As the industry’s national flagship, the biggest oil and gas producer in the Netherlands sets the standards for safety and efficiency. In a collective effort towards cost control and Preventive Maintenance Optimization (PMO), MaxGrip assisted with FMECA studies and Quick RCM processes.
A 50/50 joint venture, the company was originally set up for oil exploitation in the 1940s. Since the discovery of one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves in The Netherlands in 1959, the emphasis shifted to gas extraction. The company currently produces about 60 billion m3 per year, mostly from smaller fields. Natural depletion, aging equipment, and environmental regulations have led to major facility upgradings from the 1990s onward. Among the company’s main objectives today are to sustain production from existing fields, and to obtain more gas from them by using innovative techniques. The company has three divisions in the Netherlands.
Producing oil and gas in a safe, sustainable and efficient way requires continuous attention to details. Partly due to the low oil prices of recent years, the company is facing challenges with regard to operating costs. Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and MaxGrip’s extensive experience in the industry provide an effective answer. We have been
partnering with the company for more than ten years and were contracted to facilitate and execute the RCM process.
MaxGrip expert Jeroen Juurlink focused on the first division assets. “Two of the companies of the joint venture joined forces in this division to manage their fields in the southern part of the North Sea, and the associated onshore facilities. As with many brownfield assets, maintenance routines are often the result of years of proven concepts or statistics, but they can also be the outcome of opinions, habits, or gut feelings. In ever changing operational conditions, the preventive maintenance framework should be reviewed on a regular basis.”
The company’s policy aims for a complete maintenance review for all assets within a five-year cycle. The RCM process is a proven methodology to balance costs, risks, availability and reliability. “In workshops with the company’s engineers, we developed a road map to shorten the cycle to three years. We facilitate the process and monitor its progress, while the company’s engineers contribute with detailed knowledge of asset characteristics. These RCM sessions warranted a shift towards more condition-based maintenance, and yielded a Hands on Tool Time reduction of 10,000 hours every year.”
MaxGrip expert Fopko Bouwkamp focused on another division’s assets, which cover all onshore facilities outside Groningen. “We also worked on PMO and used workshops to explore worst-case scenarios for selected assets. We identified failure causes and assessed the cost-effectiveness of risk mitigation measures. Lengthy RCM processes are rarely a favorite pastime, but by asking the right questions to the right people, we were able to inspire positive change.” Taking production rates, potential disruptions and dominant failure modes into account, the team optimized the preventive maintenance framework, in a manner much appreciated by the company’s teamleader R&M: “The project management introduced by MaxGrip is going to be applied to all ongoing and future projects.”