Turnarounds – are you ready for 2022?

Successful TAR Management is Critical

Turnarounds, shutdowns, outages – whatever the choice of terminology, the reality is that periodic turnarounds are a necessity throughout the life of any energy industry asset.


These are driven by the need to;

  • Protect short, medium and long-term production
  • Maintain license to operate obligations in a Major Accident Hazard context
  • Invest for future production growth


Turnarounds (TARs) can become a significant threat to achieving the business goals if not managed effectively. Issues with planning and execution can lead to;

  • Increased risk of safety and environmental related events
  • Significant drain on available resource
  • Failure to meet production and cost targets
  • Loss of confidence in partners, shareholders and the markets

This can ultimately create reputational issues.


Meeting TAR Best Practice

It is likely your organisation will already have made significant progress in 2022 TAR planning and preparation at the time of publishing this article. Ideally this will have been running since mid 2021.

Reaching this stage of maturity in January is a good indicator your organisation is following best practice.

Best practice also calls for a strict project management process, using a phased or gated approach. Detailed guidance on this approach is available from the OGUK document ‘Guidance for the Efficient Execution of Planned Maintenance Shutdowns (available from OGUK Planned Maintenance Shutdown Guidance).

Successful TAR’s can be achieved. Like any project management process, it requires;

  • Early and effective planning
  • Strict project management controls
  • A strong sense of teamwork
  • Effective risk management

Overarching these elements, TAR success is dependent on the organisational culture that supports the process. This is the glue that holds all the distinct elements together throughout the TAR journey.

Critical Elements of Successful TAR Delivery

Our experience shows us there are five critical elements that must have a very high focus;

  1. Asset Ownership
  2. Diligent management of approved workscopes
  3. Committed engagement with the Operational Teams
  4. Protecting the Plan
  5. Effective Assurance throughout the TAR process

Asset Ownership

The operator’s leadership team must own the TAR.  Operators may outsource many elements of TAR management to 3rd party contractors; however this can create a risk of relinquishing responsibility and control.

Working with contractors and the supply chain is essential, but it is the operator who must set the bar for performance.

An effective TAR Steering team should provide necessary support and set clear expectations for all stakeholders.


Workscope Management

The single biggest factor in failed TAR delivery is workscope change. Communicating and sticking to clear workscope controls will increase confidence in plan achievability.

The greater the scope, the greater the risk to be managed. Its about doing the right scope and preventing creep. Scope is activities challenged in as well as challenged out.


Operational Engagement

A key factor for TAR success is engaging the operations teams from the start. This should include dedicated operations resources.

Late engagement with the operations teams will limit the degree of TAR ownership.  They may not fully understand the TAR drivers or critical path and will impact the efficiency of detailed site preparations.


Protect the Plan and Budget

Understanding the critical path, then applying constructability and risk analysis is key to ensure plan optimisation. It is essential the plan takes account of;

  • Realistic estimates for the draining, flushing purging and venting (DFPV) phase
  • Provision for contingencies and growth risk
  • Realistic provision for commissioning leak testing and reinstatement activities
  • Clear cost control arrangements in place, including regular cost reporting


 On average 25% of TAR critical path is out with mechanical window.

The graphic below shows the interaction between these key TAR phases and shows the importance of focusing on all these elements.





Effective Assurance

The final key element is effective assurance. It is easy for TAR teams to get focused on the detail and lose sight of the big picture.

Conducting effective TAR risk management, milestone gate reviews, and independent peer reviews will;

  • Allow timely risk mitigation strategies
  • Provide early visibility of risk to the TAR management team
  • Provide confidence to the leadership team, Steering team and partners that the present TAR status and risks are clearly understood



Where Are You Now

Thinking of the best practices covered in this article, where do you think you are now for your 2022 TAR (assuming a summer execution window)? …spoiler alert below!


Scapa Energy Experience

The team at Scapa Energy have significant experience of TAR management. We understand the unique project management characteristics and challenges that TAR’s create.

We would be very pleased to discuss these experiences with you to help you achieve your 2022 TAR objectives. Typical areas where we help are;

  • Independent TAR peer reviews
  • TAR risk management facilitation
  • Pre-Start Safety Reviews (PSSR) and Readiness Reviews



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