Devon Canada selects OXAND for Risk Management Revamping of Major Oil Sands Program
Devon Canada has selected Oxand to revamp the risk management framework and processes for its Pike Thermal Heavy Oil Program including Pike 1 (capacity 105,000 bbl/d), 2 and 3. The work includes an assessment of Devon’s risk management practices and the creation and implementation of a new risk management framework.
“Managing risk is a key component of successful project delivery,” said Doug Whiteside, vice president Thermal Development, Devon. “Anticipating, evaluating and mitigating risks will help us ensure that our projects are safe, delivered on time and on budget.” Drawing from Oxand’s expertise, best industry practices and international standards, the company will create a specific risk management framework including policy, process, organization and tools for Devon. Once the framework is developed, it will be implemented throughout the Pike program, with a view to extend it to thermal projects and operations across the company. “We’re confident in Oxand’s ability to create a sound risk management program that will address business, environmental, quality and execution risks,” said Whiteside. “The new framework will be an important component in helping Devon to achieve its thermal heavy oil targets.”
Netherland: depth reduction on the River Waal
The Dutch Water Authorities have launched a tender for work on the river Waal, to ensure that its water levels do not rise to unacceptable levels compromising safety. Iter Fidelis, Oxand’s Dutch subsidiary, has been working with a consortium on its tender for this project.The tender includes design and construction works to move a dike, expand the width of the river and achieve a 10 cm decrease in water level at a prescribed location. The other goal is to increase the ecological value around the area of ‘Slot Loevesteijn’ castle, a historical landmark. The consulting work carried out by Iter Fidelis included writing the Quality Action Plan, describing Permit Management, Stakeholder Management, Project Quality Control and Planning Management.
Canada: Suncor Energy extends its Collaboration with Oxand on Thermal Well integrity management
- Following previous modelling studies performed on its MacKay River thermal wells, Suncor has commissioned Oxand for the execution of comprehensive 3D Finite Element modeling of a SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) well in operation, in order to identify and mitigate the risks of cement integrity failure. This study includes:
- The construction of a 3D model of the well including the adjacent formations of interest (reservoir, caprock and overburden);
- The dynamic simulation of the well’s behaviour in operation;
- A scenario analysis aiming to identify the parameters affecting cement integrity, in order to develop appropriate mitigation strategies.
France: SNCF models infrastructure life cycle costs
To better anticipate maintenance management of the national railway network for which it has been delegated responsibility, SNCF wants to reinforce its cost modelling methods using a tool for the strategic simulation of maintenance costs. Oxand was entrusted with the mission of carrying out an initial benchmarking against four European railway networks (Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Italy) to benefit from their return on experience. On the basis of this information, SNCF's infrastructure management division will be able to develop a method and tools allowing it to budget the overall ownership cost of the infrastructure under their remit on a national and/or local level.
USA: CENG mandates OXAND to support risk-informed management of its Fukushima Response projects
Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) is undertaking significant projects throughout its fleet in response to the March, 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The project’s goals are to enhance the safety of CENG’s nuclear facilities whilst complying with the Fukushima-related orders, requirements and recommendations issued by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In order to enhance project risk mitigation, Oxand has established a risk management framework and initial project risk identification for these projects in regards to their scoping, design, implementation and operation.
Netherland: Risk management of enlargements to the Juliana waterway
Holland’s Juliana waterway is to be widened and deepened to allow a higher category of river traffic to pass through. Iter Fidelis, the dutch Oxand's subsidiary, is advising a German – Dutch consortium on their tender for the design and construction of this project which has a budget of between 70 to 100 million euros. The enlargements need to be managed with minimum impact to the surrounding environment, taking into account major issues such as the level of ground water during realisation, an important chemical pipeline and the necessity to guarantee the intake of clean water for chemical processes from the canal. Iter Fidelis is advising the consortium on the financial, technical, legal, environmental and safety aspects of risk management during the design and construction phases, as well as on permits, licenses and reduction of hindrance for stakeholders.
