Digital MagazineMagazineYear 2021

Offshore Units lifecycle management – safety and operational reliability review


When it comes to addressing both safety and operational reliability, the Offshore Assets are always on top of the mind of any major Oil Company.


By Darren Wesneske,
Offshore Key Account Manager – Roxtec, Inc.

When it comes to addressing both safety and operational reliability, the Offshore Assets are always on top of the mind of any major Oil Company.

The overall asset life cycle of an Offshore Platform or Drilling Rig can easily reach several decades until its final destination, decommissioning. As a result, equipment once considered modern during the original design would consequently become outdated or obsolete.

This equipment will eventually require future upgrades, overhaul repairs, or even replacement to maintain its actual functionality.

Therefore, the maintenance of critical equipment over time is not only mandatory but also becomes a significant factor in keeping increased levels of safety for both assets and life onboard.

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Safety and operational reliability

With the increased level of uncertainty brought by the Covid-19 outbreak, oil companies worldwide were forced to redesign their businesses to comply with stricter market conditions, leading their efforts towards a more optimized use of resources.

The availability of resources has a strong correlation with the level of operational reliability companies can achieve.

That same dimension directly affects the quality-of-service companies can provide to their end customers.

The challenge then becomes the need for maintaining safety levels even when resources are scarce, not only from an organizational point of view but mainly from a supply chain perspective.

The trend is that both parts and equipment are used to their maximum life span to maximize ROI and sustain processes at acceptable levels, avoiding downtime and paving the way for a more sustainable result.

In the past, the practice under more challenging market conditions was to start cutting operating budgets. Still, Operators worldwide are no longer able to use that silver bullet, and now they must look for opportunities to save money by reducing overall lifecycle costs.

To comply with the new normal, both Offshore operations and supply chain will have to restructure their service level to utilize minimum resources better and maximize asset reliability without compromising safety.

From a supply chain perspective, vendors now focus more on their value-added concepts, bringing a complete new perspective to the table, and disrupting the markets with “Asset Lifecycle Management” (ALM).

Identifying opportunities for cost savings is crucial, and reducing the time allocated to repairs or upgrades can result in significant savings; adding value and increasing overall business performance.

Offshore units lifecycle management

For a recent turnaround on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM); the maintenance of an existing cable penetration seal on the electrical building needed to be addressed.

Over time, the existing penetration corroded due to the harsh environment at sea and needed to be replaced to maintain healthy safety levels.

The operator requested help and asked for the cables not to be disconnected from the equipment. Besides, no welding could be performed in the area.

The repair maintained the bulkhead’s fire rating and provided a gas-tight; watertight seal to stop the propagation of hazardous gases and moisture into the electrical building.

After completing the project, Doug Savoy (Senior Authorized Electrician at Shell Oil) stated, “The custom frame saved countless man-hours and downtime. We would not hesitate to call if we needed any more.”

The high demand for safety and the technical challenges from these scenarios require a completely different approach.

Providing solutions will no longer suffice, but creating solutions that encompass the entire asset lifecycle will provide innumerable benefits for the value chain, and allow the industry to leverage its capabilities more competitively.

The companies that will survive and thrive in such environments; are the ones that can emulate the operational lifetime concept, presenting a higher initial investment for Owners; and bring an entirely new perspective for Operational costs that will eventually be close to zero.

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