Oil and gas companies face complex, often hazardous work environments that they must manage with incredible care. Any undesirable event in this industry often leads to a high consequence scenario, so the need to mitigate relevant risk is critical when trying to keep profits in a healthy place and efficiency at maximum performance.
Facility integrity assessments allow organizations to identify opportunities to improve safety and efficiency through careful analysis of their assets. Working with a specialist to evaluate your facilities can give you key insights into facility issues that impact everyday operations and potential areas of risk. In the end, you’ll get a clear facility inspection report that lets you take direct action to improve your structures and systems to promote stronger maintenance practices.
What is a facility integrity assessment?
In simple terms, the facility integrity assessment involves having engineers with a deep knowledge of industry best practices and procedures evaluate your facility to identify how your processes can interact with the material that they are contained by, and identify areas with high likelihood of damage and corrosion. By analyzing processes, engineers identify sources of risk and opportunities to mitigate that risk through targeted specialized inspection ensuring that you aren’t spending money on inspection where it is not needed and not overlooking areas that can lead to unscheduled downtime. An assessment will typically involve:
- Closely analyzing every element of the facility to clearly identify and mitigate hazards. Leveraging other existing processes in the facility such as Process Safety Management and Process Hazard Analysis is critical to a successful integrity program.
- Identifying opportunities to reduce Non-conformities, particularly focusing on specific local jurisdictional and regulatory laws that affect the facility and ensuring that that the minimum requirements are met to guarantee compliance with the requirements.
- A review of historical inspection and maintenance activities which can provide information on potential chronic problems in the facility, and a corrosion assessment of all potential damage mechanisms that may be present based on current and historical operating data. A survey of the current level of readiness of components in the facility will be made to prevent any loss of containment and unscheduled downtime.
- Pinning down opportunities to reduce the need for emergency downtime and develop strategies for optimizing production. By addressing issues during planned shutdowns instead of in the middle of the night on an emergency shut down or outage, the costs will be driven down and the confidence of the maintenance program will increase.
- Providing oversight and surveillance over projects on pressure vessels, tanks and piping systems. These services will typically cover new construction, repairs and any alterations to these systems.
- Generation of inspection plans outlining the proper application of NDT techniques that will ensure a high probability of detection. High volume inspection with low detection probability is worse than not inspecting at all. This drives up a false sense of security and leads to unexpected failures.
With such a wide breadth of services available in a facility integrity assessment, the assessment can be used to deliver a wide range of positive results.
What to expect from a facility integrity assessment
The scope of a facility integrity assessment means it covers a wide range of issues. That said, the most prominent gains you should expect from the assessment are:
- An increased awareness of how various facility elements impact reliability, safety and compliance within your operations.
- A better understanding of the true up to date condition of your equipment.
- A high level understanding of the relevant risks in the facility. Always focus on minimizing relevant risk and use your inspection program to manage residual risk.
- A description of assets that are showing signs of wear and tear and may be in need of replacement. Age isn’t always critical to equipment, thus a conditional assessment is more important than just viewing equipment as “old”.
- A greater degree of visibility into construction and repair needs.
- A heightened sense of the underlying factors that cause damages and a greater ability to respond to emergencies and incidents in the most efficient way possible.
Why work with Applus+ RTD for your facility assessment
At Applus+ RTD, we specialize in the nuanced engineering skills needed for success in the oil and gas industry. Our teams have deep expertise in everything from non-destructive pipeline testing to quality assurance and project management. Our services include providing a blend of skilled engineers and modern technological services to improve and accelerate testing. In the context of facility assessments, this means we can offer you vital analysis that drives value for your business. We can help you:
- Reduce repair costs by getting ahead of issues before they escalate.
- Minimize downtime by updating your processes relative to your specific facility demands.
- Position you to optimize every facet of your facility to drive productivity, compliance and safety.
Oil and gas facilities are uniquely complex, but Applus+ RTD can help you see through the complicated nature of your buildings and develop actionable strategies for improvement. Contact us today to learn more.