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Oilsands turnaround cost performance study

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Asset Performance Canada, ULC (AP-Canada) presented the results of its consortium sponsored Oil Sands Turnaround Cost Performance Benchmarking Study on 23 April 2014. Study sponsors included Suncor, Shall Albian Sands, Shell Scotford Upgrader, and CNRL.

Turnarounds are major events that can influence a company’s profitability through:

  • The cost of the event.
  • The revenue lost due to the plant being offline.
  • The potential harm to plant reliability that can occur if the turnaround is performed poorly.

Additionally, turnarounds involve significant safety and environmental risks.

The study examined the unique cost drivers affecting oilsands turnarounds and uncovered opportunities for cost savings. AP-Canada compared turnaround cost performance in the Athabasca Oilsands region to that of non-oilsands turnarounds throughout Alberta, as well as turnarounds executed in the US Gulf Coast region. In doing so, AP-Canada was able to isolate uncontrollable cost factors and focus on those costs that can be directly addressed and controlled by oilsands owner/operators.

The study confirmed that turnaround costs in the oilsands are among the highest in the oil and gas industry, and qualified the cost gap between the oilsands and other regions. The study additionally examined schedule, safety, environmental, and scope control performance areas, establishing oilsands norms and comparing those with performance figures for non-oilsands Alberta turnarounds and US Gulf Coast turnarounds.

Upon completion, a report analyzing overall results was presented to the sponsors. Each sponsor also received a site specific report examining the site’s cost performance in comparison to group averages and identifying site-specific cost saving opportunities.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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