Implementation and optimization of condition monitoring maintenance on an offshore oil and gas installation controlled from onshore.
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The demand for better maintenance solutions within the oil and gas industry is a trigger for this thesis, where Total E&P Norge approached with a new solution. They wanted a student to look into this task and discuss how to implement condition based maintenance compared to already planned processes. The task given was also to observe and then suggest processes to optimize the utility of condition monitoring and to apply continuous improvement to the implemented strategy. Through observations, research, examples and talking to key people working with maintenance and condition monitoring at Total E&P Norge, knowledge and insight was achieved. With these, theory about different strategies, condition monitoring tools, processes and systems is presented to best analyze and establish suggestions to solutions. Condition monitoring is a key factor in the condition based maintenance strategy and must be used and managed correctly to achieve the expected effect. One can basically condition monitor every equipment with all types of available tools and all its major failure modes, but the available tools to do so is quite expensive. The need for criticality analyses is a measure to achieve good results from the new maintenance strategy and keep costs as low as possible. These analyzes puts equipment into categorizes which inform the needed amount of condition monitoring. The overall reasons condition based maintenance is applied will be to achieve an increase in equipment reliability and availability and to reduce maintenance costs. All these condition monitoring tools requires not only to be bought and installed, but there are also many disciplines to be taken into consideration. These tools generate a lot of information which must be gathered and analyzed. This may require highly sophisticated information technology and software. In general the increase of condition monitoring may result in changes in maintenance operations and management. When starting the research, some results expectations were already made. Some of them were the implementation process should be straight forward and simple. The learning and optimization process was also considered to be the same. These expectations were quickly known to be false. The process may be straight forward, but it was not simple as expected. For a huge company to change some of their strategies and process would need a lot of backing from the top management. In general people are quite conservative and are not so open to changes. New processes and new software requires courses and learning periods to make personnel operational to the required competence. Many issues will occur by implementing condition based maintenance, but the clue is to be a step ahead of these issues and make good solutions. The thesis presents some issues and possible solutions, but every new process and strategy has its flaws, and require continuous improvement. This is why some measures have been recommended to best monitor the efficiency of both processes and strategies. There will always be the need for improvements, and to be able to do so, the implementation process should be solid and strict. If the information gathered and analyzed are not sufficient or not the required ones, the possibility for improvement is slightly halted. The research presents another maintenance strategy which is not meant to take over condition based maintenance. The aim is to work together with it, to both improve equipment’s availability and optimize the utility of condition monitoring.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics