Reducing unplanned deferment and increasing productivity on a global scale

Background
The client was a multi-national oil company engaging over 245,000 employees, joint venture staff and contractors across 37 countries. In 2008, production at its oil & gas facilities was averaging 3.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) daily.

Corrective and preventative maintenance activities were performed according to strictly defined requirements. However, the client had realized that the costs of maintaining offshore and onshore installations had been rising faster than expected; sometimes alarmingly so. To make matters worse, unplanned deferment rates had also continued to rise, along with the perception that manpower productivity was steadily decreasing.

During Operational Excellence assessments carried out at several installations, some underlying causes had been identified.  The major contributors included: the absence of organized planning and scheduling practices; lack of  transparency between operations, engineering and maintenance activities; poor utilization of SAP; and the existence of Key Performance Indicators  (KPIs) that had no connection to the overall Work Management process.

The challenge
Persuading a wide community of onshore and offshore leaders of the case for change and its causes presented a significant challenge. However, by identifying the reasons for cost increases, evaluating the influencing factors and finding the means to reverse unplanned deferment, support for the project was obtained. 

The solution

A tactical team was put together to focus on the Work Management process. Sponsored by the Vice President of Exploration and Production, the team´s objective was to identify, develop, install and sustain an improved Work Management process that would focus on three primary areas and their interfaces. These areas were comprised of: maintenance planning and scheduling; the optimization of SAP; and the development of appropriate KPIs.

Built on the foundations laid by the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Equipment Improvement teams, the team focused on the following key areas in order to eliminate waste in the maintenance workflow process:

• Identification and Prioritization;
• Preparation (the “what” and “how,” including
  materials and services);
• Scheduling (the “who” and “when”);
• Execution and Close Out; and
• Review and Improvement.

Working together with the client Operations and Maintenance departments, the T.A. Cook tactical team was able to deliver a structured, disciplined approach to the way installations were maintained. 
Implementation was driven through a combination of changing the way people work together as teams and improving the way in which SAP was used to enable maintenance delivery. 

Furthermore, ensuring consistent use of a Measures Dashboard for gauging performance and supporting business decision-making processes at all levels resulted in the accomplishment of safe and reliable productivity of a world class standard.

Results
By trending the process measures, the T.A. Cook team began to identify and remove waste from the process, which then allowed it to focus on the delivery of maintenance and achieve first-time success.

Prior to these improvements, schedule compliance averaged approximately 10%, while PM compliance averaged almost 90%.
Following implementation, schedule compliance reached 80%, while PM compliance rose to over 98%.

Oil deferment was reduced by over 18% and gas under-delivery decreased by over 25%. In just one region, a BOE/day of 5980 was achieved: the equivalent of adding another plant to the fleet. With no increase in headcount, a 15% rise in employee productivity was brought about.

Due to the nature and level of success achieved, the project was then taken on globally: the processes were installed at all identified Top Quartile assets by the end of 2010.

Benefits
T.A. Cook works together with its clients to bring about changes that not only increase productivity and reduce waste, but that continue to function long after the team has left. Only when sustainable change has been implemented, can optimum productivity be attained.