Let’s get down to brass tax. Your terminal will always cost you money, but it’s not how much you spend, it’s what you spend your terminal budget on that will return results. The trick is to manage your OpEx and CapEx in a strategic way that you are investing in the intrinsic value of your offshore terminal and not the support costs. In this blog, we discuss your terminal investment and how you can make your money work for you with an OpEx strategy that spends money in the right place: Operational Integrity Management.
Assessment of Operational Integrity and current OpEx
The first step is to ascertain a client’s current operational efficiency and Asset Integrity, Reliability and Availability (IRA). This process should be based on a proven, phased methodology that offers measurable data. The goal of such an integrity assessment is to reveal areas in need of optimization and to help you measure success and predict failure.
We conduct the experience-based assessment from a rigorous Operational Engineering position by utilising:
- A quantitative evaluation of existing terminal assets, operations and environment
- An independent, objective and qualitative appraisal by way of a detailed report and workshop
- An established and well-defined roadmap for improvement based on the integrity management program
This involves identifying the categories and impending improvements associated with design, assets, operations, environment and the client’s desire to innovate and the risk appetite implied. Gathering historical asset performance data, operational parameters and site-specific environmental conditions, we are able to create an optimal Operational Integrity Management solution that is custom-designed for the terminal from an operational engineering perspective specific to the client’s unique operating environment and OpEx budget with the endorsement and support of the OEM and Alliance Partners.
Introduction of Operational Integrity Management
Given the completion of analysis, a design is developed and tailor-made for the terminal and OpEx budget at hand. This design aims to maintain an asset in a fit for service condition while aiding the quantification of the remaining useful life consistent with the applicable standards.
MARSOL’s Operational Integrity Management focuses on a holistic system based on data acquisition coupled with over 50 years of experience attained through our long term offshore terminal expertise in preservation, commissioning & planned maintenance system (PMS) programs. This means that our team of expert engineers benchmark the existing terminal activities against industry best practices before developing and implementing the optimal custom Operational Integrity Management solution.
Any changes that are introduced into the terminal, whether mechanical or operational must be performed in the most dependable, safe, and cost-effective manner to achieve sustainability. With this in mind, the design and introduction of Operational Integrity Management will lower risk, the likelihood of failure and the consequence of failure, keeping the risk to the people, environment, asset, and company. as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
The Operational Integrity Management Roadmap
Implementing an Operational Integrity Management plan with sustainability in mind means considering OpEx in balance with risk. For this, you need a good O&M strategy that ascertains the asset and operations’ areas of development. With all the data laid out and interpreted by our consultants, the client can make informed decisions by quantifying the financial, functional, and environmental and risk parameters.
With many stakeholders, such as operators, owners, local communities and insurers, it is vital that the entire facility’s environment and operational integrity be understood.
Operational integrity is our basis to provide extended services to cover life prediction and life extension programs. Especially with today’s ageing infrastructure and the low price of oil, this has become more and more relevant in the current market
MARSOL’s strategic approach to Operational Integrity Management ensures the facility’s integrity without compromise, while optimising both capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX). It directs the client spend towards maintaining the intrinsic value of the asset instead of external support costs and aims to lower risk while baring sustainability in mind.
Is your offshore terminal costing you more than it should? Let’s talk about OpEx and Operational Integrity Management.
While your offshore terminal may seem like a small piece of the puzzle, it plays a crucial role that can make or break your business in the oil and gas sector. To ensure that your terminal, whether single-point-mooring or multi-buoy-mooring, operates efficiently with your long-term goals and budget in mind, you need a sound O&M strategy.
Aspects of an offshore terminal O&M strategy
Your offshore terminal O&M strategy should serve to optimise and protect the integrity, reliability and availability of your offshore assets. This includes on-site management and operations, administration, engineering and maintenance execution.
Inspection, Repair and Maintenance
Through applying integrity-based Inspection, Repair and Maintenance (IRM) and creating an asset history, your terminal O&M strategy should be able to modify classic philosophies and associated work programmes periodically to reflect changes brought about by any influencing factors and unusual events. This will reduce risk within the system, as change is inevitable.
- Inspection & Condition Assessment
- Preservation Maintenance
Your offshore terminal O&M strategy should make provision for all marine assets and resources to ensure that time and money is accounted for. This provision will also highlight procedures required for safe and efficient tanker mooring and unmooring at the SPM/MBM. This includes hose connection and disconnection services as well as product transfer services.
- Pilot Services
- Tanker Handling vessels
- Emergency Response Services
- Oil Spill Response
Marine Hose Management Services
To ensure safe and reliable operation of marine hoses, a good offshore terminal O&M strategy will cater for hose management as well. Make sure that your turnkey O&M service provider is meticulous about regulated testing and as well fit-for-purpose operation of marine hoses.
