one of the principal ways of improving production efficiency.

“Companies have been addressing this and a recovery in production efficiency, along with an improvement in production performance, is emerging. This guidance document will help cement and build on that progress.”

“Our members are working to address their high cost base and improve efficiency so that competitiveness can be restored, making the North Sea an attractive destination for investors again. “

Production efficiency –  a measure of how much oil and gas an offshore  well actually produces compared to its maximum production potential –  suffered a dramatic fall from 80% in 2004 to 60% in 2012, which directly translated into a significant production decline. Since 2013, the Production Efficiency Task Force has been working across the industry and efficiency has increased to 65%, with further improvement in sight.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen-based oil and gas services conglomerate Wood Group has won a $6 million contract to carry out front-end engineering and design for the Woodside-operated proposed offshore Browse Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) Development.

Its Wood Group Kenny division will perform all design engineering for the insulated production flowline system required for the asset’s offshore gas-condensate fields located 200 miles from the Kimberly coast in Australia. The 12 month contract will be delivered from Wood’s depot in Perth, W. Australia.


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