To manage the integrity of our pressure equipment in Canada, we have developed and implemented two quality assurance programs — a Pressure Equipment Integrity Management System (PEIMS) for our North America Exploration and Production (NA E&P) and another for Horizon operations. Our PEIMS are supported by Canadian Natural’s Management, Operations, Engineering, Asset Integrity and Safety groups. Each program is registered with the regional jurisdictions in which we operate and subject to periodic audits.
One of the elements of the PEIMS is the Competency Based Training Program, which was developed to ensure all personnel and contractors involved with pressure equipment are properly trained. Each individual undergoes a rigorous competency assessment to ensure training and certification is focused on areas needed to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. In keeping with our commitment to safety, all Asset Integrity personnel involved in the PEIMS program undergo certification and verification in support of the Alberta Safety Codes Act and regulations.
In 2014, the Alberta Boiler Safety Association (ABSA) audited our NA E&P PEIMS and renewed our certification approval for another three years. The ABSA certification approval status authorizes our NA E&P and Horizon Oil Sands operations to manage our pressure equipment programs in-house. Horizon expanded the PEIMS competency program during 2014 to include awareness training for users as well as individual competency assessments of our pressure equipment inspection staff.
Pressure Equipment Assessment
In 2014, our Asset Integrity team implemented a risk-based assessment to enhance asset integrity and optimize the inspection intervals for pressure equipment in our NA E&P operations. The new methodology considers all data available and factors that validate reliability and facility integrity. This is a thorough technical review of our equipment to determine if we can extend inspection frequencies cost effectively, while maintaining safety and reliability of our facilities. We conducted risk assessments at our facilities in Edson, Grande Prairie and Fairview (Alberta), and Fort St John (British Columbia). In 2015, pressure equipment risk assessments are planned for another 30 facilities in our NA E&P operations.
Well Pad Update Program
Canadian Natural is committed to ensuring reliable operations through continuous improvement and a proactive, collaborative approach to Asset Integrity Management. At our Pelican Lake polymerflood operation, the existing facilities were originally designed to produce using primary recovery methods. To support our Polymer Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) program, the pads needed to be updated. This work includes the replacement of injection and production piping with stainless steel pipe to address corrosion issues. Our Asset Integrity and Facilities groups are working together to prioritize this work.
Corrosion Under Insulation Inspections
The Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) inspections program is a key component of our Asset Integrity Management System at CNRI. When corrosion is undetected, it can lead to health, safety and environmental incidents and production losses. As part of our Integrity Improvement Plan we have developed a CUI strategy which prioritizes the inspection and repair requirements for reducing the risk of leaks due to CUI. In 2014, this strategy was used to focus and support required inspections and repairs on our Tiffany platform as a result of corrosion issues identified during platform start up in July. A CUI program will be conducted at Ninian Central Platform in 2015.