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The recent rise in commodity prices has generated an increasing focus on drilling rig availability around the world and the reactivation of stacked rigs.
However, rig reactivation is not a straightforward process. An ill-informed decision has the potential to cost millions of dollars in non-productive time (NPT) if the rig reaches its location and doesn’t operate as designed or anticipated. It is therefore essential to mitigate such risks during the rig-tendering phase.
As in other sectors of the oil and gas industry, the greater adoption and effective use of enhanced digitalisation in the rig inspection and audit market are delivering significant and highly valuable benefits and a reduction in risk to what has been traditionally a labor-intensive, manual and time-consuming process.
An example of this development has been the establishment of a unique software system by ADC. The Technical Rig Audit Management System (TRAMS) aligns the benefits of digitalisation with the inspection and analysis of several hundred rigs of varying designs and specifications including land rigs, jack ups, semi submersibles and drillships.
The system captures and analyses the findings from every rig inspection ADC has carried out over the past 10 years. Studying such data allows for the targeting of known areas of risk through the undertaking of trend analysis using information such as the background of the drilling contractor, the rig type, design or age, the operational status, the maintenance history, equipment and systems assessment, crew competency, the ability to comply with regional legislation and the geographic location where the rig was stacked. As an example, if a rig is stacked for a period of time in particularly sunny, hot and dry climate, it can often experience heat and UV degradation of perishable compounds such as rubber and elastomer components.
A drillship, which was stacked in such conditions until earlier this year, was found to have similar challenges in advance of planned reactivation and deployment offshore Ghana. ADC was commissioned to ensure all drilling equipment and systems were inspected and operational during reactivation and the vessel is currently drilling over 97 percent uptime – a significant achievement following recent stacking.
Using data to identify non-conformance trends allows for the optimization of time on board for each rig option so that a fully transparent and consistent inspection can be conducted.
Furthermore, during multiple rig selection surveys, rather than reports on individual inspection and assessment aspects being conducted and collated manually, digitalisation of the process can provide the operator with a relatively quick, holistic and comparative analysis of the rigs, underpinned by the potential technical and/or financial risk of each option.