Reliability improvement plans to improve BP’s plant efficiency

BP expects plant efficiency on its UK assets to increase by over twelve percentage points this year as a result of reliability improvement plans put in place over the last three years.

While there must be periodic breaks in production for planned maintenance, the company’s production has suffered from unplanned shutdowns due to equipment failure on ageing topsides and subsea infrastructure as well as insufficient equipment redundancy. In 2013, BP took specific action to address these unplanned shut-downs through the development and implementation of reliability improvement plans. As a result of these plans, BP expects its plant efficiency to improve from 70 per cent in 2014 to over 82 per cent for 2015.

The plans are founded on an ‘n+1’ philosophy, meaning each asset has spare capacity and critical equipment in case of failure, allowing for fewer and shorter unplanned shut downs. A central reliability team has been established and is accountable for owning and updating the plans, which are reviewed by senior leadership on a monthly basis.

Brian Pridmore, BP reliability and maintenance manager, said: “The reliability improvement plans have enabled us to identify vulnerabilities and prioritise maintenance of topside and plant equipment to increase both reliability and plant availability. We are now seeing the benefits of these plans through real increases in plant reliability across our UK assets. Less frequent unplanned shutdowns and production deferrals are good news for our business and the sector as a whole.”