Oil Sands Conference & Trade Show

Risk Based Work Selection

Frank Engli -

Senior Advisor


September 15, 2021 -

2:10 pm

Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) is a work process that has been used in industry for >20 years by some owner-operators, however; it remains a little known process industry wide.  In recent years there has been an increasing awareness of and interest in RBWS as owner-operators have focused on reducing cost and duration of Turnarounds while maintaining safe and reliable operation. Our experience has shown that a reduction in the overall TA work scope of approximately 20% is routinely accomplished.

RBWS is a multi-discipline work process that includes all key stakeholders in the TA, Operations and the Subject Matter Experts (SME) from individual equipment disciplines.  The intent of the RBWS is to determine if there is risk based justification (H/S/E or Financial) to complete the worklist item during the TA.  A threshold for unacceptable H/S/E risks is determined by the Site using a Risk Matrix.  For discretionary items (Financial Risk only) a Benefit to Cost threshold or “Hurdle Rate” is set to ensure an adequate return on investment and that a cost effective solution has been chosen.  Hurdle rates typically increase after the worklist freeze date as the time for planning decreases.

In order to justify items it must first be determined that they cannot be done outside of TA.  Once this is completed the worklist items are reviewed to determine what failure they are intended to prevent from occurring.  Typically the timeframe considered is the run length between turnarounds.

The consequence and probability of the failure is then determined with input from the team and combined on the Risk Matrix to determine the Risk Level.    When RBWS is used with Fixed Equipment, it can utilize RBI data to validate or reject TA tasks that are included in the TA Work List (WL). RBI assessments focus on equipment integrity and loss of containment, while the RBWS methodology supplements these assessments with consideration of operational failures in vessel internals which may cause an unplanned outage, and impact on equipment performance.

Methodology for assessing risks can vary from qualitative to quantitative.  Becht’s methodology is semi-quantitative which provides teams with a structured process that produces consistent results without too burdensome an amount of data required.  When Risk levels are assigned to each item it allows owner-operators to make informed decisions on what is “In” and what is “Out” of the Turnaround Scope.

The end product of an RBWS is a justified worklist that will help the organization meet its turnaround and reliability goals.

Becht’s Background on RBWS

Our Teams have conducted Risk Based Work Selection Reviews for Turnarounds in North America and internationally for over 12 years. We have helped owner-operator organizations successfully execute Turnarounds by removing or deferring tens of millions of dollars of unjustified work from turnaround scopes.  We provide expert facilitation tailored to the make-up of each TA Worklist and can supply on-site data collection resources to help ensure the client is prepared for a successful and efficient RBWS Workshop.  We execute RBWS using a custom built software STRAITS (Strategic Tool for Risk Assessment for Improving Turnaround Scopes).

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Frank Engli

Senior Advisor


Frank has over 30 years of experience in project, maintenance, health, safety, security, environmental (HSSE), and turnaround management in the petroleum refining industry. His experience includes: • Reorganized the Project, Maintenance, and Turnaround department to meet budget and safely execute work • Implemented a major maintenance management and improve project management which was able to successfully execute pitstops, infrastructure upgrades, capital projects and tank maintenance budgets of 100 M$ plus per year. • Led the reorganization of the execution departments. resulting in reduced safety incidents • Significantly improved the cost and duration of turnarounds and day to day maintenance by extending unit run lengths and reducing duration • Have reduced over all execution annual cost • Built a caring and collaborative safety culture by working with contractors and building trades using a tripartite approach. o Improved safety performance from a TRFC of >1 to >0.17. • Planned and executed turnarounds in 2013, 2015, and 2016 of 130M$, 230M$ and 230M$ using over 2500 contract employees. • Reduced budget for 2016 Turnaround from 250 M$ to 167 M$ through work scope reduction and further unit decoupling. • Improved the cost and duration of the site’s turnarounds by extending unit run lengths and reducing duration o Most units are in Q1 Solomon. • Instituted flange management/leak control program which resulted in a leak free start up in 2016. • Managed overall budget, safety, planning, scheduling, and execution of turnaround and cat cracker cyclone replacement project work utilizing company and contract personnel of up to 2000 individuals on site. • Led, audited, and implemented maintenance and turnaround management system and contractor safety management programs • Directly supervised a staff of five to fifteen supervisors, planners, technicians, engineers, and contractors in the preparation and safe execution of maintenance and turnaround • Managed the overall budget, safety planning, scheduling and execution of all Turnaround work related to refinery special projects. Frank holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, a Master of Engineering from the Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He holds Six Sigma Black Belt certification.