Managing the ageing of cables in nuclear power plants
The ageing of electrical cables is one of many potential limiting factors influencing the long term operation of nuclear power plants. Regulatory compliance, safety and availability are the three main issues that need to be managed. Anticipating and planning for the eventual replacement of cables is the key to avoiding unnecessary shutdowns.
International rules set out by nuclear regulatory bodies require operators to monitor the condition of all their safety-related Systems Structures and Components (SSCs). This includes electrical cables, which can deteriorate over time, thus affecting their function of supplying power to vital machinery. However the networks of electrical cables within a power plant are vast, complex and difficult to access. This means most nuclear operators do not have operating inspection plans and as a consequence are currently not fully compliant with international regulations – as they will be required to be in the coming years. What they need then, as a first step, is to set up dedicated Ageing Management Plans (AMP) for cables.
The repair and eventual replacement of cables are industrial challenges if the necessary frameworks have not been put in place. Operators need to assess the condition of their components, in order to forecast the replacement stock or the industrial resources they will eventually need. This is a major issue, as these specially designed replacement cables take time to source, as do the teams required to perform the work.
What is needed to resolve these issues is a more formal approach to the management of ageing cables. Oxand offers a vast experience in the ageing management of passive SSCs. Following a full diagnostic of components, Oxand creates a framework for inspection, maintenance and replacement. These frameworks take into account the most vulnerable areas, such as cables exposed to severe conditions of temperature or humidity. Oxand can then construct a risk-based ageing management plan to enable operators to assess the current condition of their cables and make decisions relating to planning for repair and replacement. From this Oxand can help operators to plan for an appropriate stock of replacement components and to determine procurement strategies for the contractors involved.
Oxand’s experience and references in the ageing of nuclear components means that it can help operators manage these important issues, retain the value of their assets over the long term and keep them aligned with international legislation.
New growth in industrial investment projects
In many countries, plans are underway to stimulate economic recovery, meet rising demand for energy, and drive sustainable growth based on environmentally-friendly technologies. These initiatives include large-scale industrial projects, and nuclear power and rail transport are among the first concerned. These projects require investment of considerable funds, meaning that the entirety of technical and financial risks must be managed with care.
Key projects in the energy sector - Nuclear power
Many countries plan to invest in the nuclear sector. In Europe, Great Britain has just confirmed its intention to increase the percentage of nuclear power in its overall energy supply. As such, construction of two initial EPR reactors at Sizewell and Hinkley Point is scheduled to start in 2013, and another ten or so projects, led by key market stakeholders, are currently being examined.
In the United States, the government annouced this year its intention to launch a program for the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants, a sector which has not seen any new projects for nearly 30 years.
There are currently 56 reactors under construction across the world, 21 of which are in China.
Transportation - Rail transport gains support
The number of rail transport projects, particularly high-speed connections, is also increasing across the world, driven by a steadily rising demand for mobility, and environmental concerns that favor solutions with low CO2 emissions.
Notably, China has recently commissioned 3,500 km of railroad track, and has another 9,000 km under construction. The country intends to expand its rail network four-fold over the next decade or so.
Other countries are also conducting similar large-scale projects to promote rail transportation for both passengers and freight, including the USA, Russia, Brazil and Morocco.
In France, construction of the new LGV Est high-speed line is now entering its second phase, greatly enhancing its capacity. This line forms part of a vast project to enhance rail transport structures throughout central Europe. Work on the new Tours-Bordeaux line will also start soon.
In addition to new construction work, projects are also underway to renovate existing lines. RFF, the organisation that manages France's rail infrastructure, has announced considerable investment in this domain.
End-to-end risk appraisal and management
All these projects require significant investment and many are financed through complex public-private partnerships.
In order to ensure that their investment decisions are fully informed, investors and future operators need a reliable risk appraisal that factors in the technical and economic aspects of the entire project: design choices, approval and certification from health and safety authorities, legal considerations, infrastructure construction, maintenance, financial costs, and so on.
Once the risks have been appraised, they must then be managed throughout the project using an information system that meets short-term requirements (for the design and construction phases) and also enables information on the risks inherent in the construction phase to be transferred to the future operators.
