How going digital has made PETRONAS employees safer and more productive

The national energy company bags 3 trophies at the Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards.

Ensuring a safe working environment tops the agenda of responsible companies around the world as they pursue their business KPIs. Using innovative solutions, they strive for zero accidents, lowest occupational health hazards and less downtime to have secure and satisfied employees.

For the last two years, PETRONAS Digital Sdn. Bhd. (PDSB) has embarked on a web-based initiative to foster safer workplaces across the 50 countries where it works -- to date, identifying 400,000 unsafe acts or conditions that might lead to serious injuries or incidents and 22,000 potential fatigue-related incidents. The initiative had earned them a trophy at the recently concluded Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards (MTEA), under the Analytics - Oil & Gas category.

PETRONAS’ Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) Department aims to improve reporting and help identify at-risk behaviours early on, so decision makers can intervene at the right time and inform employees promptly. The HSSE analytic dashboard allows personnel and management to draw patterns and insights for quick and proactive decision making.

Previously, Unsafe Act, Unsafe Condition (UAUC) observations took hours to be completed and analysed. With the UAUC capture tool now widely used throughout PETRONAS via web and mobile, users can conveniently capture observations on site. This has significantly improved timely identifications and reporting of at-risk behaviours and situations. Meanwhile, HSSE’s Fatigue Management System (FMS) monitors the number of working hours, consecutive working days and rest hours of employees and contractors to ensure compliance with hours of service limit (HSL).

Furthermore, HSSE Integrated Risk Assessment (HIRA) mitigates potential hazards or risks associated with work operations with its predictive and prescriptive capability. The HIRA Dashboard provides a holistic risk overview on process safety, hazards and effects register, social risk assessment and human rights due diligence with quick analysis and insights for critical decision making. In addition, its Integrated Process Safety Solutions (IPSS) centralizes Management of Change (MOC) best practices across the organisation for better governance of process safety management.

PETRONAS also won the Digital – Oil & Gas award for its Integrated Pipeline Integrity Assurance Solutions (i-PIMS) -- a one-stop integrated pipeline integrity management system across the Upstream and Downstream businesses, which replaced the existing on-the-shelf product used in PETRONAS.

Developed collaboratively with technical experts from PETRONAS Group Technical Solutions, Upstream Center of Excellence, Malaysia Assets, and Gas Transmission & Regassification, i-PIMS allows early identification of issues and risks with proactive intervention to mitigate any potential pipeline risk or failure, reduces pipeline inspection and maintenance cost, and ultimately, minimises the risk of production cost.

The implementation of i-PIMS has significantly improved the overall process pipeline cycle efficiency and data integrity to support the Management in making quick and informed decisions for pipeline risk reduction and control.

PETRONAS also took home the AI - Oil & Gas trophy at MTEA for its development of an AI-driven live advisory model that enables optimized and consistent pre-cooldown of LNG plant start-up.

Driven by artificial intelligence, the model captures tacit knowledge from experienced panel operators and insights from historical data, providing operators with parameters control advisory in real-time.

A team comprising PDSB and Malaysia LNG Sdn. Bhd. (MLNG) subject matter experts collaborated to develop an advisory model using machine learning algorithms to learn from over 180 million start-up data points from over 400 sensors collected from the last 17 years, and incorporated valuable tacit knowledge from experienced operators and engineers to the model. The outcome is a model that generates real-time advisory to control key parameters in response to the actual plant conditions.

The model successfully achieved consistent and optimum cooling rate, resulting in the shortest pre-cooldown duration in history when tested during the recent start-up of one of the LNG trains at PETRONAS LNG Complex. The pre-cooldown was 10 hours faster than the past average, which translates into RM8.3 million in production opportunity and carbon emission was also lowered by 13.5% as compared to the past average. 

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