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Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

(OP)
Hello all,

I need to know what the practice is in oil and gas plants operation with respect to writing operating procedures.
Who owns the operating procedures for the plant?
Who writes them?
Who approves them? what are the levels of approval the procedure go through?
What is the exact role of the process engineer in writing the operating procedures?
Some views say that the process engineer provides the high level steps of the procedure, but the step by step detailed procedure is should be prepared by operations. other views say that the process engineer should provide the detailed procedure from A to Z including the format of the document, and operations will then provide their approval.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

RE: Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

(OP)
I am sure that you have good views on this subject, looking forward to hearing them.

RE: Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

My experience as a Process Engineeer is that I would supply operating guidelines. Usually a high level overview of the process. This is then turned over to operations to develop detailed operating procedures.

RE: Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

(OP)
Thanks SeanB, can you please give a short example of what you mean by a high level. I also wish if more people put their views, this is an important discussion and having critical discussion in our plant currently.

RE: Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

Operating procedure should be written by an Process Engineer with input from others who has experience of commissioning couple of similar projects. The he might be able to include all the key points. One also has to keep in mind about local situation like environment regulations etc regards

RE: Who owns the operating procedures and prepare them?

Different companies has different practice in developing their operating procedure. Personally, i can not see the benefit of developing higher level procedure which then be detailed by other procedure. The procedure itself should be clear and adequate to help an "apprentice-equivalent" operator to safely operate the equipment/plant. The procedure shall minimize the decision making of operator when using the procedure.

But, personally, i think this is the most logical and efficient way to develop ops procedure:
1. What Procedure needed to be developed must first be identified by a multidisciplinary team. The process usually refers to P&ID, lining them up from upstream to downstream end, identifying list of major equipment and related auxiliaries
2. For each major equipment identified, job analysis is conducted, listing all jobs required to be done related with the equipment (start up, shut down, operating, etc).
3. Once the job are listed, those which are related with the same equipment could be combined into one unit/system procedure.
4. The procedure then now could be developed. The one who should develop it are those who has experience and adequate competency in the activity listed at step#2 (usually this will be a senior operator or technician). We call them author. It will be rare for an engineer to develop initial procedure / become an author. If the process is complex (reactor, complex column, etc), we may be asked to sit together with the author to develop the initial procedure, but not as the author itself.
5. The draft is then sent for multi discipline review. This is where we, as process engineer starts our main involvement. What we should do are actually technical validation (check the integrity and the safety of the steps outlined in the procedure on technical aspects). On top of that we should also:
- Tabulate safe operating limit (pressure, temp, flow, level, etc)
- Incorporate risk reduction meassures from safety studies/workshops (HAZID, HAZOP, etc)
- Check for accuracies, cross-referencing P&ID, Cause&Effect matrix, Shutdown logic, etc
- Incorporate vendor recommendation and precautions
6. Once done the technical validation is done, the team should then sit together again to discuss how critical the procedure is (this will answer your question on who owned the procedure). The step outlined in the procedure is then risk-assessed to give a qualitative "risk exposure" of the procedure. We could say that we "risk-ranked" the procedure
7. The risk level will determine who in your organization should own the procedure and the level of approval. low risk procedure could be owned and approved by a supervisor or superintendent. Higher risk should dictates higher level of owner/approver (manager or even Snr manager).

Owner here means:
- He/She will approve the procedure
- He/She will be accountable for the adequacy of the quality and adequacy of the procedure
- You should seek for his/her approval if you want to deviate from the particular procedure
- He/She will be accountable in making sure that the procedure be always updated by assigning resources to update it

Sorry for the long post, but hope it helps =)

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