Maintenance of Machinery in Oil industry : 109850


Discuss about the Maintenance of Machinery in Oil industry.



Oil industry employs range of mechanical equipment in different functions of the oil industry.  In upstream, mid stream and downstream operations, mechanical equipment forms essential part of the overall plant. Both static and rotating equipment will form part of the mechanical engineering equipment in the plant. Rotating equipment is that which will involves rotation during the plant operations and the static equipment will not be containing motion during the operation. Inorder to facilitate the oil exploration, refining and distribution operations, diverse mechanical equipment will be employed and this will be of different capacities, complexities and functionally will be different. Commonly seen rotating equipment in the oil industry will include pumps, compressor, agitators, turbines etc. Static equipment in the oil industry will include tanks, bullets, pressure vessels,  columns, reactors, separation drums, separators etc. Maintenance of the mechanical equipment makes up one of the foremost important operation to keep the plan operational. Further maintenance of the industry equipment is essential to keep the plant operational optimized. Maintenance of the industry equipment in general and maintenance of the mechanical engineering equipment in specific, makes up the theme of discussion in the current report. The key objectives of the maintenance processes, the trends in maintenance operations, the recent developments in the maintenance operations are some of the several points discussed in the current report.


What is maintenance?

Maintenance is the process that keeps the workplace, the structures, equipment, machines, furniture and the facilities in the industry in good condition and will keep them repaired and in working condition all the time. The operating efficiency of the machinery will make up important aspect of the oil industry that do have influence on the operating times and production outputs. Reliability of machinery will be improved and the performance efficiency of the machinery will be increased when maintenance of the machinery is carried out systematically. Altogether three different type of maintenance activities will be conducted in the oil industry. The first is the preventative maintenance, this is particular type of the maintenance function, which involved scheduling and replacements of the parts in accordance with pre designed planning and will typically contains, inspection, servicing, replacing, testing and repair processes as part of the overall maintenance schedule. Corrective maintenance is another type of the maintenance process which will be undertaken as and when a failure of a particular part or a component will occur in the industry. Preventive maintenance is aimed to reduce the possible corrective maintenance requirements. Normally preventive maintenance will be scheduled in accordance with the operational requirements and this will be suggested by the equipment manufacturers and will be performed in accordance with the specifications provided in the data books. Predictive maintenance is another type of the maintenance operation which will not be planned as well will not be in accordance with the failure of the component or the system, this will be conducted based on the configuration monitoring of the equipment. Based on system condition monitoring corrective measures will be taken to arrest the maintenance problems in the equipment. Typical operational aspects like noise, temperature of the component, vibration of the component etc will be monitored to estimate the possible maintenance requirements of the part or the component and this inturn will be taken care to make the equipment operational.


Significance of maintenance:

Maintenance is very much essential and this is required to keep the plant operational as to keep the industry safe and reliable. Work place related hazards can be minimized by incorporating good maintenance practices in the oil industry. It is required to make up the schedule of the maintenance activities in accordance with the actual risk that may contain with the equipment. Once the risk is assessed the actual maintenance operations will be planned in accordance with the risk assessment and the possible severity of the outcomes. Maintenance of equipment and machinery is also essential in accordance with the legal provisions as it is essential for the employer to the keep the premises safe for workers working in the locations(Hou,2014).





Some of the expected outcomes of good maintenance operations in oil industry are as follows,

  • Reduced idle time
  • Product quality will be of superior order
  • Cost control will be better with better maintenance
  • Expense of the maintenance will be higher as the equipment will go more high tech and more complex
  • Will provide better reliability of the equipment
  • Works on for better customer satisfaction
  • Overall repair time and repair cost will be minimized
  • Corrective maintenance costs will be reduced
  • Spare parts costs will be reduced
  • Asset life will be prolonged
  • Overall plant safety will be improved.


