Five Years Later, What’s Changed at St Fergus?

This month we celebrated five years since taking over operations and maintenance duties at St Fergus Gas Plant, in Aberdeen. We take a look at how the last five years have gone and what’s changed during our time there.

By Mike Horgan, MD of Onshore Oil & Gas

Five years ago, px Group took on the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) duties at St Fergus Gas Plant, after North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP) purchased the plant from Total E&P.

Huge responsibility comes with managing an Upper Tier COMAH site like St Fergus, with operations taking place around the clock. This, combined with the fact that px Group is also the Duty Holder for the associated 32” FUKA and 30” SIRGE pipelines that supply the Terminal, means we have full accountability for the safe, efficient and compliant operation of much of the site.

Safe to say, therefore, that running such a critical site is no easy operation – it requires constant communication, review and support to ensure consistent, efficient energy supply to the National Grid. At px Group we pride ourselves on being able to deliver efficiencies and cost savings for our clients, and we were tasked with doing just that when we stepped on site. I’m delighted to reveal what we’ve achieved over the last five years.

Since 2016, the team at St Fergus has been able to increase the unit shutdown interval from one to three, and have simultaneously increased the plant shutdown interval from six to nine years – a huge accomplishment in a short space of time. We’ve also delivered considerable safety improvements on site – our number one priority. St Fergus has seen a 90% reduction in both costs and safety risks that are associated with internal asset inspections, and a better knowledge and culture around safety processes.

That’s a lot of improvements! But I’m not going to stop there. The team has stepped up and taken ownership in driving culture and improvements and we’ve also seen a significant drop in backlog hours and reduction in overdue faults and Planned Maintenance.

There’s no time to rest on our laurels though, and with the Energy Transition gathering pace, we’re always looking at ways to increase efficiencies even further. Here’s to the next five years of focusing on our people, safety, value and efficiency at St Fergus and the whole px Group footprint.


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