Bringing the lost art of systems engineering & integration back to well control equipment
CHALLENGE: A top-tier Drilling Contractor wanted to ensure compliance with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) newly proposed Well Control Rule (WCR) for the Gulf of Mexico. In order to ensure success, the Client wanted independent third party help to better understand and then consolidate requirements as well as create discreet activities to ensure compliance. The Client also wanted project management support to help plan, monitor and control the activities needed for compliance.
SOLUTION: We conducted a detailed review of the proposed BSEE WCR then broke it down into discreet requirements which we then traced back to industry standards. Furthermore, we took the Client’s existing analysis they had done for a key industry standard within the WCR, and connected them to individual requirements within the WCR. We then connected these requirements to the Client’s internal policies and procedures. We provided technical review and input for each requirement related to well control equipment. We then worked with the Client’s subject matter experts to prepare a detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and schedule to reflect the activities necessary to get the Client’s internal policies and procedures and fleet of rigs in compliance with the WCR. We helped guide the compliance process and provided technical and project guidance throughout the course of the project.
VALUE: The Client expressed gratitude for the peace of mind that came from definitive activities identified, planned and scheduled to ensure compliance with the WCR’s key effectivity dates (3, 12, 24, 60 and 84-month increments). They also enjoyed having a list for tasks to work on daily to reach their goals. The Client’s Customers (Well Operators) expressed both gratitude and praise for the Client being able to show a detailed plan of action and the weekly progress.
CHALLENGE: A large oilfield Manufacturer was having issues with the performance of one of their newer down-hole tools. The tool was not performing as designed and was also being used in ways and over longer periods of time that was not anticipated. The Client sought help in understanding the cause of past failures and also wanted to identify and evaluate other possible failure modes.
SOLUTION: We facilitated a series of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). We guided the engineering team through a system FMEA first in order to understand the operation of the tool in its environment. Then we facilitated a sub-system FMEA followed by a component FMEA for each of the riskier components. What was interesting about this project was the ancillary benefits the client got by going through the FMEA process. They identified not only performance issues related to field operations, but gained a better understanding of their in-house manufacturing and testing process and numerous corresponding opportunities for improvement. Perhaps the biggest benefit was the better understanding the engineering and design team had for how the tool worked and why it was designed the way it was. This was particularly important because many of the engineers were younger and the original designer was no longer with the company.
VALUE: The group interaction from marketing and manufacturing to engineering was the most valuable aspect of this FMEA. The Client gained powerful insights into marketability, design intent, operational performance and manufacturing processes.
CHALLENGE: An oilfield Manufacturer had purchased two subsea MUX systems from a third party subsea controls company to integrate with their unique subsea MPD system. The first MUX system that was delivered passed the function test in the shop and on the rig prior to deployment. However, once the system went subsea, it failed almost immediately. The third party subsea controls company then went bankrupt, but the Client was left with the second subsea MUX system that they needed to deliver to fulfil a $12M contract.
SOLUTION: We were called in to diagnose the first MUX system and to make the second system work. First, we performed a very detailed assessment of the existing MUX control system. Second, we prioritized the changes that needed to be made. Third, we provided a detailed cost estimate and schedule for completing the work. Finally, we helped the Client implement the changes and upgrades to the system we had recommended.
VALUE: We ensured proper functionality and increased reliability of the second subsea MUX system. We provided scheduling, supply chain management, and project management assistance to keep the Client on schedule and budget. Some of the re-design work included new solenoid and pressure switch circuit boards. When challenges presented themselves, we were able to respond immediately since we were overseeing daily manufacturing and assembly/test operations at the various vendor locations. We helped organize and support the component, subassembly, and assembly level testing. The Client was able to complete the MPD system integration test in a few hours with no punches. The project finished two days early and under budget.
CHALLENGE: A top-tier Drilling Contractor wanted help to turn around a delayed project installing an existing BOP stack and controls system onto a contracted new-build drillship. The Client also wanted a realistic project finish date.
SOLUTION: We assessed the equipment and spares and interviewed the various teams, including the subsea team, the rig delivery team, the procurement team, the OEM service hands and the Operator’s team. Within a few days, we were able to do a gap analysis and create a comprehensive list of work and parts needed to finish the job properly. We created and managed a detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and project schedule in real-time which provided all teams with a realistic status and estimated completion date.