Recent trends in maintenance in oil industry

The recent trend in oil industry is move from the corrective or response based maintenance action to the preventive or predictive maintenance operations (Halimi, 2014). This will reduce the operational cost of the industry as well will also contribute to increase the reliability of the equipment used in the industry.  Preventive maintenance now a days is including the extensive usage of the software, Computerized maintenance management systems is taking up instrumental role in scheduling the preventive maintenance operations as well will also keep track of the spare parts inventories, spare parts change schedules as well will also work to estimate the equipment spare parts change over timings etc. All this making the modern maintenance operations more convenient to perform. Another important aspect of the maintenance operations is usage of high tech equipment for continuous condition monitoring of the equipment (Iqbal, 2017). All the heavy equipment being used in the oil industry can be now subjected to real time condition monitoring. The continuous output of the conditional observations can be now taken in as data and this data can be analyzed to provide reliable insight into the analytics, which in turn will provide meaningful interpretations and guidelines for carrying out further maintenance operations of the equipment (Shafiee, 2015).



Being an equipment intensive industry, oil and gas industry do have more complex and exhaustive mechanical equipment in its process operational lines. Current maintenance trends include process parameter monitoring (Javaherdashti, 2016), vibration analysis, acoustic emissions analysis, temperature monitoring of the equipment, infrared monitoring of the equipment, Lubricant property analysis, Leak detections, Corrosion monitoring and crack monitoring processes (Senouci, 2014). All these processes are working out to enable the equipment condition monitoring more intact and this inturn is enabling mechanical maintenance more convenient and more efficient at present. Minimization of the monitoring equipment, like usage of MEMS enabled more ease in maintenance monitoring of the equipment. Also maintenance analytics available at present are contributing to the ease in decision making process. Benchmarking the maintenance operations for actual performance evaluation as well working out to enhance the maintenance management decision making up (Tang, 2015) the significant element of maintenance practices in oil industry at present. Changing the motivational levels(Antonovsky,2014) of the maintenance operators and working out to stimulate and increase the efficiency of the mechanical maintenance operations are proven to have better outcomes and global oil industry is adapting these practices for their mechanical maintenance requirements(Liu,2017). However there is still need for further improvement of the analyzing and designing the maintenance instruments (Chen,2014).





Javaherdashti, R., Nwaoha, C., & Tan, H. (Eds.). (2016). Corrosion and materials in the oil and gas industries. CRC Press.


Antonovsky, A., Pollock, C., & Straker, L. (2014). Identification of the human factors contributing to maintenance failures in a petroleum operation. Human factors56(2), 306-321.


Liu, Z., Yuan, X., Fu, M., & Yu, S. (2017, May). Detection and Maintenance Technology for Oil and Gas Pipeline Based on Robot. In International Conference on Mechatronics and Intelligent Robotics (pp. 581-588). Springer, Cham.


Chen, H., Stavinoha, S., Walker, M., Zhang, B., & Fuhlbrigge, T. (2014). Opportunities and challenges of robotics and automation in offshore oil & gas industry. Intelligent Control and Automation5(03), 136.


Hou, L., Wang, Y., Wang, X., Maynard, N., Cameron, I., Zhang, S., & Maynard, Y. (2014). Combining photogrammetry and augmented reality towards an integrated facility management system for the oil industry. Proceedings of the IEEE102(2), 204-220.


Halimi, D., Hafaifa, A., & BouAli, E. (2014). Maintenance actions planning in industrial centrifugal compressor based on failure analysis. Eksploatacja i Niezawodność16(1).


Iqbal, H., Tesfamariam, S., Haider, H., & Sadiq, R. (2017). Inspection and maintenance of oil & gas pipelines: a review of policies. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering13(6), 794-815.


Shafiee, M. (2015). Maintenance strategy selection problem: an MCDM overview. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering21(4), 378-402.


Senouci, A., Elabbasy, M., Elwakil, E., Abdrabou, B., & Zayed, T. (2014). A model for predicting failure of oil pipelines. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering10(3), 375-387.


Tang, Y., Zou, Z., Jing, J., Zhang, Z., & Xie, C. (2015). A framework for making maintenance decisions for oil and gas drilling and production equipment. Journal of natural gas science and engineering26, 1050-1058.

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