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David Kirkwood

Senior Safety and Control Systems Engineer, Maersk Oil Qatar

David Kirkwood has over 20 years’ experience of control and safety systems in the Oil and Gas sector including various obsolescence projects. He is an active committee member of ISA Qatar and has previously presented at ISA Qatar events. He is a chartered engineer with the IET and works as an internal consultant with Maersk Oil Qatar.

Obsolescence Management of Control and Safety Systems

Obsolescence & Lifecycle Management of Control & Safety Systems

Abstract: Obsolescence of control and safety system equipment can threaten the performance of process units. On most sites some equipment will become obsolete within its lifetime. Yet many companies struggle to address issues in reasonable time and often suffer serious failures before taking action. Based on experience from a variety of projects in the oil and gas sector, this presentation provides an examination of various factors known to influence successful selection and execution of obsolescence projects. Organisations that fail to address obsolescence risk reduced systems reliability which directly affects production and has the potential to compromise safety integrity. Both issues require proactive management to prevent loss. Project definition is challenging. The number of items considered potentially obsolete often grows as initial project work continues. There are often several options available to resolve obsolescence of a specific item which requires different levels of commitment from different departments, resulting in scope for debates and delays. Organisations often find that obtaining project sanction is particularly difficult owing to organisational misalignment of technical experts, stakeholders, and budget-holders. As a consequence, projects are often started significantly late, often after losses have been incurred. The author has identified a set of common factors that strongly influence effective management of obsolescence projects; the points above illustrate some of these. It is clear that a strategic and proactive approach is required to actively manage obsolescence issues. This requires an understanding of the underlying issues and unique challenges. This presentation will identify factors that have a bearing on successful implementation.

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