What is "World Class HES Performance," and what steps should be taken in the early Phases of a construction project to ensure that Incident and Injury Free are realities once execution begins? Why is World Class HES performance important to a large construction project at San Ardo Oil Field located in Monterey County, California?
This paper covers Lessons Learned from the San Ardo Lombardi Steamflood Expansion Project as it transitions into execution Phase. At the peak of activity, this $250 million project will bring almost 300 construction workers to a quiet production field that normally houses about 12 Operations employees. Bringing this 1940's field into the 21st century involves a major paradigm shift for this close-knit group of old-timers presenting some unique safety challenges. Located along the Salinas River in ecologically conscious Monterey County, California, this project also poses some very interesting environmental challenges. Both successes and improvement opportunities are discussed, along with appropriate Phase 3 HES activities, while the Project Team proceeds with front end engineering and design (FEED); which disciplines within HES to utilize, when and how; methods to integrate the existing Operations safety program into the Project Operational Excellence Management System; gaining both company and contractor Leadership and Operations buy-in; developing the Project Safety Management Plan and the Project Environmental Management Plan; and implementing HES Value Improving Practices (VIPs) and Best Practices. For major capitol projects, HES preparations must begin months before construction commences and this paper explores the best directions to focus those efforts.
The hydrocarbon in the San Ardo Field consists of heavy oil. To extract this oil, steam is injected into the ground to lower the oil's viscosity with the steam's heat. This is a standard industry method that has been employed at San Ardo for decades where the first oil wells were drilled in the 1940's. Over the years, the steam chest underground grew so large that the pressure buildup reduced the oil recovery rate. The purpose of the Lombardi Steamflood Expansion Project is to remove the steam from the ground. The resulting water will be treated at the new reverse osmosis plant to purify it. This purified water will then be reinjected into different strata where it will undergo further filtration before being drawn upon for agricultural purposes. With the pressure removed from the hydrocarbon-containing strata, the oil will flow more easily thereby increasing the production level of the field. During this project, dozens of new wells will be drilled, existing wells will be refurbished, closed in wells will be returned to production and the facilities will be upgraded and expanded. It is the intent of the Project Leadership Team to achieve world class safety performance on this project.