VALUE: We coordinated the activities of the three teams, subcontractors and the shipyard towards a successful completion in under two months. The project was highly likely to take 2x or 3x more time in the shipyard without our involvement. The Client, the Well Operator, the OEM and the shipyard and other subcontractors all expressed gratitude for the project recovery and for getting the teams communicating better and working towards a common goal.
CHALLENGE: In order to keep one of their rigs on contract, a top-tier Drilling Contractor wanted to integrate a new Emergency Hydraulic Backup System into their BOP stack and controls system.
SOLUTION: We prepared the Management of Change and supporting documentation on behalf of the Client. We facilitated an FMEA to understand the risks associated with the new system. Based on the risk priorities, we helped the Client determine the corrective actions and then coordinated the closing out of the actions on the Client’s behalf. On the rig, we conducted a risk analysis to determine the impacts of the new system on existing equipment and systems and we then coordinated and closed-out the corrective actions on the Client’s behalf. We also helped reduce the Client’s schedule by several weeks by providing on-site technical support and by helping the subsea team do detailed planning and scheduling daily.
VALUE: The Client appreciated being able to turn-key a technically complex upgrade to a trusted partner who could not just identify the technical- and project-related risks, but also help facilitate the activities necessary to close them out which required finesse on the rig and back at headquarters. Both the Client and the Well Operator expressed gratitude for a commissioning schedule everyone could trust and reliably plan by.
CHALLENGE: A top-tier Drilling Contractor needed technical support and stakeholder management for the BOP stack and controls system during an 18-month project to build a new, custom semi-submersible.
SOLUTION: We conducted rig and equipment interface assessments and resolved all open issues on the Client’s behalf by coordinating communications between the stakeholders. We provided technical support for the Shipyard and OEM to ensure that the equipment was built in accordance with the Client’s contract. This alone eliminated much re-work risk. We conducted FMECA and risk assessments and helped to close out corrective actions associated with high risk findings. The Well Operator, the OEM, the Shipyard and the Drilling Contractor’s subsea team, project team and operations team all expressed gratitude for the technical guidance and communication management.
VALUE: The Client appreciated our ability to coordinate between their headquarters subsea and operations teams. The Well Operator, Shipyard and OEM all expressed gratitude for us ensuring that the design and delivery of the BOP stack and controls met all requirements. Our backgrounds in the design and manufacture of the equipment allowed us to help the OEM make improvements, which ultimately benefited the rig and the well program.
CHALLENGE: A Well Operator needed help finding ways to reduce $300MM in non-productive time associated with BOP stack and controls systems on their various rigs.
SOLUTION: We reviewed existing rig contracts to understand commercial and technical requirements. We then reviewed all technical and well control manuals and provided technical oversight and recommendations for reducing trouble time.
VALUE: The Client reported that our suggestions would help them reduce at least 10% of trouble time per rig.
CHALLENGE: A Well Operator needed technical and project support related to the production and delivery of a capping stack critical to their $500MM drilling project.
SOLUTION: Leveraging our backgrounds in drilling equipment design and manufacture, we primarily provided project management oversight of the various Houston-based OEMs while also providing technical guidance for the product.
VALUE: The Client had a very narrow drilling window off Alaska. Our services gave the Client peace of mind that the OEMs would meet their obligations technically and on time. We were able to get the OEMs to provide more detailed schedules than they were used to providing, which allowed us to identify and help resolve issues in near real-time.
CHALLENGE: An Oilfield Service Provider wanted help developing a plan to improve one of their top revenue-generating drilling products.
SOLUTION: We provided program management and technical oversight to include preparing the project Charter and the detailed Scope of Work in order to clearly define the requirements for the new product’s Functional Specification. We coordinated with the various stakeholders to understand the existing product performance characteristics and identified their requirements for enhancement. We compiled and distilled the requirements, which ranged from marketing and sales to engineering and operations.
VALUE: The Client indicated that we helped them identify the misalignment of expectations between the stakeholders, thus saving them potentially millions of wasted dollars in rework and schedule delays. We also identified various options for consolidating equipment and minimizing the footprint on the rig.