Oxand has leveraged the knowledge and experience it has acquired through working with clients in various sectors. It has honed its skills and developed innovative tools for analyzing the risks involved in such large-scale projects. Oxand has experience of working alongside international consortiums on large projects in Europe and the USA. Its consultants provide support in defining and preparing the project and managing risks in the best interests of all parties.
Europe prepares to introduce fees for infrastructure use
Across the European Union, rail transport and energy markets are being opened up to competition. Simultaneously, many service providers are separating their operational activities from their infrastructure management services.
This new situation will require a significant structural transformation and the use of new planning methodologies based on complex technical economic analyses. Plans to charge fees to rail infrastructure users constitute a prime example.
In the transport and energy sectors alike, infrastructure managers must provide users with a clear and fair fee structure that covers their real operating costs and future investment needs.
Calculating fee levels
First, infrastructure managers must determine their real operating costs and evaluate the longer-term financial needs generated by their infrastructure management strategy (renovation, maintenance, operations). This information can then be used to calculate the costs incurred by normal operations. The infrastructure access fee must cover at least part of this amount, depending on the pricing policy chosen.
After calculating this annual fee requirement, mechanisms must be defined and used to distribute the costs among infrastructure users in accordance with individual usage of the constituent resources (capacity, availability, energy, etc.).
Naturally, infrastructure managers must also ensure full economic transparency and compliance with regulatory authority requirements.
Overall, the process requires in-depth knowledge of real operating costs and the ability to evaluate long-term policy costs and create appropriate fee calculation mechanisms.
Oxand has extensive international experience in managing industrial assets (maintenance strategies, economic evaluations, financing) and meeting the engineering requirements of ageing infrastructures (life cycles, ageing mechanisms). Oxand leverages this expertise to support transport network managers.
Europe: 4.5 billion Euros to develop CO2 storage and renewable energies
The European Commission, European Investment Bank (EIB) and Member States are proposing to provide about 4.5 billion Euros in direct funding for innovation in sustainable development. This grant is to finance two initiatives: the advancement of capture and geological storage of CO2 (CCS), and innovative renewable energy technologies
This grant, named 'NER300' (New Entrant Reserve), corresponds to 300 million tonnes worth of CO2 emission allowances (rights to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide) in the New Entrants' Reserve (NER) of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The financing of the grant will come from the sale of these emission rights at 15 Euros per tonne, which it is estimated will raise 4.5 billion Euros. This amount will cover 50% of the investments in sustainable development schemes.
Interested countries must submit their projects to the EIB before the end of 2010; the final decision will be made one year later. The proposed programmes should be operational by the end of 2015. A second call for projects will be launched in 2013.
The EU directive highlighted the importance of Risk Management for CCS projects. Oxand will support some of the applicants to the NER 300 to ensure they are compliant with the ISO 31000 standards.
New international standards for managing risk
After ISO 31000, which dealt with the design and implementation of global risk-management systems, new international standards are appearing to complete the picture. The objective: to better anticipate the threats facing organisations.
This is the case for ISO 31010, which provides a catalogue of available risk-analysis methods. Or standard 26000*, which is close in scope to ISO 15288: both aim to provide management frameworks, the former for organisational responsibilities, the latter for the life cycle of large industrial projects.
Not forgetting the British Standard Pass 55, specially designed to structure and improve the management of industrial assets.
At the heart of businesses today, we are seeing a strong demand for the implementation of these constantly evolving international standards.
This is one of Oxand's competencies. The solutions that its experts develop are all coherent with these standards.
* Publication of ISO 26000 is expected towards the end of 2010
A growing number of countries are choosing to extend the lifetime of their nuclear power plants.
From Spain to Belgium, passing through France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States, nuclear security regulators have decided to prolong the operational lifetime of their existing nuclear sites. On the world scale, this includes over 400 reactors.
The countries that chose nuclear power, principally in Western Europe and in North America, have run into difficulties in new nuclear power station projects. Reticent public opinion, the heavy investment required, and political tendencies have persuaded numerous governments to prolong the use of existing power plants beyond their predicted lifetime of about 40 years.
