Process Safety/Asset Integrity

Corporate Responsibility

Process Safety/Asset Integrity

Canadian Natural operates one of the largest inventories of upstream process equipment within Canada; additionally, Canadian Natural Resources International (CNRI) has offshore facilities located in the United Kingdom (UK) sector of the North Sea and Offshore Africa. We are committed to high standards of asset integrity to ensure safe, reliable, effective and efficient operations.

To manage the integrity and continuously improve the reliability of our operations — including pipelines, pressure equipment, tanks and infrastructure — we use a proactive risk-based management approach. The cornerstone of our Asset Integrity Management System is ensuring that risks are identified, assessed and action plans are in place to prevent failures and incidents.

Asset Integrity Management System

The principal objective of our Asset Integrity Management System is to prevent injury to people arising from the operation of pressure equipment and to meet or exceed the requirements of the applicable regulators. A secondary objective is to reduce the risk of property damage due to pressure equipment failure.

Maintaining the integrity of our process equipment means preventing and minimizing spills, and loss of pressure containment. Asset Integrity programs are developed by specialized and highly qualified teams that conduct proactive, technical reviews of our equipment and how it is operated, to help ensure worker safety and reduce environmental incidents by minimizing the exposure to risks. Our programs include inspections, evaluations, monitoring and mitigation strategies to protect people, the environment and the integrity of our assets.

Our integrity programs are continuously enhanced, optimized and maintained in all our operations. We incorporate learnings from internal and external incident investigations into our work practices to improve reliability, process safety and mitigating strategies.

Our Asset Integrity Management System is based on the principles found in the Corporate Statement on Asset Integrity Management — essential to the way in which Canadian Natural conducts its business. Learn more about our Asset Integrity Management Systems in our 2017 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders.

Process Safety Management

We focus on the integrity of our process equipment across all of our operations as an essential part of ensuring safety company-wide. Canadian Natural’s Process Safety Management (PSM) framework provides an integrated and systematic approach that focuses on the prevention, mitigation of, response to and recovery from unplanned releases of process material. PSM integrates and aligns different components of our business — technical, maintenance, operational, organizational aspects, as well as leadership and competency, to prevent and manage potential risk to personnel, the environment and the facilities we operate.

Our focused approach on the key elements of PSM — greater hazard awareness, competency training, incident investigation and implementation of lessons learned, management of change and technical audits — continues across our operations.

Canadian Natural follows the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Process Safety Event Reporting Guide, and is an active member of CAPP’s PSM Committee to not only improve our corporate processes but also work with the upstream industry through shared learnings and best practices, including process safety metrics.

Learn more about our PSM initiatives and results in our 2017 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders.

Enhancing Steady Reliable Operations Through Vision Alignment

Our Asset Integrity team has a single overriding vision to 'ensure the safe, compliant, reliable operation of all assets'. As a basis for all decision making, this clear vision provides a focus for team members that helps them understand their role within Canadian Natural. The following six key strategies help the team achieve this vision.

  • Structure and unite teams behind the assets they support
  • Adopt a proactive, collaborative approach to Asset Integrity Management
  • Promote a culture of full and open communication with other functional groups within the organization
  • Commitment to develop our people and our internal and external networks
  • Doing it right the first time
  • Promote a culture that identifies integrity threats, works to understand those threats and puts mitigation plans in place

Creating value through technical expertise

Canadian Natural is committed to ensuring the integrity of our corporate assets by providing leadership, technical expertise and support in the professional disciplines. Our technical groups consist of experienced individuals who help the company navigate through the technical challenges associated with managing one of the largest upstream asset networks in Canada.

Our Professional Discipline Technical Authorities group, for example, is responsible for managing Canadian Natural’s engineering standards through interpretation of technical codes, standards and regulatory requirements. They are also responsible for maintaining a cohesive network of professionals and discipline experts, providing technical support for projects, operations, maintenance and decommissioning projects. Our Corporate Integrity Advisory team, which includes members of the Technical Authorities group, brings technical as well as regulatory expertise and experience in corrosion, materials and inspections at a corporate level, to manage risks and the integrity of our assets.

The technical skills of these groups are employed across our operations to drive a consistent approach to problem solving and align solutions with industry best practices.