Q&A: Is maintaining asset integrity and reliability more or less important during a downturn?

01 September 2015

Article - Maintaining integrity during a downturn - Conference banner 1 - 306x172Welcome to the first installment in a series of questions we asked our experts to address leading up to the IADC Asset Integrity & Reliability Conference & Exhibition in Houston, Texas.

An asset should always perform to its required design function both effectively and efficiently, but there are concerns that companies are reducing or deferring asset maintenance in an effort to get through the current downturn in the market.

How important is it for companies to maintain their asset integrity and reliability programs during the downturn?

We asked Lloyd’s Register Energy experts this question and received the following feedback.

Is maintaining asset integrity and reliability more or less important during a downturn?

Pieter van Asten, Sr. Manager Technical Concepts – Innovation, Lloyd’s Register Energy – Drilling: We often hear we don’t have the time in a good market; and we don’t have the money in a bad market. Although time and money are always an issue, investing in integrity and reliability is a competitive advantage for the future. What we prevent by investing now will payoff in future operations.

Safety should never be led by any downturn. Shortcutting safety performance assurance could become apparent in the future with incidents and accidents, costing more than the current investment for assurance.

Stephen Foster, Principal Engineering Consultant, Lloyd’s Register Energy – Drilling: The importance of maintaining asset integrity and reliability does not change with regard to market conditions. It is something that should be applied for the life cycle of the asset, not the price of oil.

It is understood that in times of hardship, cost reductions are looked for in all areas, and one of the favorites is maintenance. Companies that are effectively applying asset management and reliability to their assets, should quickly realize that reductions in maintenance will lead to an increase in risk of failure.

So during a downturn it is important to increase our focus on those companies that have yet to embrace asset management and reliability as the core of their maintenance program, to ensure that any reduction or deferred maintenance is at least controlled and justified.

Gerard Gaal, Senior Reliability Consultant, Lloyd’s Register Energy – Drilling: A failed component might result in recorded NPT while a prevented component failure is usually not even a statistic. The benefits of prevention are often overlooked and sacrificed. Even though it might not be intuitive, the present downturn is a good reason to re-visit the existing asset integrity and reliability processes.

Our experts would like to welcome you to look for our next question in this series next week as we prepare for the IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference and Exhibition, where Pieter, Stephen and Gerard will all be offering presentations concerning issues important to asset integrity and reliability issues facing the industry.

If you have a question that you would like them to address, please leave a comment here and we will reach out to them for answers to be posted in a future installment of this series.

More on Lloyd’s Register Energy’s presentations at IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference and Exhibition

Read part 2.