Operators Drive Down Cost Per Barrel Via Chemical Optimization

 
oil sands 2.jpg

Context and Challenge

  • Plant Expansions at this facility have increased production by 200% in the past two years to meet consumer demands

  • During this expansion chemical usage varies significantly from shift to shift causing swings in oil production and quality

  • Chemical costs have risen exponentially and their optimization is critical if the plant is to meet it’s target operating expense (OPEX) per barrel produced

  • Management identified chemical optimization as both a significant challenge to plant stability as well as a major cost opportunity for the Production Team

  • Operational Excellence together with the Production Team were requested to tackle this issue and establish a focused, systematic approach to process control in the area of chemical optimization


casestudy_canadianoilsands_3_details.gif

Approach

  • A team was set up that included members from each shift. This team designed specific optimization experiments for the top two chemical processes based on cost

  • These experiments allowed the Operators to establish optimal set points and procedures for both stable and upset conditions

  • A Panel Operator Playbook was developed to include these procedures and enable operators to follow consistent methodology from shift to shift

  • Metrics and trend graphs were developed to monitor and control chemical usage in real time (Short Interval Control)

  • Introduced performance TALKs (Target/Actual/Loss/Key action discussions) with control room operators to ensure positive reinforcement of monitoring and controlling of KPIs

Evolve have demonstrated that consultants with the right skills and approach can really teach us something, and leave behind real long-term value.
— Delivery Unit Manager
 
Canadian Oil SandsCorey Wills