Abstract

The RM1.5 billion (US$600 million) Baram Delta Gas Gathering Scheme, known as BARDEGG was fully commissioned in December 1993. Teething problems encountered soon after start-up prompted management to set up a multidisciplinary quality improvement team to address the problem. The techniques adopted for this quality improvement project is based on the Juran methodology. Successful implementation of the remedial actions resulted in the team achieving its mission statement. The improved compressor performance played a significant role in exceeding the 1995 annual approved oil production level, maximised gas export and reinjection. Greener environment through minimum gas venting was achieved by maximising compressor availability.

Introduction

The Baram Delta comprises of nine fields and is located north east of Sarawak, Malaysia (Fig. 1). The RM1.5 million Baram Delta Gas Gathering Scheme(BARDEGG) was installed on four fields and fully commissioned in December 1993.In total 18 compressors are operated in the Baram Delta. Challenging targets in terms of oil and gas production, gas reinjection and export were set in 1994with Bardegg facilities on stream.

Mission

Teething problems encountered soon after start-up prompted management to setup a quality improvement team. A multidisciplinary team comprising members from the Petroleum Engineering, Engineering and Operations department was formed inearly 1994 to investigate the problem. The mission statement developed was to increase Bardegg compressor availability from 70% to 90% by early 1995.

Diagnostic Journey

In the diagnostic journey, the objective was to acquire a good understanding of the problems and events attributing to compressor downtime. Representatives from the four Bardegg installations were invited to identity and analyse symptoms relating to the problems. Following this, the team had a brainstorming session to identity the cause of compressor downtime and to logically link the various theories of these causes and represented as a "Cause and Effect" fishbone diagram (Fig. 2). The majority of the causes addressed were experienced in all four Bardegg installations and the next step was to analyse data and formulate theories to identity the root causes. Information on compressor shutdowns were made available from the monthly "Summary of Compressor Shutdown Status" reports and an analysis of the data was carried out for Quarter 1 1994. During this period, the compressors were down for a total of 15,800 hours, resulting from 431 shutdowns. Of the total compressor shutdown hours, 43% was due to stand-by which were mainly due to in sufficient gas available caused by drilling and engineering activities which required platform shutdown. A pareto analysis of the data collected was then generated to identity the most significant causes for compressor downtime (Fig. 3).Adopting the pareto rule which says that 20% of the causes contribute 80% of downtime, the team identified the most significant causes of compressor downtime in descending order as:

  1. unavailability of spare parts

  2. compressor valve failures

  3. dynamic response i.e. excessive vibrations

  4. engine problems

  5. general mechanical

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