Availability Assurance - Project Development

Enhancements in project development have squeezed capital investment within the project development and implementation phases to a level where it is now difficult to find areas where further improvements can be made. Attention therefore has shifted to include the operational phase of projects, to consider not just capital expenditure, but the life cycle project value, where there is more margin for improvement.

Against this background, 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 integrated development with near-zero flaring requirements.

For assuring plant availability, it is crucial that requirements to that effect are specified in an early stage, to be made more specific and used in engineering as the project progresses, all the way through the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) phase including hand-over to Operations.

  1. Why

    There are solid reasons for including Availability Assurance in project development, both for new developments and plant expansions:

    • Production availability is a key factor impacting on life cycle project value. Future production availability has a direct economic impact on the project cash flow (and NPV) through its effect on volumes sold and revenues.
    • Production availability is universally accepted as KPI and used as benchmarking measure.
    • Many plant operators have contractual supply obligations.
    • Availability Assurance is complementary to traditional project development.
  2. What

    Availability Assurance is the process for ensuring that plant availability targets are specified, refined, and substantiated throughout the subsequent project development and implementation phases to ensure that availability can be maintained to specifications during future project operation. This covers both green field developments and debottlenecking and expansion projects and helps to achieve economic targets.

    Availability Assurance and Technical Integrity go hand in hand. Experience has shown that designing for target safety and availability levels requires contunous guidance for the project team throughout the project phases. Those aims can best be achieved by a continuous and integrated approach rather than by incidental ad-hoc studies.

    The full scope of Availability Assurance includes a number of elements which are developed as the project progresses, including:

    • specification of and adherence to requirements with respect to. availability,
    • reliability modelling,
    • criticality assessment,
    • reliability, maintainability and maintenance support engineering,
    • input to life cycle project valuation,
    • maintenance and inspection support planning, and
    • verification and review.

Track record selection

Company Sector Project Location, year
confidential Gas one of the new large LNG export projects Americas, 2013-2014
Woodside Gas the Sunrise Floating LNG project development, including the subsea gas supply Australia, 2008-2009
Shell Development Australia Gas & Condensate the Prelude Floating LNG project development, including the subsea gas supply Australia, 2008-2009
Sakhalin II Gas the Sakhalin II project development and possible future expansions Russia, 2006-2009
Olokola LNG JV Gas the Olokola LNG project development, tender competition support Nigeria, 2007-2008

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