Shell – Optimum frequency to perform well integrity tests

Submitted by Shell


  • Reduced planned losses associated with nominal fixed period well integrity testing frequency
  • Increased level of assurance on well integrity
  • Increased ability to pro-actively manage well integrity

Description of Best Practice

We have developed a method for deriving appropriate Christmas tree and downhole safety valve test frequencies using a statistical model. The model is based on actual historical valve integrity test data gathered in the field. Provided sufficient data is available, the method allows for test intervals to be set based on real and actual performance data (where available) and move away from fixed-term guidance in an appropriate and risk-based manner.

Contact: Wessel de Haas, Shell

The role of the QC

Submitted by TechnipFMC


The main focus of the project so far has been to gain an understanding of the here and now, what works well or not so well, what are the challenges that we face and what are the potential opportunities.

This has been carried out in a structured manner that will allow the project to move to the next stage; this being to analyse this VOC and data, and there is huge amount to work through, and define and assess the improvement opportunities across the six specific areas.

Only then will we start to define and agree the changes and improvements that we should make. The results of the analysis and recommendations for change will form the next article on this project.

Description of Best Practice

“Quality cannot be inspected into a product or service; it must be built into it.”

W Edwards Deming

The use of QC inspection is an accepted process that has not been challenged in terms of where it adds or can add real value to a clientThe comparatively low cost of QC resources vs the cost of an error in fabrication or manufacturing process is seen as worth paying even though the assurance provided by this resource can be difficult to quantify.

Evidence from other industries suggest that end of line inspection by itself adds little value if not combined with  feedback to the production or fabrication areas to identify and fix the root cause of issues.

Project Overview

Through the Sea Change programme at Technip, Natalia Peyre is leading a Business Excellence project that will ensure the UKBU QC function adds more value both to the client and to Technip.

This is a broad, strategic project that along with defining and delivering consistent QC processes will challenge the existing, accepted thinking around the QC role and where it can add greater value

Project Goals

The aims of this project as defined at project start-up are as follows:

  • For Technip UKBU to have a QC function that is adding greater value to client projects and associated processes
  • To have a consistent approach to the use of QC resources across UKBU projects
  • To deliver processes that consistently make best use of Technip’ QC resources
  • To identify and remove areas of duplication, for example where supplier, client or regulatory bodies QC resources are all present at an inspection
  • To define Quality Engineer and QC Inspector responsibilities

It is worth noting that as the project progresses, additional goals may be added or existing goals amended.

Adopting a greater emphasis on cross industry collaboration, there will be opportunities to share findings and opportunities for improvement with suppliers, clients and regulatory bodies.  The duplication of QC effort being an obvious example.

To kick the project off, and in keeping with our UKBU Business Excellence approach, Natalia has interviewed a number of key stakeholders across the QC process; from current Quality Engineers through to Project Managers and senior UKBU Managers.

This Voice of the Customer (VOC) approach has delivered a wide range of data, information and opinion that has allowed Natalia to understand the key challenges and opportunities that exist.

Analysis and consolidation of this VOC has enabled the project to be split into six focus areas, as detailed below:

  1. The end to end QC process, from the creation of an inspection and test plan through to final reports
  2. The roles and responsibilities of QC resource
  3. Training and competency requirements
  4. The duplication of QC deliverables at suppliers, whether that be duplication of Technip resources or supplier, client or regulatory bodies.
  5. The relationship, gaps and overlaps across our QC and QA roles
  6. A risk or criticality based approach to QC, whether that be product, process or supplier based

Alongside the qualitative data gleaned through the VOC process, Natalia has also started to capture quantitative data from our systems.

This will help us understand specific details such as numbers of inspections carried out by projects over a specific time period, which suppliers we work with and what types of QC work is actually being delivered. This can only help to inform any future changes or improvements to the QC role.

Contact: Ceri Harris, Technip UK Limited

TOTAL – Clarity and visibility improve efficiency

Submitted by Total


To date this initiative has resulted in:

  • a 12% improvement in plan achievement and 26% improvement in executed hours on Alwyn North platform
  • a 40% reduction in category A backlog hours
  • a significant improvement in the efficiency of scaffolding erection and dismantling

Description of Best Practice

TOTAL E&P UK Limited (TEPUK) has implemented a simple visual management tool on site that has enabled significant efficiency gains to be made on maintenance activities.  A visual planning board is used by disciplines and supervisors as the focus for scheduling, discussing and preparing activities on a current-day and day-ahead basis.

Individuals are able to manage their time more effectively, with fall-back and next-job or next-day preparation work available if the active task is interrupted.  Teams are split between scheduled activity and breakdown support which allows more efficient utilisation of resources and improves response time to unplanned events.

By locking in ‘field tour’ time on site, supervisors are measured daily on their attendance with the technicians out on the plant.  This valuable interface had disappeared from the supervisor’s schedule due to the increasing demands of email and PC activities.

Finally, a team performance and measurement indicator helps to uncover the root cause of any blockage to planned and scheduled tasks.  Technicians are encouraged to highlight this root cause and collectively these are reviewed to seek continuous improvement initiatives going forward.

Contact: John Catlow, TOTAL E&P UK ltd

TOTAL – action to improve productivity of offshore field operations

Submitted by TOTAL


Productivity improvement of 14 per cent.

Description of Best Practice

TOTAL, a major international operator committed to maximising oil and gas production from the UK continental shelf (UKCS) is taking bold action to improve the productivity of offshore field operations as part of its group-wide initiative to drive sustainable growth.

To achieve the business transformation required, the company is encouraging staff to commit to making a cultural change in the way they work, think and behave to help bring about improvements under three themes: safety, production and in managing costs better.

Improving the efficiency of offshore field operations, including maintenance activities, is one of the company’s eight key priority areas which include well construction, geosciences, contracts and procurement, projects, logistics, information services and overall corporate services. The company is using process improvement techniques such as ‘Lean’ to examine how its current practices in operations and maintenance activities could be improved to help control costs and improve efficiency.

“There are many processes to consider in each of the tasks associated with field operations and a fair amount of time is taken up with essential preparation activities such as tool box talks, site checks and work permit requirements. However, even in thisearly stage of the initiative we have seen the completion of planned tasks within the schedule improve by 14 per cent.

“We believe our new approach has succeeded in helping us grow an even stronger team ethos within field operations crews and that it is helping us to develop a shared responsibility for controlling costs which can only contribute towards a sustainable future for our company on the UKCS.”