- Hose Inventory Management & Storage
- Hose Change Out
- Testing and CLASS
- End-of-life assessment
- Destructive testing
Commercial Marine Products
Hardware provision is not an O&M service provider requirement, but it certainly is something to be included in your strategy. If your offshore terminal O&M partner can supply the desired marine products and can install, operate and maintain them according to manufacturer’s specifications – it’s definitely a bonus!
- HDPE Boats
- HDPE Modular Floating Docks
- HDPE Tanks
Why you need a turnkey O&M service provider
In the offshore oil and gas industry, many terminal service providers claim to be turnkey operations and maintenance providers, but they fail to meet the mark. This leaves you with unexpected operational costs and opens doors to risk, should multiple service providers fail to operate harmoniously.
A true turnkey solutions provider should cover every aspect of your offshore operations and maintenance so that you can focus on your core business. This includes the supply and maintenance of mechanical and electrical hardware, staff management and training, on-site execution and third-party outsourcing.
Such a provider gives you peace of mind through a single contact point and accountability.
The condition and operation of your offshore terminal can make or break your business in the oil and gas industry. To ensure that it functions at its very best, you need a sound O&M strategy and selecting a good long-term solutions partner is key.
As pioneers in the holistic terminal operations and maintenance approach, MARSOL prides itself on being a turnkey offshore O&M service provider, serving both greenfield and brownfield projects.
Don’t take chances on a patchwork team. Get in touch today.
When it comes to offshore construction, investors and owners often miss one valuable piece of the puzzle – long term continuous operation and maintenance (O&M). O&M is not something to be considered an afterthought, but instead, an investment to be considered from the very beginning, with holistic application throughout the project lifecycle. In this way your terminal will not only function more efficiently, but also at a better OpEx, with smaller CapEx.
Offshore construction with O&M in mind
When it comes to designing and constructing an offshore terminal, it is of paramount importance to determine two aspects before proceeding. What are the requirements in terms of throughput? How is the terminal going to be operated? Once this has been established, the basis of design can be finalised incorporating al the operational needs and design requirements. Thus, giving a blend of design parameters that ensure optimisation of both CapEx and OpEx. Typically, this would be intrinsic to establishing the budget and the EPC Contractor would need to construct in line with the above parameters. Is it thus fair to ask: “Have the interests of all stakeholders been considered?”
When approaching offshore construction holistically, it stands to reason that those who will use and regulate the facility should be involved in the design and construction process to ensure capital costs and operating expenses are optimised, while the ongoing integrity of the system is maintained.
Decisions should not be governed simply by minimising the design and fabrication costs. Instead, start by creating an operating philosophy document for O&M that deals with the entire value chain and lifecycle of the project.
Discrepancies from FEED to O&M
Over the years it has become obvious throughout the development process, that there were inconsistent contractual priorities when converting the Front-end Engineering & Design (FEED) concepts into reality (conflict between project management being short-term and operational management being long-term having different priorities and consequences).
We have to keep in mind that the owners, or financiers, will not be the operators of the terminal. This means that by the time these facilities are completed, the contracting structure (from FEED through to project champion) will involve investors’ consultants, the EPC contractor, contractors’ consultants, subcontractors and vendors.
The ‘Missing Man’ here is the future operator, who will inevitably take full care and custody of the facility under the O&M contract.
The needs and vulnerabilities of this stakeholders are often not considered by the preceding contractors, as it’s not the scope of any individual participator, leading to discrepancies between what is functional, what is required and what is constructed. In such cases, a lot of time and money has gone to waste.
To ensure that this does not happen to you, we suggest reaching out for a holistic approach based on the principle of interface management.
This very important consideration should not be stitched on in the end, but instead, be integrated into the design, engineering, fabrication, installation and operation processes right from the start of the project design.
The focus here will be on operational costs, to save on construction while building a terminal perfectly suited and regulated to meet your site-specific needs.
Optimising OpEx with O&M
For any project there needs to be a minimum viable product (MVP) with focus on OpEx (operational cost) optimisation. This is in part achieved through the conversion of the O&M philosophy into a basis of design, thus ensuring that operability is considered and catered for in the end design.
OpEx optimisation is best achieved by influencing the facility’s design and engineering at the early stages of the project because changes made at this stage can be made with the lowest cost impact while, at the same time, maximizing the design effect on long term OpEx. This is MARSOL’s operational engineering approach.
There are numerous components involved in ensuring the integrity of the system throughout its operating life, including design life realization, life expectancy and possible life extension, which should all be considered as part of the base of design inputs.
As an operating company, MARSOL is not only focused on sound design principles in order to optimize OpEx, but also to ensure sound design and component inputs to offer an underwritten long-term integrity management service.
