Managing small projects can be hectic. As small projects have shorter time completion and the need to constantly moving from one thing to the other can be tiring. Brownfield refers to projects on the existing facilities. Brownfield projects are not necessarily small. As an example, rejuvenation of an existing facilities can be big and involving multiple contracts & plenty of manpower. On the other hand, greenfield refers to new development projects. One difference between managing brownfield & greenfield is the issuance of PTW (permit to work) during project execution. The project team is directly responsible to manage PTW for greenfield projects whereby the member of unit operation team will control PTW for brownfield project activities.

In an existing oil & gas operating units, there are plenty of small projects. Obviously, small projects & modifications with low effort & high impact gets prioritized as it can enhance the efficiency & productivity of operating units. Project execution in live hydrocarbon processing plant is challenging due to potential hazards arising from flammability inherent in hydrocarbons. HAC (Hazardous Area Classification) defines an operating area in terms of the likelihood of explosion to occur and measures are taken to ensure the safety of people working in hazardous zones. Hot work activities such as oxy cutting & welding produce flames & sparks which are the potential source of ignition and explosion can happen very very fast with  catastrophic results. As such, managing hot work is crucial to both people safety and plant integrity.  There are many high profile fire & explosion incidents on offshore & onshore installations resulting in loss of lives, serious damage to property & environment.

A small project such as cutting into a steel pipe to install a valve is a small & simple project . If this small project is carried out in live plant efforts to safeguard the facilities from fire & explosion hazards are essential. The project manager has to ensure practices & procedures necessary to the effective management of fire hazards are in place and properly communicated to all parties involve in the project execution. Fire & gas hazards cannot be taken lightly when executing project activity in hydrocarbon environment.

Small projects have to be managed with focus & priority to ensure people safety & integrity of the facilities.  If the potential hazards are not properly addressed the execution can go horribly wrong.  It is important to do what matters to ensure small projects are done in safe manner.

Written by Mohammad

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