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Case Study: Jumpstarting: Information handover from EPC to plant

Case Study: Jumpstarting: Information handover from EPC to plant

Using the case of an LNG project in a multinational setting, Angus W Stocking explains how documenting information handover specification benefits multistage data validation.

When large-scale oil and gas projects transition from the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) phase to the operations phase, information handover can be problematic. EPC and operations teams have different priorities, different data formats, and different goals. It’s as though they speak different languages. For the Tangguh LNG project in Bintuni Bay of West Papua, Indonesia, the handover was further complicated by the multinational nature of the project. Establishing a common language in the form of a detailed information handover specification defined the requirements for EPC data that enabled the automatic population of the plant operations and maintenance management systems.

“Validation and subsequent management of EPC information throughout the 40-50-year lifecycle of the plant is critical to safe and efficient operation,” explained BP Information Manager Brian Grant. Without accurate EPC data, the operations team would have been at a distinct disadvantage. By transferring the EPC’s deep, detailed knowledge of the project to day-to-day operations managers, BP Indonesia gained significant economic and competitive advantage.

Project players

Tangguh LNG is the 3rd LNG hub for BP’s Indonesia operations. With a 37 per cent interest in the project, BP Indonesia operates Tangguh under a production-sharing contract with BPMIGAS, Indonesia’s regulatory body for oil and gas upstream activities. Building the facility involved multiple EPC contractors in Japan and Indonesia, more than 12 major subcontractors, and at least 300 vendors for nearly 100,000 items of equipment. Handover of the $5 billion project was executed by a team from BP, Bentley, and PT Landmark, an Indonesian company that provided local presence, knowledge of the remote Papua site, and local language skills.

Project framework

The Tangguh project taps six fields underneath Bintuni Bay in the province of West Papua. Proven reserves are about 14.4 trillion cu ft. The project resembles a city in complexity and scale, and includes gas production wells, platforms, gas transmission systems, LNG plants, marine facilities and an airfield. The processing plant’s first two units to purify and liquefy
gas produce at least 7.6 million mt of LNG annually.

Capturing and maintaining plant information for future use began at the contract stage, with EPC data requirements specified up-front in the initial contract documents. The project team used Bentley’s ProjectWise Lifecycle Server to provide a scalable, standards-based data warehouse and flexible storage and retrieval engine. Following the handover specification, the team put the EPC-phase data through a multistage validation process before uploading, consolidation, and final checking in the ProjectWise Lifecycle Server.

From this central data store, data was fed to the plant asset management systems, including the ACET corrosion and inspection management system and the IBM Maximo maintenance management system. “ProjectWise Lifecycle Server automatically tagged the document links in an easy-to-use system that operations staff was motivated to use and maintain,” Grant said.

Moving from documents to data

The server also facilitated collaboration among team members during the EPC phase by providing change management control between as-designed and as-built data, and an environment for definition of workflows and sign-off responsibilities. “Given the project scope and the widely dispersed teams, this was a challenge,” Grant said. “But excellent project management, well-planned site visits, communication, and use of the internet enabled the teams to work together effectively and complete the project on time and under the alloted budget.”

Grant noted that an important part of successful project completion and transition to operations phase was a change in orientation during the EPC phase. “We moved from a document-centric approach to a data-centric approach,” he explained. “The early involvement of Bentley Professional Services with the project’s information management and EPC team —before software was deployed—helped everyone involved change focus from simple document delivery to data delivery. This was a first for our team.”

The emphasis on data over documents helped to minimise format issues. For example, layout data stored and tagged properly in ProjectWise Lifecycle Server was easily accessible to construction teams and, later on, to maintenance staff. Similarly, schedules of installed machinery and equipment were available, after construction was completed, for integration into repair and maintenance schedules and the site GIS.

Using these tools enabled a staff of just 20 key people at BP to effectively coordinate 12 major contractors, and many more subcontractors deployed from all over the globe. Now that operations have begun, information and documents are available virtually, instantly via a web interface, allowing BP to meet its health, safety, and environmental reviews in record time. Grant explained, “Accessing information without such a system could take many days, and one consequence of unmanaged change is that an error could have a disastrous environmental impact. This is good governance of our information assets, and one of the best information management systems ever been deployed at BP.”

Training the local workforce

With a population of about 800,000, West Papua is the least populous province of Indonesia and is located on the western end of the island of New Guinea. The Tangguh LNG hub represents an important opportunity for economic development. BP is working with local officials to improve health, education, and employment in the community where the plant is located. Bentley Professional Services worked with PT Landmark, the local partner, to bring its team up to speed with the technologies and principles of ProjectWise Lifecycle Server, training many of their staff members for deployment to West Papua.

George Meyer, Maintenance and Engineering Systems Project Manager at Tangguh, says that the project was committed to hiring local people for all positions for which they are qualified.

Overall, about 2,000 Papuans were employed during the main EPC construction phase, and about six per cent of the operations staff is Papuan. That percentage is expected to rise quickly as locals complete their three-year training programmes at Bontang, another Indonesian LNG facility. The target is 85 per cent Papuan employees in Tangguh’s workforce after 25 years of having been operational. These figures are just for operations in West Papua at the Tangguh site. Both BP and the Indonesian government forecast substantial job creation throughout Indonesia.

Bentley Professional Services also trained key project staff on the principles of data management and the use and maintenance of information management systems—specifically, the delivery of data to IBM Maximo and the EMC Documentum enterprise content management platform. Working together, a straightforward, easily maintained data upload process was developed that allowed continuous data passage between systems to keep all tracked information current. By ensuring the local workforce is current on the latest document and data management practices, the project team maximised the benefit of the data delivery process implemented at the Tangguh LNG plant.

The Tangguh hub is expected to preserve Indonesia’s place as a major supplier of LNG in the world market. After subsea pipelines deliver natural gas to the Papuan mainland for processing, LNG will be delivered by tankers to customers in China, South Korea, Mexico, and United States. Clearly, Tangguh is poised to help meet the international demand for clean fuels that minimise air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Woven throughout all the major extraction project components is the need for accurate, timely information. By managing this information from early in the EPC phase and planning for the transition to full-scale operation, BP extracted major value for all its stakeholders.

The author is a licensed land surveyor who writes about infrastructure projects around the world. He can be contacted at www.InfrastructureWriting.com.

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