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Facility operability is the ability of an organization to operate a facility in a safe and efficient manner. The ultimate goal of facility operability is to design and construct a facility that will remain safe, efficient and cost effective throughout its lifetime use. The majority of oil and gas facilities are built and operated successfully, but issues can arise during the design phase and those issues can eventually lead to costly or even detrimental incidents. Proper planning and preparation can enable an organization to adhere to guidelines of licensing organizations and insurance companies. Hazard operations (HAZOP) studies assess the effectiveness of facility operability plans, to identify potential or existing hazards and to evaluate the potential effectiveness of planned changes to a facility.Elements
Facility operability is a matter of safety and efficiency. Though most facilities are built and operated successfully, problems sometimes arise during the design phase that can lead to costly incidents. An industry expert said operators and project teams need a system in place to prevent these problems from becoming major issues. In a presentation held by the SPE Gulf Coast Section's Projects, Facilities, and Construction study group, Bill Capdevielle, an oil and gas consultant and former offshore installation manager at Mobil North Sea, outlined his philosophy for designing operable facilities. The presentation focused on production operations, which involve the organization charged with the sustainable business performance of an asset, facility operations, or the on-site organization that has custody of and controls the facility.
As engineering companies and operators further define the scope of project engineering efforts, the facilities engineer is being phased out of operations. This role is being replaced with a combination of project engineers, package engineers, and other specialists, leading to an increase in complexity in upstream projects. The SPE Gulf Coast Section Project, Facilities, and Construction Study Group's fall lecture series, "The Role of the Facilities Engineer in Upstream," defined the role of facilities engineers and the contributions they make to successful project execution. In the first presentation of the series, "The Value of Facility Engineers," James Deaver spoke about the skills facilities engineers need to develop in order to complement and support the project manager. Deaver is an engineering adviser at Oil Field Development Engineering.