Oil & Gas UK: New guidelines to speed up maintenance shutdowns

Oil & Gas UK launched Thursday new guidelines to minimize the frequency and duration of planned maintenance shutdowns and to improve the reliability and safety of installations on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

According to Oil & Gas UK, the new guidelines were prepared as part of the industry-wide drive to improve efficiency.

The UK oil and gas industry representative body said the ‘Guidance for the Efficient Execution of Planned Maintenance Shutdowns (PMSDs)’ comprises 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.

Oil & Gas UK further notes that production efficiency, a measure of how much oil and gas an offshore installation actually produces compared to its maximum production potential, suffered a dramatic fall from 80 per cent in 2004 to 60 per cent 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 per cent, with further improvement in sight, the organization said.

Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, Oonagh Werngren, 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.”

Werngren added: “The UK oil and gas industry is working to address its high cost base and improve efficiency so that competitiveness can be restored allowing it to become an attractive destination for investors again. In publishing good practice guidance, Oil & Gas UK is helping to raise the bar in efficient operations.”

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