Asset Performance Management (APM)
Integrating two distinct and highly complex companies is no easy feat, but with visionary leadership, dedicated teams, and leading-edge software, anything is possible.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, SOCAR, is a 100% state-owned national oil and gas company headquartered in Baku, Azerbaijan. SOCAR initiated its business operations in Turkey upon acquisition of 51 percent of the shares of Petkim from the Privatization Administration in 2008. Upon completion of all ongoing projects of SOCAR Turkey , the total value of its investments in the region will reach up to 19.5 billion US Dollars. SOCAR Turkey encompasses the best-in-breed companies such as Petkim, TANAP, STAR Refinery, SOCAR Terminal, Petkim RES (Wind Power Plant), Bursagaz, Kayserigaz, Enervis, SOCAR Enerji Ticaret, Millenicom and SOCAR Depolama.
SOCAR Turkey wanted to implement a best practice Asset Performance Management system at two of its sites in İzmir that, while vertically integrated, had very different strategies, systems and ways of working.
Petkim is a brownfield petrochemical plant with more than 30 years in operation, while STAR Refinery (SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery), a greenfield oil refinery, began operating in 2019. STAR Refinery sells naphtha to Petkim. The liquid hydrocarbon material is used to manufacture petrochemical products for a wide range of industries.
Integrating the two meant bringing together separate teams from different organizations to work together under a single project plan.
Based on SOCAR Turkey’s requirements and business objectives, the company selected a combination of the GE Digital Asset Performance Management solution, and system integrator Stork’s world class functional asset management expertise, as the best combination to position SOCAR Turkey for long-term success and sustainability.
Teams from GE Digital and Stork worked closely with crews at Petkim and STAR Refinery to implement GE Digital’s full suite of APM software to support the implementation of best practice reliability, integrity and safety methodologies across both sites. The solution was deployed over two phases in 2019.
One of the main areas of focus was the APM Integrity solution, part of the GE Digital APM suite of solutions. This includes:
- Risk-Based Inspection (RBI 580 & RBI 581)
- Inspection Management
- Thickness Monitoring
- Asset Health Management
SOCAR Turkey knew that implementing Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) in a proper way would give it the ability to optimize inspection plans, including scopes of work and required inspection intervals. While the inspection scope for some components will be more detailed and focused to detect the potential degradation mechanisms, other inspections could have their intervals extended, and less rigorous scopes as per the calculated risk from RBI.
In order to establish and maintain an inspection program that yields the highest probability of detecting potential damage, SOCAR Turkey also needed visibility into emerging risk via process or operating conditions and their effect on potential damage mechanisms. These are commonly referred to as integrity operating windows (IOWs).
It was crucial for us to have a solid foundation during our Asset Management journey, and by developing our integrity and reliability strategies together with STORK utilizing GE Digital APM suite, we believe that we can improve and sustain our asset performance to attain maximum value of SOCAR Turkey’s Refinery and Petrochemical facilities integrated structure.
Özgür Can Akyüz - Integrity and Reliability Director, SOCAR Turkey Refinery and Petrochemicals Business Unit
SOCAR Turkey’s IOW program aimed for inspection planning efforts to be more dynamic and to account for changing process conditions and current equipment conditions. This formed the need for a proactive online monitoring system that included high levels of communication based on real-time information which comes from Process Historian.
With SOCAR Turkey’s move to an RBI program, it is even more vital to identify and track process information that validates or might cause changes to existing inspection plans.
Other key requirements the SOCAR Turkey team demanded out of their APM solution were:
- Ability to utilize APM for cathodic protection management without any additional customization.
- Bulk data loading for RBI analysis, thickness monitoring, cathodic protection and inspection history, as well as the ability to use data loggers for bulk and automated thickness measurements data collection.
- Best practice way to manage piping circuits for inspection data and RBI analysis. Previously, Petkim used each piping tag as separate asset which is considered a traditional but very time-consuming process.
STAR Refinery and Petkim utilized the GE Digital APM RBI capabilities to justify, through risk calculations, that more rigorous inspections with less frequency successfully lower Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) risks. This enabled them to extend the mandatory inspections period. Ancillary benefits of the approach included:
- Ability to more effectively manage inspection costs by shifting resources to higher risk areas, as well as identifying items that can be inspected non-intrusively on-stream instead of intrusive internal inspections.
- Inspection intervals more aligned with turnaround intervals.
- Inspection findings targeted towards specific damage mechanisms defined via corrosion study–to assess and incorporate inspection confidence levels into re-analysis of risk when RBI studies are evergreened.
SOCAR Turkey used GE Digital’s OT Connect capabilities to bring process and operating parameters, such as Open Platform Communication (OPC) compliant tags that link to respective assets, to monitor asset health and IOWs. These are critical to manage excursion events to maintain the integrity of the asset and ensure operational safety. Automated email alerts and dashboards enable a more effective monitoring system to identify process safety bad actors and track any follow-up activities. Teams can now:
- Lower the risk of operating process equipment by establishing safe operating and process variables limits, helping the plant to stay ahead of potential degradation.
- Maintain the credible degradation mechanisms adequately considered and evaluated, to produce a more effective inspection program.
- Visualize both historical and real-time critical operation parameters data and process variables to improve communication and decision-making process to act proactively towards excursion events.
- Leverage the IOW to enhance reliability of process equipment by controlling the rate of degradation through changing the established critical operating parameters limits that can project the reliable operation period of the asset.
Some of the core tactical benefits that both STAR Refinery and Petkim took advantage of with the APM solution include:
- Utilizing the data loader functionality effectively–to bulk load RBI corrosion loops, RBI components and RBI analysis (580 & 581). This enables teams to quickly gather and load data for RBI analysis into APM.
- Standardizing and scaling all required piping circuits created in SAP and GE Digital APM, which will improve the effectiveness of RBI process for piping circuits and for inspection reporting.
- Utilizing data logger (DMS Go+) for thickness measurement collection for all fixed equipment.
- Effectively managing cathodic protection via Operator Rounds module (creating route, route schedule, measurement and readings)
- Employing APM Integrity to set up inspection priorities for the next turnaround.
We are proud to be part of SOCAR Turkey’s Refinery and Petrochemical facilities Asset Management journey from day one. Through teamwork and knowledge transfer new adding value asset strategies are developed and implemented. By using the GE Digital APM software suite we are certain that SOCAR Turkey is able to reach top tier asset performance and can sustain this on worldclass level in the near future.
Hans Minnaard - Principal Consultant, STORK Asset Management Technology