Availability Assurance - Long Term Planning
Many projects have been compromised by unexpected, and unbudgeted, major events during their operational life. This has resulted in a reduction (and sometimes complete elimination) of financial returns, damage to people and the environment, as well as loss of reputation.
It is well recognised that a major part of the total project through-life cost is designed in at an early stage (some estimates are that 50% of the cost is already fixed by the end of the concept evaluation stage). It is thus important to have the tools and techniques that can be applied from the earliest stages of a project to ensure that the life cycle cost, rate of return and target system effectiveness are preserved as work progresses.
Detailed Availability modelling can identify and quantify the long term risks to a project, especially if it is supported by the extraction of relevant data and based on extensive experience of operational and maintenance support. It is often not the obvious risks that can derail projects.
SecuoS takes an integrated, quantitative and model based approach, making a rigourous assessment of the maximum operating capacities and the risks to the available capacity and optimising the risk responses with the aims to maximise the delivery commitments and production targets. The model is used to optimise the value chain, on a time-dependent basis, taking full account of variable production capacities such as well profiles and seasonal capacity swings of the downstream plants. The model links the planned and unplanned downtime of the facilties and the operating flexibility to the production availability of the integrated system. It is calibrated against the historical field performance at component level and validated against the historical production availability of the integrated system.
This results in an integrated model that can be used to optimise the timing of the future development, the capacity margins and the project development plans and, for existing operations, to justify maximum utilization of the production facilities and identify opportunities for additional contractual commitments.
Very substantial savings in capital expenditure and additional annual revenues have been realised, on a consistent basis, on the largest scale and accumulated over the project life of upto 1 billion €.
Key lessons learned from previous implementations apply to every company that has to meet delivery commitments:
- Strict delivery commitments can only be met by the installation of sufficient spare capacity to compensate for risks to supply, available production capacity and demand.
- The amount of spare capacity is often overly conservative and can be reduced significantly.
- This requires a probabilistic planning method that quanitifies and models the risks to the delivery commitments, the characteristics of supply and demand and the level of co-operation between the parties in the chain.
- Business implementation requires management system updates, with clearly defined interfaces and accountabilities, and the use of transparent modeling tools that provide a bridge between the engineering disciplines and the other parts of the organization.
- Implementation also requires a high quality process the collection of reliability data.
Track record selection
|NAM||Gas||Provide the tools and processes to establish a quantified basis for supporting the optimisation of Groningen Long Term plan and continued position of NAM as key supplier to the West European natural gas market.||Netherlands, 2001-2010|
Availability Assurance, Shell's Experience in Identifying Elements Critical to Long Term Gas Supply by Hans van de Vorst, Rik Prager and Diederick Bax, Turkmenistan Iinternational Oil & Gas Exhibition, 2003
Availability Assurance is the process of managing the design and implementation of new production facilities and capacity expansion projects from the perspective of production availability. This process is an important tool for long-term delivery contracts to ensure that availability is maintained at optimised costs throughout the lifetime of the project. Availability Assurance provides a coherent framework for the prioritisation of bottlenecks and ranking of development options from the perspective of production availability and in the context of optimisation of the life cycle value of the project. This includes both green field and brown field developments and covers all sectors in the energy and petrochemical industry, both upstream and downstream. This paper describes the philosophy and approach that Shell adopts for maintaining a thorough understanding of the production availability of integrated supply systems, the ability to assess the extent to which delivery commitments can be made during all future stages of the development and the ability to optimise future development plans.
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