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Facility: Large Oil and Gas Production Company

The company carried out Exploration and Production (E&P) of hydrocarbon oil and gas. It was one of many companies in a large multi-national oil and gas group of companies.

The facility had several offshore oil and gas reservoirs. Some of these were exploited from fixed Platforms, others from Floating Production Storage and Offloading facilities (FPSOs). There were also a number of sub-sea installations feeding Platforms or FPSOs.

The company was innovative and used leading edge technology. It provided skilled staff on loan to other companies in the group.

It suffered from some of the large company problems. These included working in silos, optimizing things to benefit the department rather than the overall business, and slow speed of decision making.

Facility: Corporate Technical Headquarters

This facility was the technical headquarters of a very large multi-national oil and gas group of companies. From these offices, the corporate staff provided technical support to a large number of exploration and production facilities, refineries, gas plants, and chemical plants located around the world. A small maintenance and reliability team provided a benchmarking and consultancy service to the refineries and gas plants. The team identified maintenance best practices for sharing within the group to promote increased prof?itability and plant availability. They used written guidelines, newsletters, training courses, workshops, and conference events to transfer knowledge between locations. The three authors were founding members of a reliability improvement team, which worked with sites to promote performance improvements. This process proved to be very successful.

Facility: A Small Complex Oil Refinery

This was a small, rather aging asset onto which was being grafted some modern world-scale plants for product upgrading. It had the usual refinery plants of atmospheric and vacuum crude distillation and lubes along with thermal gas oil, reformer, hydro-cracker, catalytic cracker, bitumen, and a large electrical generation and utilities operation. There was a large tank farm, dated both in age and technology, with a fairly new blending facility and jetty area handling significant shipping movements.

Poor industrial relations with resistance to change sapped managerial energies. Outdated attitudes and work practices typified this location.

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