Seven drilling contractors unite for well control equipment failure tool

  • Equipment

Seven drilling contractors, including major players like Transocean and Seadrill, have joined forces to create a reporting tool for capturing well control equipment failures.

According to one of these offshore drillers, Maersk Drilling, the tool captures all failures in a third party system and gives the equipment owners more leverage to instigate equipment improvements with the manufacturers, hereby enhancing reliability and safety on board.

Moreover, the tool also makes it possible to conduct analytics, which can help benchmark Maersk Drilling against competitors and peers, Maersk Drilling explained.

“The industry has been crying out for a tool of this nature. We talk to our competitors who often share the same equipment issues as us. This system lets us see common failures across the industry and gives us a larger database than we could ever produce by only using Maersk Drillings data alone.

“This tool gives us more weight when we raise concerns and issues to the original equipment manufacturer,” says Martin Carnie, Head of Well Control TA & Governance in Maersk Drilling and subject matter expert in the Driller’s consortium.


The Driller’s Consortium


This reporting tool was an initiative developed by the Driller’s consortium, also known as ‘the Group of 7’, which is a group of drilling contractors consisting of Transocean, Diamond Drilling, Ensco, Pacific Drilling, Noble Drilling, Seadrill and Maersk Drilling. The consortium was formed in 2013, and was originally established in order to improve well control equipment reliability and performance. The consortium is governed by a steering committee which consists of one company executive from each of the seven drilling contractors. Claus Bachmann, Asset Manager for Deepwater, is part of the steering committee on behalf of Maersk Drilling.

“By using this tool proactively, we may be able to avoid potential down time due to a yet unidentified equipment malfunction. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to measure our own performance and improve accordingly. It’s great to be part of an initiative where we, despite being competitors, can share experiences and benefit from each other. We need more of this in the industry,” says Bachmann.


International interest in the tool


The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), which consists of several oil majors, have asked to join forces with the Group of 7 and broaden the database to the larger well control equipment arena, Maersk Drilling stated. It is planned that the International Association of Drilling contractors (IADC) will take over governance of the database and that IOGP will form part of the collaboration, said the company.

Additionally, the original equipment manufacturers have also provided positive feedback on the mutual reporting tool. According to Maersk Drilling, the database is set up in such a way that it automatically reports approved failures directly to the manufacturer.

“We are already discussing the possibility of extending the database to include Riser and Diverter systems, along with Choke and kill manifold systems. One proposal that Maersk Drilling put forward was to include a shear data portal where we could share shear test data. Hopefully, the analytics which we gather from the tool will eventually steer us more towards condition based maintenance, rather than performing time based maintenance as we do today,” Carnie concludes.

The tool will undergo further development in the years to come.

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