Managing risk to ensure safe working in a refinery environment

A refinery faced a triple challenge: to achieve cost savings and improve productivity, to minimise knowledge loss resulting from voluntary redundancies among a specialist and experienced workforce, and at all times to maintain the highest standards of safe operation.

A previous realignment had failed to reach its objectives and had seriously compromised safety. The refinery was noncompetitive, and no longer rated a strategic asset.

25%

of £4 million annualised benefit

Monetary savings across the project year

600

Quick wins

Identified fast savings to a value of £5m

£1m

Financial savings

Utilising previously redundant information and communication resources

In the oil and gas industry, safety is paramount for the running of the refineries and rigs through which fuel extraction takes place.

Those who work in the sector appreciate the role that robust process plays in ensuring the health and safety for all those operating on site.

The value of an end-to-end approach cannot be underestimated, yet organisations in the sector are seeking opportunities to harness the power of new technologies to ensure this is done in the clearest, most understandable way.

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Sysdoc was appointed to support the reorganisation and identify areas for improvement and eventual cost reduction. We defined and captured all refinery business processes, role profiles, guiding policy and legislation, structures and systems in an end-to-end on-line Knowledge Portal. This provided a model of how the refinery worked and to manage the safe transition to a new way of working in the future.

This highly visual, accurate end-to-end view of the organization provided one trusted source of information that enabled the programme to over-deliver against the expectation, and provided management with the information they needed to make critical decisions in the refinery environment.

The result of our work was the fastest return to base business (safe working practices) in the company’s history. It raised their competitive position from one of the worst to one of the best performing refineries; and from a non-strategic, to a strategic and profitable asset.

This was the fastest refinery within the organisation to implement Sarbanes Oxley financial controls because of the excellent process documentation already in place. The Global Audit Team heralded it as an example of best practice in the oil refining industry.

“This is an excellent result. I do believe that we are setting the foundation for future improvements.”

Nigel Hearne

Operations Manager