A Biased View of Anomaly Management

We are somewhat biased!

Let’s make that clear from the start – we have a biased view of anomaly management systems and this is a bit of a rant.

We don’t believe traditional spreadsheet repair registers and work order references are the best way to manage your Anomalies/Defects/MCDR’s/Deviations call them what you wish, in isolation from dynamic information entered at source by people who have the facts. And all those facts will not fit comfortably in a spread sheet repair register, ever.

Whether it is offshore, onshore or subsea – without a transparent single live picture of what stage all your integrity anomalies are at or even how many you have or are overdue – safety and production operations are exposed to an unquantifiable risk that is measured in unplanned expense, shut-downs or worse.

That’s fairly useless, although undoubtedly demonstrates compliance to the regulatory bodies, no argument there.

If you are not managing anomalies efficiently

Then we would guess you are not maximising efficiency and cost reduction on your upstream operations. Which is maybe not always only related to the cost of employing good people or purchasing new or replacement equipment to extract hydrocarbons and sell them at a rate hopefully below what the market is paying.

Transparently managing anomaly process and work flow enables some obvious and some underlying efficiencies and valuable benefits to be gained through good standard practice, common enforced methods (doing it the way you want) and exposing the granularity of ongoing remedial actions. Everyone looks at the same bit of information, that’s a good start.

Sounds good, but typically the oil and gas upstream industry uses a combination of work orders, maintenance management systems, various flavours of repair register spreadsheets and separate paper and data storage methods for recording and processing anomaly issues. It varies, but you know exactly what we mean…. been there got the t-shirt.

None of that enforces a single standard company wide methodology that you can trust, especially when someone ‘improves’ the spreadsheet and knocks the filters up for everyone else.

The management of a sticking plaster spreadsheet anomaly management workflow may occupy 30% or more of an entire integrity management teams daily work? What does that cost just to wrangle information from various places and collate progress and completion data into a central picture and update ‘the master spread sheet’ once a week or more.

As well as not knowing what you might want to know because the vital knowledge isn’t in a system, it’s in Bob’s head and he’s on holiday.

Engineers maintaining spreadsheets?

That is an expensive waste of time, carried out just because it has always been done that way and there was no extreme cost reduction pressure to drive efficiency. Oh, and there was no really viable simple alternative: maintenance management systems are not inherently effective anomaly management systems.

Spreadsheet output is what we define as ‘dead data’ reliant on who has the spread sheet at any one time or who touched it last. And how many hours did it take to arrive at the headline numbers, when there is no live information behind them and therefore they no bearing on how safe your operations actually are while these anomalies remain open? Time and safety critical issues will always fixed first and put in a system second, no argument.

However after that, the two years of monitoring the mitigation and tracking the spool replacement – do those updates, assessments and pictures go in a system or a work order or the extra special spread sheet that Engineering keeps just in case?

Log into ONE, select the asset and press one of the report options. Or press search and export to a spreadsheet, if you have to. It should all be there, if it’s not then get onto the person who should have entered it. ONE is another way to provide health, safety and compliance comfort.

A radical thought, although it’s obvious

Repair register spread sheets may evidence compliance and a set of numbers from data which is days, weeks or months old, but they do not enable you to safely and confidently manage anomalies live, dynamically and with complete transparency to close out. How many offshore people spend hours on a Sunday backfilling last weeks’ spreadsheet from paper notes, just for the Monday morning meeting?

Load the information into ONE when you do it or when you get some time. Then the knowledge is there for everyone, even if it’s just that it was checked and is not leaking. Yes, you can also hold a leak register in ONE, which tells you how many and what severity of leaks on each system or line. That’s just a tiny part of what ONE does.

You will probably not get that level of knowledge management in a maintenance management system unless you spend a load of money doing it, over a long time and, if it actually works first time, it will need a 2 week course just to teach you how to log on and use it.

A less radical question

How much does a temporary repair on a critical line cost when the spreadsheets forgot it was past it’s deviation date? And then you need an unplanned shut down because it needs an emergency overwrap to handle the pressure until the overdue spool replacement can be scheduled in again.

Can you see the live status of all temporary repairs on each platform in one place – are they installed, not installed, what is the deviation or replacement date? Can you see the design information and before & after pictures attached to them; not forgetting the results of the periodic inspections on the repairs which are also scheduled per anomaly as just another task? A temporary repair register, that’s about 5% of what ONE does.

That could be multiple temporary repairs or clamps on each anomaly record, which also holds the planned spool replacement task, and the monitor task, the fitness for service outcomes and the fabric maintenance task and, all the history on that single anomaly issue for the last few years since it was first uncovered?

Try putting all that in a single spreadsheet row or a couple of maintenance management system text fields….

Simple Standards

It would definitely be more efficient to use a central enforced and common standard work flow to ensure all the required information is recorded and updated, so you can see the state of all anomalies across all sites literally at the press of a button, live?

Would it be better to remove mind numbing data duplication and spreadsheet wrangling and then, enable your dedicated employees to spend a lot more time doing the more important stuff that you employ them to do?

You may not need as many extra people, the people you have are more productive, you will see 100% of the information live and, you get a huge amount of live and automated historic trend reports: shiny stuff with colours at the press of a button that does not take 2 days on a pivot table.

Sounds like a sales pitch and it is and, it is more than that – but it’s absolutely not proverbial rocket science. ONE is not complicated stuff, find a defect then record all the details and images and remedial actions and assessments in about 7 steps to anomaly management nirvana. We do the big fat buttons bit, which supports your workflow and terminology.

We know this because we spent years listening and developing the solutions that integrity engineers and offshore/onshore staff told us they wanted, to manage their anomalies.

Would we stick our neck out?

Yes, we will stick our collective neck out.

Since 2010 we believe our ONE system has become THE standard anomaly management system in the UK North Sea. It is the only fully comprehensive anomaly management system available anywhere, our clients tell us that. Oh and would anyone ever go back to the old spreadsheet repair registers, no chance.

Put us to the test wherever you are: anomaly management poses the same issues for integrity engineers in the UK as it does in Australia, Canada, Norway, UAE, New Zealand, Malaysia…

ONE is simple and quick to implement. You and your people will love it and the benefits are available within minutes of the first anomaly spreadsheet register being imported: absolutely guaranteed, because there will always be something that was buried and almost invisible, ready to bite.

Contact us now and have a rant about what you need to get to anomaly management nirvana.