(EnergyAsia, December 3 2010, Friday) — Owners and operators of process plants need to continually manage their facilities risk and optimise the value of production assets throughout their entire life cycle. This includes asset integrity and reliability issues with health, safety, environmental (HSE) and economic impact potential are identified at every stage of an asset’s lifecycle.

An approach to asset integrity management that can aide those ultimately responsible for asset integrity to demonstrate corporate, statutory and regulatory compliance in high risk areas was presented by Francis C. Minah, Global Director of Safety & Risk at GL Noble Denton, at the Offshore Southeast Asia (OSEA) 2010 conference in Singapore this week.

In his presentation on ‘Why does the Industry need Asset Integrity Management (AIM)?’, he said:
“The implementation of intelligent solutions for managing the integrity of assets throughout their lifecycle is crucial. Major accidents or incidents can be avoided and mitigated by ensuring major accident barriers are in place and are rigorously maintained.

With an ageing asset infrastructure there is a requirement for effective process safety management, and major hazard risk controls need to be in place.”

Mr Minah focussed on the ageing oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure and its implications on efficient, reliable, cost-effective and safe operations. He said:

“Effective AIM is becoming even more critical. With increased focus on implementing international regulations, increased costs for maintenance and repair, and limited available resources, implementation of an AIM programme is challenging for most organisations.”

AIM for an LNG facility

A holistic asset integrity management approach for an onshore LNG facility was recently implemented by GL Noble Denton.

The operator had several challenges to overcome: There was an inconsistency in AIM approach across the facilities for old and new assets. The organisational roles, responsibilities and accountabilities between asset, maintenance and operational functions were unclear. There was a lack of understanding of criticality of assets and required performance as well as a poor understanding of the actual condition of old and new assets. In addition, there was no standard system for the collection, analysis and reporting of key data to demonstrate compliance with corporate and regulatory standards over 47 disparate databases.

GL Noble Denton applied a systematic four stage modular solution throughout the asset life cycle, which identifies and performance manages critical elements. An initial strategic review of the operator’s current systems for AIM took place.

As a second step a pilot study was undertaken to demonstrate the benefits of a full holistic AIM approach.

Mr Minah said: “The results demonstrated the benefits of the holistic AIM approach and this led to a full site implementation. The operator transitioned to an optimised condition based maintenance & inspection regime, based on consistent analysis of real time plant performance data. Both OPEX & CAPEX were optimised over the lifecycle of the asset through greater understanding of asset condition & criticality.

“In addition, we could highlight main integrity threats to management to prioritise OPEX spend in critical areas of risk.”

GL Noble Denton offer a range of supporting services including the development of integrity management strategies and philosophies, audit, legislative compliance, optimisation of inspection, refurbishment and maintenance activities, specialist materials and corrosion consultancy, online condition monitoring, and emergency response.