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Slow pace in the introduction of integrated operations

The introduction of integrated operations (IO) has not taken place at the pace envisaged by the oil industry a few years ago. The reason may be high oil prices and a high activity level on the Shelf, according to a SINTEF report prepared for the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA). The report was presented at the seminar “Maintenance management and IO”, held at the PSA’s offices on Thursday, 30 October.

The industry had indicated earlier that IO would lead to the establishment of new Norwegian knowledge industry. Centres of expertise would emerge that would also sell their services on the international market. The SINTEF report claims that the players use IO to achieve maximum profit with little regard to the idealistic goal of developing a knowledge industry.

The report states that the operating companies take a more positive view of the IO process than the contractors. While the companies believe many of the goals have been achieved, the contractors call for a better sharing of the profit and risks. The contractors are dissatisfied as regards information and access to data. This may be due to matters relating to contracts or IT security.

Manning a sensitive area
In 2003 OLF stated that it had great expectations to the introduction of IO, which, in OLF’s view, would lead to a reduced cost level, accelerating production, increased recovery rate and an improved HSE standard. The Shelf organization would be relieved, maintenance prioritized even more and operations would become more automated and optimized so that downtime was reduced. 

At the seminar, Semsudin Leto from the PSA reviewed the results of a survey taken of the oil companies to map results of the introduction of IO (from the said SINTEF report). Several of the companies omitted answering a sensitive question regarding whether IO had led to a reduction in manning. 

The operating companies have transferred some operations from offshore to land, while the contractors have maintained the same distribution of work. The overall extent of maintenance is affected to a negligible degree. Campaign-based maintenance is used more often than before, but this also varies among the companies and is not directly related to IO. 

Competence requirements for maintenance management has not changed to any considerable extent. It is difficult to document reduced downtime as a result of IO. 

Requires greater commitment
Øyvind Tuntland, director for professional competence in the PSA, said at the seminar that maintenance has a considerable influence on safety. Almost half of the most serious accidents on the Shelf occur in connection with maintenance or modification work. The extent of maintenance and modifications is substantial on the Norwegian Shelf. 

Tuntland pointed out that mistakes are made in planning, execution and control of maintenance. ”The major accident perspective entails that safety work in general and maintenance of safety-critical equipment must be particularly safeguarded. Follow-up of this requires a greater commitment than what the case is today,” said Tuntland. 

The challenges include obtaining the proper competence. The decision-making basis for maintenance management must become better and more visible. 

Norway’s goal is to be a world leader in HSE in the petroleum industry, at the same time as the industry is to be a world leader in IO. Tuntland called on the industry to give some consideration to the challenges connected with achieving these visions with maximum synergy. 

At the seminar, Ivar Sløveren from Petoro raised the question of whether the IO goals had been achieved. Steinar Bjugn from BP Norge AS gave an account of maintenance management and IO in Valhall Re-Development. Hans Christian von Krogh from Aker Solutions AS talked about the new knowledge industry, Knut Øien from SINTEF looked at IO, maintenance and major accidents and Einar Sørensen gave an account of maintenance management in Mærsk with the new CAMDT ( Criticality Analysis and Maintenance Determination).


Links to the papers presented at the conference and relevant reports (in Norwegian only) can be found at the Norwegian version of this article.

Contacts in the PSA:

Media inquiries:

Kristin Hoffmann
Information Consultant
Telephone: +47 51 87 62 19