In this article, we briefly explain OPERCOM® . What it is, what is pre-commissioning and commissioning, what a punch list is, and what the features of OPERCOM® are.
1. What is OPERCOM® ?
Opercom® is a test methodology tailored to Oil & Gas production and treatment, installations, which has been providing its worth for more than twenty years now. Opercom® is for Commissioning specialists. The methodology is used by the dedicated teams responsible for preparation during the engineering phase and for execution at the end of the project. Opercom® training modules are available for future users. Total has signed agreements with training organizations for providing them.
Q: How long is the course?
A: One week.
Opercom® is used in the Pre-commissioning and Commissioning phases, before handover to operations. It is a tool that ceases to be used at the end of the project. The Opercom® methodology can also be used to test exhaustively any modifications, executed on an existing installation. An installation tested down to the smallest detail will be operational faster and more safely with the Opercom® methodology!
2. What is Pre-Commissioning Phase ? (Issuing RFC after completion)
The Pre-commissioning phase includes three main types of activities:
- Conformity checks.
- Static/de-energized tests.
- Piping tests.
We can then simply summarize in following:
CONSTRUCTION + PRE-COMMISSIONING = Ready For Commissioning
3. What is Commissioning? (Issuing AOC after completion)
Commissioning is a major activity in a project: it is the final quality check before transfer to the start-up team. It is also the key to ensure a smooth and quick ramp up to the production plateau as planned.
Commissioning engineering should start early in the project with some input already during Basic Engineering and during the Call For Tender preparation. The Commissioning competencies of the selected EPCC contractor, and of its specialized sub-contractor are crucial and must be combined with a mobilization plan well suited to both the contractor and the company. Feedback at the end of the project is essential to help us improve our knowledge and our technical standards.
The Commissioning phase essentially comprises three types of tasks:
- Dynamic verification.
- Testing with substitute fluids,
- The preparation of the piping and vessels for start-up.
Commissioning -> Dynamic & Energized
On completion of these tests, an “AOC” (Achievement Of Commissioning) certificate is issued for each Sub-system. A Sub-system is ready for Achievement Of Commissioning when ALL Commissioning operations on that sub-system is completed and there is NO outstanding punch item category B. There is then a transfer between the Commissioning entity and the Operations entity.
And AOC is Visa for each Sub-system to be transferred from Commissioning to Operation phase
4. What is punch list?
Items that have not successfully passed the tests are listed in a punch list. They are managed in accordance with certain priorities (A, B, C) such that items ranked priority ”A” are to be cleared before the RFC can be signed.
Here is summarizing information about punch list categories
5. Features of OPERCOM®
A multi-discipline methodology:
The Opercom® methodology spans all the activities and every branch of discipline: Mechanics, Piping, Process, Electricity, Instrumentation
A reliable and duplicable methodology:
Designed in the late 80s to test Oil & Gas installations, Opercom® is now recognized for the breadth of its industrial spectrum: Agro-industry, building and civil engineering…Used for over twenty years now, the method has benefited from the feedback very many projects which has further enhanced its reliability. Any installation in any sector of activity can be tested using the Opercom® methodology.
A fully comprehensive methodology:
With Opercom®, it is impossible for any item to be left out of testing! Each discipline – Mechanics, Electricity, Instrumentation, etc. – draws up check lists to be processed by Commissioning. There are several thousand items for each project. And a test card for each test. With the complete set of documents, traceability objectives are always met.
OPERCOM® methodology relies on a series of four E&P General Specifications:
GS EP EXP 101: (Pre-commissioning and Commissioning specification)
This General Specification defines: The different phases of a project in relation to Commissioning (the test phase),
- The certification steps,
- The organization,
- The certification methodology.
GS EP EXP 103: (Pre-commissioning and Commissioning Engineering)
After the key step of breakdown into Systems and Sub-systems, Specification GS EP EXP 103 organizes the Engineering of Pre-commissioning and Commissioning, detailing how the tasks on the equipment to be tested are allocated.This comprises three main parts:
- The general preparation of Pre-commissioning and Commissioning Management: The preparation of all tools and procedures which are necessary for the general management of both Pre-commissioning and Commissioning.
- The preparation of Pre-commissioning Engineering: for each System, Sub-system and item, tasks to be carried out on the equipment to be tested are allocated.
- The preparation of Commissioning Engineering: allocation of tasks to the small sub-assemblies to be tested, and drafting of the Operational Test Procedures (OTP).
GS EP EXP 105: (Pre-commissioning execution)
This set of some 400 test sheets indicates in detail all the verification’s and all the tests to be carried out as part of Pre-commissioning.
GS EP EXP 107 Commissioning execution)
This set of some 100 test sheets indicates in detail all the verification’s and all the tests to be carried out as part of Commissioning.