All major oil and gas companies around the world are being pushed to operate their facilities, upstream, midstream or downstream, with the minimum amount of waste and hazardous emissions. The “green processes”, as the industry calls them, are not the exception anymore but the standard. So what is the starting point?
Reliability methods provide key parameters to guarantee a sustainable process. The equation is quite simple: more reliable processes use less feed products, reduce the size of storage and deliver the same amount of end product.
A good example of how applying reliability methods can guarantee a sustainable process is the performance of a RAM study for the upstream industry.
By creating a virtual model of the platform, during either the operational or design stage, the analyst gets a complete picture of the performance including production oil, gas and water, the critical systems leading to the major losses and downtime and the effectiveness of the maintenance strategy. Optimisation and reduction of downtime can be easily carried out after the completion of the study. Subsequently, design changes, different maintenance strategies and the de-bottleneck of the platform is achieved.
Only a few critical failures can lead to a complete shutdown of the system. However, many failures would lead the system to a standby state where it keeps running and, therefore, consuming energy but not producing. By performing a RAM study, the analyst is able to reduce these failures to minimum. In addition, by performing a RAM study, the analyst is able to assess the optimum number of maintenance resources such as spare parts and crew availability, which leads to a reduction of waste related to maintenance operations.
Leading tools for RAM analysis
Maros for upstream oil and gas and Taro for downstream design are leading tools for Advanced RAM (reliability, availability and maintainability) analysis. They incorporate DNV GL’s extensive knowledge in the oil and gas industry including typical operations. The software products have been used and developed in over a thousand projects, and the robustness of the simulator can be attested by a large range of users from major national oil companies, international oil companies, EPCs and research centres.