The tank farm area facilitates the treatment of slop
oil and diluent injection process, and provides
storage for raw water, firewater, diluents, and
bitumen oil products.
Inside the High Pressure Boiler Feedwater
(HP BFW) Pump Building, where nine pumps
provide feedwater to the once through steam
Bitumen extraction is a key driver of Alberta’s economy, and
the new facility enables its owner, ConocoPhillips Canada, to increase
production by approximately 100,000 barrels a day.
PCL’s scope of work on the project focused on the construction
of a steam generation unit, a tank farm, on-site utilities, and off-site
facilities including water treatment, bitumen treatment, and sulferox
areas. PCL also managed subcontracts for the installation of various pre-engineered
buildings throughout the site.
The partnership between ConocoPhillips Canada and PCL was a
catalyst for collaboration and innovative thinking on Surmont 2,
culminating in $93 million in savings for the oil exploration and
Management from both PCL and ConocoPhillips Canada asserted
that the project is a team effort and its success should not be considered
the sole responsibility of one or the other. And knowing that time can be
so easily lost in unclear communication, PCL and ConocoPhillips focused from
the outset on building a cohesive team that would interlock communications
at every phase of the project.
To develop strong working relationships, two “Time to Talk” meetings
and one “Time to Walk” meeting were held each week. Talking meetings were
held at the ConocoPhillips offices and walking meetings in the field. The
meetings brought together construction managers from PCL and ConocoPhillips
for a 45-minute information discussion about the project. “Time to Talk”
provided an opportunity to discuss what had happened on-site over the last
few days, while “Time to Walk” involved corner-to-corner site walks so participants
could see firsthand what they had discussed.
The open, informal forum helped PCL and ConocoPhillips break
down barriers and become more comfortable discussing issues, voicing
opinions, and solving problems as a cohesive team.
90-DAY LOOK AHEAD
To ensure that the team was focused on establishing the systems
required for first steam, to improve productivity, and to help the team
manage each area in detail, Prioritized Construction (PriCon) was
implemented in spring 2013. PriCon essentially looked to the end of the
project to determine what areas should be prioritized and completed first,
in order to support early production of steam, and which areas could wait.
The teams worked together to divide PCL’s scope of more than 500 systems
required to complete the plant into 24 groupings with assigned mechanical
completion dates. The original contract defined only three key mechanical
Originally, the PCL team was creating schedules using Level 4
Primavera—an industry-standard scheduling software. Primavera’s schedules
were more than 30 pages long and had proved difficult to properly manage
for the scope of work to come, owing to the time required to fully review the
reports. To make matters easier, PCL developed 90-Day Look Ahead
schedules, focused on specific areas on-site and encompassing all
disciplines that were required in a given area. These schedules provided
PCL with a look at what had happened in the last month and also what would be
upcoming in the next three. The schedules were then used to formulate a
specific plan, recognize trends, and make arrangements to accommodate
these trends ahead of time, all on a weekly basis, within an hour, and on
only six pages.
The 90-Day Look Ahead schedules helped teams because they
required superintendents and coordinators to identify roadblocks and seek
opportunities to find efficiencies and meet their targets. The 90-Day Look
Ahead also helped them meet deadlines and develop long-term plans for each
area, and provided a look back at what each superintendent had committed
to and what each crew had completed.
In addition to substantial project savings, the implementation of
PriCon and the 90-Day Look Ahead schedules also improved worker
productivity by 12 percent over the previous year.
Surmont 2 project delivered first oil to market in September 2015.
Production is planned to ramp up through 2017 and continue to help fuel Alberta’s
economy for decades.