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New guidelines launched in effort to boost production efficiency

Published:  20 July, 2017

Highly anticipated industry guidelines designed to boost production efficiency in the UK Continental Shelf have been published by Oil & Gas UK.

Between 2004 and 2012 the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) faced the significant challenge of a sustained decline in levels of production efficiency (PE), falling from 80 per cent to 60 per cent.

Guidelines to Maximise Compression System Efficiency aims to address gas compression losses, which accounted for over 40 million boe (barrels of oil equivalent) in unplanned production losses in 2015.

The document was devised by the Production Efficiency Task Force, a cross-industry work group facilitated by Oil & Gas UK. The guidelines will be championed by the Efficiency Task Force and are available for free to Oil & Gas UK members through the recently launched Efficiency Hub.

It sets out recommendations and good practice for improving compression system performance, covering areas such as:

• Compression system maintenance

• Integrity assurance

• Equipment and process condition monitoring, and,

• Training and competency

It is recommended that companies have a “lessons learned” process to ensure continual improvement of maintenance procedures. A basic review would involve an assessment carried out after the execution of each maintenance activity, improving efficiency by providing a real-time response to any issues which arise.

Matt Nicol, chairman of the Production Efficiency Task Force (PETF) and operations director of North Sea Midstream Partners, said:

“Since the establishment of the PETF in 2012, industry has improved for a fourth consecutive year and increased production efficiency from 60 percent to 73 percent in 2016.

“Gas systems are a key priority for our group, having been identified as being one of the largest sources of production loss.

“The Gas Compression Work Group, which produced this new guidance document, is made up of cross-industry expert volunteers who have worked together to share lessons learned and best practices.

“We have made great progress but still have more to do to achieve the PETF’s 80 percent production efficiency target. I encourage all operators to utilise this gas compression best practice guide.

“I’d like to thank all the industry volunteers who continue to provide their time and knowledge to support the PETF. Their hard work is making a real difference to the people who work in our industry.”

Stephen Marcos Jones, Oil & Gas UK’s director of business excellence, added:

“The drive to increase industry efficiency requires companies to adopt new ways of working and share lessons and good practice. By streamlining our procedures and working practices across industry, we can continue to minimise downtime and maximise economic recovery.

“These guidelines are the result of a collaborative, cross-industry effort and I would like to thank our work group member companies for their invaluable expertise and commitment.”

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