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Great communication is an integral tool to reduce expenditure on offshore assets

Published:  30 June, 2020

Reimagining offshore repair and maintenance programmes with greater collaboration could save asset owners millions of dollars. Ian Nash, business manager, SPS Technology, explains how.

In recent years the offshore industry has made great strides towards recovery, with cost control and energy price revival supporting the sector’s steady, and growing resurgence. Amid this buoyant environment, additional and significant positive change is still possible through greater communication; shifting from a short to long term mindset that embraces collaboration across departments.

Great communication isn’t just about getting offshore work completed on time and to budget. When harnessed effectively it’s an integral tool that can significantly reduce expenditure, boost safety and protect the environment.

While cost controls have driven savings in recent years through headcount reductions, asset stacking, and technology improvements, other measures remain available to asset owners aiming to understand and reduce overall spend. Further scrutiny of available and proven repair techniques, such as the selection and implementation of structural steel repairs – an essential part of asset remedial work – provides a significant opportunity to unlock value.

The need to generate savings from repairs is palpable in light of recent trends in the oil and gas industry. These include an inclination to stave off the decommissioning of older assets and recommission them; a process that involves considerable structural steel repair work. In a typical scenario, budgets for structural steel repairs are spread across a number of different areas, managed by different personnel with their own budget and goals. This fragmented approach can prevent senior managers from effectively identifying and addressing information siloes, and areas of overspend or excess downtime.

For instance, structural steel repairs can be delivered via a number of methods besides traditional crop and renewal – consider a No Hot Work (NHW) solution, like the patented Sandwich Plate System (SPS) offered by SPS Technology; comprising two metal plates bonded with a BASF elastomer core. Crop and renewal repairs must be carried out during planned maintenance periods, resulting in increased periods of downtime, while SPS NWH repairs are intrinsically safe to complete during the asset’s day to day operation.

Further due to fragmentation, budget holders may see a quote for structural steel repair in the first line of a crop and renewal steel repair quote. However, what they won’t see are the costs across a number of other areas, such as project planning and management, tank cleaning, cargo tank scaffolding, cofferdam construction, and support from dive boats.

Collectively, these costs mean the total budget for crop and renewal repairs can be considerably higher than initially anticipated – typically up to 11 times higher than an SPS NHW repair, which quotes an inclusive price with all elements of the repair work included.

SPS Technology operates this quoting model to demonstrate the considerable savings potential available to senior managers in employing alternative methods and communicating within their departments. With improved collaboration and knowledge sharing, offshore asset owners can unlock millions of dollars trapped in repair and maintenance siloes.

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