Marathon Oil: Offshore Asset Maintenance Planning


With three platforms in the North Sea Brae field, Marathon Oil has to ensure all its facilities keep running in an efficient and safe manner. Crucial to this is routine maintenance of all equipment and plant and the ability to react swiftly and effectively to any unforeseen breakdown.  For many years, this had been done through Marathon’s SAP system, using its plant maintenance module to generate requests for work before re-entering the information into Excel spreadsheets and Primavera.  Not only was this a time consuming process, but it did not take into account what was actually happening or the resources available to carry out the work at any given time. Neither did it flag up any slippage in this business critical activity. When a company-wide decision was made to switch from Primavera to Microsoft Project, the Marathon planners saw the possibility of taking greater control of the maintenance programme resourcing and scheduling through implementing an integrated enterprise project management (EPM) solution using Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint technologies. A formal, comprehensive process to fully understand what was needed included Program Framework’s senior consultants spending significant time with the Marathon team to learn how they worked and what their detailed requirements were.  The Marathon solution is a highly configured Microsoft Project Server implementation, and uses Microsoft SharePoint technology to support collaboration and document management.  Reporting and data analysis facilities were developed using Microsoft Business Intelligence technologies such as Sequel Reporting Services and Analysis Services. In the resulting planning solution, asset and activity information including date, time and operational data is passed between SAP and Project Server via an overnight update process. This results in a consistent view of work in both systems and provides maintenance plans that can be visualised, scheduled and resourced using an intuitive and interactive user interface. The system carries out routine daily checks that flag up any delays or problems, allowing planners to reschedule work as and when required to maximise efficiency, safety and resources. Information is then updated and synchronised with SAP on a daily basis while the plan is in execution allowing platform managers to make critical, informed decisions based upon up to date information. The results are impressive. All three platforms have reduced their backlog, all maintenance is being planned and scheduled and is much more visible. It has made people more accountable, important data is more available and easier to find and it has certainly increased efficiency.

“Microsoft Project brought in a different set of opportunities that we did not realise it had. The biggest bonus was the ability to give ownership in appropriate places – we could put a stop to the ‘fiction’ that went into the plan. Program Framework brought expertise and guidance when we needed it and in the places where we needed it. The quality and speed at which things came together helped us enormously in getting through the amount of work we needed to do to configure what was a complex tool to make it useful offshore and onshore.”

Carol Mackie, Planning Team Lead, Marathon Oil UK


The Marathon Oil asset maintenance planning solution was initially deployed using Microsoft Project Server 2003. It has since been upgraded to Project Server 2013 and continues to be supported by Program Framework.




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