Petronieos Case Study for Oil and Gas

The Company


Petroineos based in Grangemouth and Finnart is the home to Scotland’s only oil crude refinery, and supplies refined products to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England. Key product outputs are Diesel and Petrol, although there are a number of other by-products manufactured. The company employs circa 600 people and also has a large contractor presence on site at Grangemouth. Contractors are brought to the site to perform defined & contracted maintenance activity. The business subcontracts a large proportion of both core & non-maintenance activity and therefore the sub-contractors form an important and integral part of the supply chain and maintenance activity. In many cases maintenance performance and therefore reliability is critically dependent on the management of suppliers and their subsequent performance


The Challenge


The challenge facing the business is that its performance (OEE) Overall Equipment Effectiveness, one of the key measurements is in the lower quartile compared to the benchmarked competition (internal & external), and creates an unwanted risk to the future of the site. It is imperative that there is a demonstrable improvement in performance in the short to medium term. In turn, this has the opportunity to create a platform for major investment at Petroineos, which will be game-changing for the site.

The business has an objective to have 30% of employees engaged in some form of Continuous Improvement (CI) by the end of 2018, which will contribute towards an improvement in OEE.  As part of the review, a number of exercises were conducted with a small team of employees, which were largely designed to understand the current level of engagement within the organisation, as well as to determine the level of readiness for change.

Derived from the exercises and discussions it was evident that people take pride in their work, care about the facility, and have a strong desire to make improvements. However, there is also a high level of frustration at work which gets in the way of them producing optimum performance. Some of the contributors towards their frustration include a lack of effective business systems, ever-changing priorities (can be a feature of a refinery), no clear performance management framework, and variable skill levels/experience of staff. There is also an absence of visual management throughout the site, which will most likely impact performance.

  ABB consulting had previously been engaged to try and measure employee engagement,  motivation and frustrations. The SMAS findings were similar to this study.

SMAS’s hosts were the Reliability Group…..a team of Engineers dedicated to improving overall reliability ( OEE) by both direct Engineering and by Continuous Process improvement such that improved Maintenance  Efficiency would help deliver better overall availability

 How SMAS Helped


  • Delivered a LSS Yellowbelt training course to 4 multi-disciplined teams of volunteers from ‘ Area 1”. 
  • Coached and mentored teams through application of the DMAIC model applied to 4 problems from Area 1 which were highlighted during the Yellowbelt training and during ABB survey. 
  • Coached and Mentored each team to present to the Leadership team and to demonstrate the value of their projects to the business 
  • With the teams and a professional filmmaker created a “ motivational “ movie to be shown at “Reliability Off-site” events ( attended by the majority of Petroineos Employees plus key suppliers) 
  • Worked with management to create the off-site Reliability events agendas and to embed mini group DMAIC activity into each event 
  • Worked with Management to preselect Reliability day problems to be worked on by groups. Used problem structuring to improve the efficiency. 
  • Designed and delivered facilitator training for the reliability days 
  • Delivered problem-solving workshops at 6 off-site Reliability days involving almost all Petroineos Employees 
  • Assessed all 4 major improvement projects and assisted in follow up of ~ 90 workplace group projects  What was the impact for the Company? 
  • 4 major LSS Yellowbelt projects delivered with savings
  • 16  people awarded LSS YB’S
  • A major motivational video created on the DMAIC projects
  • ~ 90 mini projects kicked off at 5 Reliability days involving nearly all Petroineos employees…thus exceeding company objectives on engagement ( > 30%)  
    Company Quotes 

    “ Yellowbelt was an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to experience different techniques and develop new skills. The x – functional team allowed me to appreciate other people and departments viewpoints “ …Jack Collins Workshop Mechanical Technician


    “ Good to see how the DMAIC process can be used to solve problems ‘….Robin Herron I & E Technician Area 1


    “ I learnt new problem-solving techniques which should prove very useful in the future”……Myles McKenzie Reliability Team Engineer


    “ We got really good engagement during the project which emphasised the need and importance of getting the correct members into an improvement team”……John Stinton Reliability Team Engineer


     Ring-fencing our time to complete projects was very important. Using the DMAIC method also demonstrated the importance of thorough measurement and analysis of data as a means of successful project completion “…..Jamie Isaacs Reliability Team Engineer


    “ It was good to get time away from the day to day pressures in order to assess an issue and to improve it “……Brian Wilson Area Manager

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *