Objectives/Scope: There are many challenges associated while operating in oil and gas fields, from field complexity, economic feasibility, risk response & mitigations and people management.

In Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), there are around 70 teams with more than 3000 employees responsible for operating and maintaining different environments for producing oil and gas with various operating conditions and risks. With the nature of recurrent operating challenges, there is a need to build the employees’ capability to self-running the process and decide the correct reactive actions in addition to being proactive to any possible future challenges. Hence the organization, with the support of Continuous Improvement (CI), decided to optimize the ways of working.

Methods, Procedures and Processes: To optimize the performance of the different ongoing processes at operate and maintain department (O&M), Continuous Improvement Fundamentals (CIF) were introduced in 2018 targeting all teams to be at the Established maturity level by mid of 2023. Established level refers to the ‘level of maturity where the team can run the business independently and adhering to all risks and opportunities’.

Teams at the established level have the right CI skill competency and infrastructure to independently make continuous improvements in line with the PDO CI standards.

CIF consists of 5 elements which focus on:

  1. Standardizing all critical processes.

  2. Visualizing KPIs for the critical processes.

  3. Having frequent team huddles to review the KPIs’ visual management.

  4. Having frequent team engagements to discuss all improvements raised by the team members because of the visual management review or any idea the team members think will help to improve the performance.

  5. All CIF are maintained by having a robust leader standard work (LSW) to ensure the sustainability of the CIF.

The CIF deployment journey is accompanied by a dedicated Lean program targeting all managers, team leaders and supervisors in (O&M). The program focuses on developing problem solvers and lean managers learning to develop each CIF within each team while transferring the knowledge to the subordinates through coaching, leveraging a structured Socratic questioning approach called coaching kata (CK). In addition, each CIF team is armed with qualified CI problem-solving facilitators.

Results, Observation and Conclusion: By end-2022, 50 out of 70 teams have reached the established level, which means 75% of critical processes for each team have implemented CIF. The remaining teams are expected to reach established by mid of 2023.

58 managers qualified as lean managers, around 18 mln USD in savings between 2021 and 2022 and 48 Full-time equivalents (FTE) timesaving.

Novel/Additive Information: Deploying CI fundamentals enables teams to be more innovative and provides an improved environment to prosper across all areas. In addition, rolling out the CI Fundamentals has shifted teams to utilize a Continuous Improvement mindset.

The ‘CI Fundamentals methodology’s main principle is to connect and empower the knowledge within operations and maintenance teams and across the organization. PDO, as an organization, can drive daily micro-improvements that build over time to deliver large-scale transformation.

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