Designs Engineering Opportunities in Tengiz

The opportunities here are very similiar to what we are faced with in Richmond.  Clearly Tengiz Chevroil (TCO) is a different business unit, with people who have a different background from mine.  But due to the large crude oil processing units a significant portion of TCO looks and feels very much like a refinery.

I promised Alan Lowell that I would not attempt to “fix” everything during my first rotation.  I attempted to listen (wasn’t as hard as I expected) and asked a lot of questions, sometime prefaced with “So I’m the new guy, so how does this ……. work here?”

During my first rotation I attended many meetings (what a surprise), met a lot of people, and explored how work gets done in Tengiz, from hiring to field execution.  Towards the end of my first rotation I met with the four Lead Engineers who report to me and reviewed a list of TCO Designs Engineering Improvement Opportunities that I picked up over my first rotation – I just wanted to capture the ideas and start flushing them out a bit before I left for home.

The feedback I received is I had picked up on many of the things the first level supervisors find as roadblocks or time consuming efforts, and they welcomed ideas / energy on how to improve in these areas.

We will develop this list over my next two rotations, and use the simple prioritization approach of “Business Value if Improved?” and “How Much Effort to Fix?”.  Of course we will work first on the High Business Value / Low Effort to Fix items.  I have asked each Lead Engineer to help flush out an area that they see as particularly difficult or frustranting, and then take the lead on improving here.  Of course I need to discuss / gain alignment with my back-to-back.  In any event, I am looking forward to the challenges to make improvements at my new work location.

  1. Expertizing (this is similar to what Building Permit Services does to receive building permits from the City of Richmond but instead it is complying with Republic of Kazakhstan design review requirements)
  2. Engineering Work Requests – work prioritization (~ 70% of work requests are initially prioiritized as P1)
  3. Utilization of Engineering Contractors – Designs Engineering prefers the contract staffing approach, struggles with leverging through engineering contractors
  4. Materials: Ordering, Tracking, Storehouse Availablity – believed that engineering spends too much time on this feel they are accountable to make sure the material arrives
  5. Staffing / HR Work Processes – new hires, experienced hires, staff vs. contractors
  6. Documentation Control
  7. Funding Work Processes / Budget Control
  8. Technical Training
  9. Succession Planning
  10. Safety – Behavior Based Safety (BBS) Observations / Safety Meetings (this is listed as 10 because it is working well, some minor improvement opportunities observed)
  11. Cost Estimating
  12. Approved Vendor (Supplier) List
  13. Flare Diagnostic and Reduction Project (further flare reducion and improved accuracy of monitoring)
  14. 1oo1 Project (improving reliaibility of safety shutdown installations)
  15. Wireless Project (installation of wireless network)

The last three are projects that I plan to be involved in.  I marvel at how similiar this list is to the Richmond Refinery issues that continue to be worked.