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Our Client is a gathering and processing business which provides midstream solutions (from the wellhead to the wholesale marketplace) for natural gas producers. It is one of Alberta’s largest licensed sour gas processors. The company also operates two sweet gas processing facilities in this region, and manages more than 600 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline in Alberta. The four processing plants (two sour gas plants and two sweet gas plants) have a combined licensed capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day.


  • Integrating all plants in terms of common management culture, systems and practices.
  • Identifying and sharing “best practices” to utilize in all plants.
  • Optimizing contractor costs and services in the Maintenance area.
  • Reducing overtime costs in the Operations and Maintenance areas.
  • Ensuring Supervisors skills are updated for improved management of the work flow.
  • Coaching Supervisors to achieve a positive behaviour change and facilitate active supervision.
  • Facilitating team work and employee engagement in the problem solving process.
  • Installing Management Operating Systems (MOS) that allow for the identification and resolution of operational variances.

Assessment Findings

  • The permit process was not optimized generating significant wait time and miscommunication.
  • Work requests for maintenance were not turned in and jobs were not properly “scoped” prior to their execution.
  • Scheduling did not reflect realistic resource capacity constraints (too much/not enough work scheduled).
  • Mismatches existed between the capacity of the outside operators to maintain their respective units (operating areas) and the follow-up requirements on the equipment in these areas.
  • The lack of coordination between contractors and operators generated significant opportunities, non-value added time, and costs due to contractors showing up for nothing or waiting.
  • Repair parts were not ready at the warehouse because required information was missing on the work orders (such as parts specifications).
  • Lack of effective supervision of the outside operators by not completing their rounds as per procedure.
  • Supervisors were not following-up on any expectations or objectives with regard to how long a task should take or on the level of activity performed in the plants.
  • The perception of the Supervisors was that they were available when required to solve problems, therefore they did not need to proactively manage the processes and their employees.

PVA's Response

  • Permitting was standardized for all plants which resulted in issuing more permits, optimization of the time to process repair and maintenance activity, and the creation of a safer work environment.
  • Action plans to address work order requests for problems that are common in all of the plants including a methodology for handling the work order involving schedulers tasks, and training on correctly completing and using the work order system.
  • Each plant conducted thorough reviews of their work orders to ensure that the information is accurate and complete and they are now able to complete jobs more efficiently knowing exactly what the problem is and reducing the trouble-shooting time.
  • Implementation of Management Operating Systems (MOS) increased communication and proactive management, and led to continued improvements in productivity, reductions in overtime, and more effective planning and scheduling methods.
  • Identification of the key issues from the employee engagement program resulted in a step-by-step analysis of all the tasks, as well as a Management Operating System that facilitated daily planning and frequent follow-up.

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

  • Reduction of contractor costs.
  • Reduction of overtime in both the operations and maintenance areas.
  • Improvement in the level of proactive management from 5% to 40% by the plant Supervisors.
  • Improvement of the quality and frequency of the monitoring of all operational areas.
  • Improvement of the focus and communication on safety.
  • Productivity improvements have shown results in excess of $4,000,000 versus the targeted savings of $3,750,000.

Annualized Savings

Annualized Savings (All Plants)

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A Client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement.
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed for the Coordinator.
  • PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure compliance to the continued utilization of the Management Operating Systems.
  • These Audits resulted in recommendations and action plans to further identify additional opportunities for improving operations.

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