WALTER ALIBEY & ROSEMARIE SANT
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Ageing assets a concern for energy companies
Local oil and gas companies are being challenged to re-think how they add value to their business operations in a climate of low prices.
The advice comes from Steve Masson, operations manager at Lloyd’s Register (LR) for Trinidad, who used the opportunity at the recently-concluded T&T Energy Conference 2016 to focus on ageing assets which he identified as a primary concern for the local energy sector.
Masson was among various speakers who focused oncost-effective asset integrity management especially at this time of depressed energy prices. He said during market downturns asset management techniques must be tailored and appropriately applied to ensure cost effective operations and help increase uptime and reliability without compromising safety.
“The issue around ageing infrastructure and the need to embrace new technologies and innovation through collaboration could not be more pressing for a sector that now finds itself in an era of low oil prices,” he said.
Masson said market economics is driving operators to explore ways to work smarter and more cost effectively since revenue generation has been greatly reduced.
With huge financial investment involved in a marketplace of tighter margins, identifying where best to focus inspection, maintenance and other core operational activities will be vital to survival, he said.
Key to this, he added, is identifying the critical assets and equipment required to achieve safety and business objectives, then determining how best to safeguard them.
Masson said in devising collaborative solutions, it is important to recognise that every business is unique and strategies vary between different companies operating in the region.
“But there are still common best practices that can be shared for the overall good of the region’s sustainability,” he said. “The responsibility for ensuring the future of the oil and gas industry lies with each of us—business, academics, regulators and government alike. By working more collaboratively, more intelligently and with a greater vision, then we will all effectively advance the industry’s success.”