1.1            Background Of The Study

Theimportance of maintenance functions and, therefore, of maintenance management has grown in recent years. Maintenance has achieved a significant role in organizations performance because it is directly responsible for the properoperation of the production process. Maintenance area needs to keep equipment in good working conditions and available to achieve high productivity level of quality products (Isabelet.al. 2014).

Maintenance is to ensure that equipment are available or fit for use for its lifetime by the incorporation of all technical, administrative and managerial actions.

Maintenance is a critically important function of any engineering or business organization that is dependent on physical assets for producing products. Like the expensive and production critical equipment found in the Oil and Gas industry, it (maintenance) has a very crucial part to play during the life cycle of such equipment. It tries to maximize the performance of the equipment by ensuring that it operates regularly and efficiently, by attempting to prevent breakdowns or failures, and by minimizing the losses incurred by breakdowns or failure (Ramiet.al. 2011).

Conversely, Maintenance in the industry has two essential objectives which are a high availability of production equipment and low maintenance costs. However, a strong factor militating against the achievement of these objectives is the nature and intensity of equipment failures in plants. Since system failure can lead to costly stoppages of an organization’s operation, which may result in low human, material, and equipment utilization, the occurrence of failure must therefore be reduced or eliminated. An organization can have its customers build confidence in it by having uninterrupted flow in operations. Thus, maintenance ensures system sustenance by avoiding factors that can bother effective productivity, such as machine breakdown and its several attendant consequences (Hasrulnizzamet.al. 2011).

When focusing on-budget performance issues, management seldom looks to maintenance as an area with the potential for significant gains. It’s often a “necessary evil”. However, maintenance management ineffectiveness in the Oil and Gas industry guarantees a significant financial loss for the company(an oracle white paper, 2009). The paper further stated that “significant financial profit can be made by improving maintenance performance”.

In today’s economy, keeping equipment running longer and effectively is more important than ever. Oil and Gas companies that have efficient and effective management system saves significantly naira (#120, 000000) by preventing expensive untimely breakdowns of equipment (an oracle white paper, 2009).

With millions of Naira at stake and production loss, maintenance managers therefore explores every opportunity to improve on the performance and operational effectiveness of facilities in order to avoid production loss as well as achieve cost savings for the company. Recent studies has also shown that maintenance is a major contributor to the performance and profitability of business organization (Hasrulnizzamet.a.l2011).

This research project therefore would evaluate the maintenance management system employed in the French Oil and Gas giant “Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited.

1.2            Statement Of The Research Problem

Trends have shown that in many Asset intensive industries like the Oil and Gas industry, the maintenance management system is confronted with a wide range of challenges that includes: quality improvement, reduced lead times, set up times and cost reduction, capacity expansion, improving the reliability of systems and related safety issues. In other words, maintenance activities and planning are at the heart of industrial occupation (an oracle white paper, 2009 and Saied, 2014).

These challenges have placed enormous pressure on the maintenance system to improve efficiency, increase the operation reliability and minimize downtime at the same time securing the lowest possible operation costs. These have forced maintenance managers to adopt methods, tools, techniques, concepts that could stimulate performance growth and minimize errors, and to utilize resources effectively towards making the company a “high-performance production plant”. In other words, incorporating the correct maintenance management system in the industry equipment is beneficial not only for reducing maintenance cost but also for increasing productivity of limited resources (i.e. maximum capacity utilization), improved product quality, customer satisfaction, adequate equipment life span, among other benefits (Hasrulnizzamet.al. 2011).

Therefore, this research project would evaluate and subsequently recommend improvement on the maintenance management system of “Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited considered.

1.2.1  Research Questions

The research efforts aimed to answer the following research questions:

1.         What system of maintenance management is employed in the company for equipment maintenance?

2.         What are the major challenges confronting the company’s adopted system of maintenance management?

3.         How can improvement recommendation mitigate the challenges confronting the system?

4.         What are the characteristics of persons, their positions, their assumed experience and general background that are involved in the maintenance management/activities?

1.3            Aim And Objectives

The aim of this research project is to evaluate and subsequently suggest improvement on the maintenance management system used in Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited, Obagi base, OML58, Rivers State.

The research aim will be achieved using the following objectives, to: -

Investigate the maintenance management system in Total E&P Nig. Ltd. Evaluate the range of challenge(s) confronting the maintenance organization of Total E&P Nig. Ltd. Recommend measures to improve on the maintenance management system if need arise.

1.4            Significance Of The Study

With the range of observable challenges such as; time of delivery of spare components of equipment, set up time and long isolation period, associated with maintenance activities while I was undergoing my six (6) months compulsory industrial training attachment in OML58 field of Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited, it is imperative that the maintenance management system of the giant oil and gas company be investigated and evaluated. This research study is therefore targeted at recommending improvement measures on the maintenance management system of the oil and gas company being considered and allied companies in the course of this research work as the case may be.



5.1    Conclusion

The findings of this case study revealed that the company is facing some challenges in the maintenance management system of equipment. On this note, the following conclusions are made:

That there is a big gap ofappropriatetraining plan for maintenance team, and for a firm where effective performance of equipment is a priority, workshops and seminars are inadequate to be given to maintenance operatives which are the major trainings found to be given to them in the course of carrying out the thesis.

Spare parts control policy; it was also found that spare parts are not mostly available when needed for urgent work execution which in return causes delays in carrying out the desired maintenance work.

The investigation also showed that the company has opportunity to make improvement and to obtain important gains. They have the capacity to become more competitive, increasing through put and reducing losses.

5.2    Recommendations

In the light of the research findings as well as the conclusions, the following recommendations are made in order to improve on the practice of maintenance management of the case study company.

Maintenance staff/technicians should be give opportunities for appropriate training on jobs which are to be done on regular bases for expertise, this is necessary to ensure asset availability. Also, equipment users should also be trained on the effective use of the asset in order to reduce the occurrence of defects during operation which will consequently bring about better physical and functional services of the asset.

Maintenance technicians are to be well motivated in order to deliver their best during the maintenance work execution.

Spare policy (inventory control) should be received and updated as it was observed that spare parts are not available when needed for the maintenance activities. The store room should be constantly monitored on order for the used components to be replaced and request should be made on time. In the course of the findings, it was observed that the method of preserving  the spare components are substandard as in the components are sensitive components (ball bearing) that are sensitive to heat, therefore, emphasis should also be laid on improving the method in which the components are preserved. Sensitive components (ball bearing, nuts and bolts and electrical transmitters etc.)

5.3    Suggestion for Further Studies

The research has help to stimulate further research works on other aspect of the evaluation of maintenance management system in the oil and gas industry. To this end, a recommendation is hereby made for further studies:

1.    It should consider establishing a reference guideline of a standard procedure (benchmarking) as a method to track performance against industry.

2.    In addition, analytical tool should be used for analysis during collation of results.




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