Long-term integrity O&M
If your terminal is long passed its FEED stage, you can still optimise. MARSOL has invested years of experience and knowledge of the field into the creation of Marsol’s Advanced Systems Integrity Management (ASIM). ASIM uses data collection, analysis, holistic field condition data and methodologies (both physical and operational) to arrive at the optimum design for the site and service. This is of paramount importance as quite often, the operating environment in the modern-day context is changing, and thus the design parameters are no longer relevant and modifications may be needed.
Although ideally applied through design and construction, ASIM is effective at any point in the project lifecycle, because it follows the Marsol continuous improvement cycle which is aligned with The Deming Cycle.
The Deming Cycle (also known as PDSA Cycle), is a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement and learning.
The only constant we know is change. As investors and management, it is paramount to fully understand the implications of the changes, and adjust accordingly, as part of the integrity management regime.
Over the last 50 years, Marsol International Personnel has developed engineering solutions for the fabrication, commissioning and operation of offshore terminals and infrastructures. During that period, we have increasingly identified and reengineered points of failure in many different systems. Some were generated by design and engineering, but many by the changing environmental conditions and by operational practices not suited to that particular facility.
Controlling your CapEx with O&M
Although operating expenditure is crucial to a project’s success, the up-front capital expenditure (CapEx) is equally important. It is true to say that a sound OpEx Minimum Viable Product is maximised by sound design and engineering at the CapEx stage. However, if CapEx is considered in isolation, OpEx can be negatively affected. Costing you more in the long run.
This being the case it is vital to focus on design and engineering optimisation that not only takes into account the end goal and client requirements, but also considers expediency and cost-effective fabrication, material and component selection, installation methodologies, the operating environment and personnel.
Within the CapEx there are separate cost drivers that should be identified and accommodated. Right from the outset, during the FEED process design, decisions should not be governed simply by minimising the design and fabrication costs.
Consideration should include the cost of installation and operation, including preventative, and corrective and preservation maintenance principles. Assigning the responsibility for design and installation to an EPC contractor may facilitate the first step, but not the second; generally, the design has been approved already (often a variation of a generic design) by the client before issuing the tender. This places you back in the realm of discrepancy between FEED and long-term O&M.
An example of the above is the pipeline design: a pipeline needs specialist equipment, which in itself will require significant mobilisation and operating costs; at this stage, the advantages that could be gained by acquiring a more robust and costly pipe (one that could eventually result in savings in installation costs and have potential for a longer lifespan) will have been forsaken.
It is the same principle as the OpEx optimisation model: First we need to take the O&M philosophy, and resultant basis of design inputs, and then create a design, engineering and installation regime that encompasses all the requirements. It must optimise fabrication and installation costs while at the same time supporting the long term integrity management service.
When all is said and done, a facility that has a reduced risk of failure and the potential for life extension allows the parties to offer and underwrite such a service. This approach then addresses not only the client’s requirements, but also the needs of the other stakeholders, with regards operability.
Decisions should not be governed simply by minimising the design and fabrication costs.
Starting with an MVP
Marsol has developed a holistic approach to CapEx optimisation that has been established with a focus on SPM integrity management. This means that by combining the two skills sets, the client can be offered a full turnkey solution from FEED to operations, supporting the owner, EPC contractor, OEMS and future operators responsible for O&M.
This approach allows the smooth transition from FEED to long-term operations and protects all parties’ interests, avoiding costly (and potentially reputation-damaging) contractual discussions and disputes and replaces the blame game with sound technical solutions.
It is important to remain cognisant of your impact on the environment throughout the entire process. This is not only limited to -for example- a loss of containment incident and the obvious subsequent spill, but also the knock-on effect to unrelated parties (fisherfolk as an example) who are stakeholders to the environment in which your facility operates. Important to note that your day to day operations (without any incidents) may also affect these stakeholders in a negative way.
ASIM was originally developed to address similar criteria at brownfield installations without the benefit of being involved at FEED or basis of design phase. The principle of ASIM is to enter an existing field with the intent of establishing a holistic picture of the field and its operations. Then through the assessment of design criteria, historic information, new data and using experience gained on multiple sites, at different geographic locations, over extended periods of time, arrive at a site-specific integrity protocol. By creating the history you are providing managers the tools to make informed decisions, thus fulfilling their fiduciary duty.
By adopting a rounded, full lifecycle approach it is possible to ensure that all stakeholders take an approach that optimises both cost and operational efficiency at the minimum acceptable risk level over the entire life of a facility. The result is a win-win situation for all concerned.
Starting a new project with your eyes on CapEx optimization? Don’t settle for mediocre: Talk to the experts.
Ready to optimize an existing project’s O&M? Let’s discuss.