Today, nearly a third of nuclear power plants across the world have been in use for 30 years. Plant operators who are preparing dossiers to justify lifetime extension are confronted with two questions: is it possible to extend the lifespan and, if so, what is the required plan of action?
These are questions answered by Oxand's experts on a case-by-case basis. Oxand is steering several extension projects in different countries and has intervened in North America since 2010.
Europe: The European Commission is supporting geological storage of CO2
The EU has recently approved a grant for over one billion euros in financial assistance to 15 European sustainable development projects. Six of these involve the geological storage of CO2 (CCS). As for all high-stakes projects, an analysis of site safety and containment risks is necessary.
Oil and gas operators, as well as electricity companies concerned about their environmental impact, are required to demonstrate the safety of CO2 geological storage sites throughout the entire life-cycle of a project and beyond (often in terms of millennia).
Special importance is attached to the performance and safety aspects of containment. It is therefore indispensable to develop sound methodologies for qualifying the long-term performance of cements used in the wells, and also to evaluate the risk of leakage. This approach is now a necessity, since it is a requirement of the European CCS Directive that satisfactory CO2 confinement is demonstrated by a quantitative study of the risks within a storage complex.
Whatever the sector concerned, the viability of all projects must be demonstrated as much in political, financial and social terms as on an environmental level (especially when the approval of an official safety authority is required).
A management-aid system adapted to the risks involved in this type of project must therefore be developed. This system will need to provide information to aid in the design process (design choices, material specifications, etc.) and the formulation of management strategies and optimized interventions (maintenance work, monitoring, etc.).
It is in this context that, since 2002, OXAND has been adding long-term value to these types of projects by continuing the development of programs such as SIMEOTM-STOR. OXAND's solutions have already won over various major electricity, petrol and gas companies.
The Netherlands: Extension of the Port of Rotterdam
In launching the new "Maasvlakte 2" extension programme, the port of Rotterdam is showing its commitment to continuously grow and improve its service. The most eye-catching project is the construction of a new port and industrial complex in the North Sea, with 1000 hectares of industrial land enabling access for the largest ships, and 750 hectares set aside as a natural reserve. The new complex will be located west of the current Maasvlakte.
Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) will operate the first container terminal on Maasvlakte 2 with a plot area of 156 ha.
Construction is expected to start in 2011, and the new complex should become operational in 2013. The extension will enable client organizations to increase their competitiveness on a global scale. The main purpose of RWG is to create a major European through port for clients: a safe, reliable, predictable, sustainable, and competitive container terminal for the coming 25 years.
To support RWG in this ambitious enterprise, Iter Fidelis, member of the Oxand group, will undertake a risk analysis of the client stakes and the potential failure modes of the system, enabling expected future maintenance costs to be taken into consideration during the design phase. The benefit for RWG is the increased guarantee on the availability and safety of the operational structure.
Great Britain: EDF pursues its plan to construct EPR nuclear power stations
EDF has launched its project to build and operate new EPR (European Pressurized Reactor) nuclear power plants in Great Britain. The design and construction principles for these plants are currently under evaluation for licensing by the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
By buying out British Energy in 2008, EDF group consolidated its position as the market leader in global nuclear operations, with 66 reactors and a total nuclear production capability of 72.5GW.
The French energy operator is now hoping to develop, invest in and operate four EPR nuclear reactors in Great Britain, with the aim of having two of them in service by 2017. The sites chosen for these two third-generation power stations are Hinkley Point (Somerset) and Sizewell (Suffolk), both coastal sites.
The British safety authority (the Health and Safety Executive - HSE) is currently evaluating a request for licensing made by EDF for the design and construction of components for these power stations.
The certification will involve a detailed examination of the codes used for the design and construction of the civil structures and equipment which form the EPRs. The code – the ETC-C (EPR Technical Code for Civil Works) – was developed by EDF.
Oxand has been appointed by EDF, via its EDF-SEPTEN (Thermal and Nuclear Design Services) division, to provide assistance with the licensing process. Oxand's mission is to bring its technical expertise in civil engineering to the project to support the current assessment process, which is an essential phase in acquiring the licensing necessary to build and operate the EPRs.