Meeting of Ocean Engineers Covers the Topics of Standardisation and Replication of Parts

Lloyd's Register hosted a meeting of the International Association of Ocean Engineers (IAOE) and took the opportunity to discuss the relevance of standardisation to reducing production costs.

Ocean engineers from various disciplines, working for OEMs, EPCs, contractors and operators participated in an International Association of Ocean Engineers meeting hosted by Lloyd’s Register Energy at its Training Centre, located on Park Row in Houston, Texas.

Meeting of Ocean Engineers Group

LR subject matter experts delivered presentations on regulatory requirements within the Gulf of Mexico; technical advancements to improve the reliability of equipment for offshore operations; and the importance of ongoing training for maintaining competence levels of crews working offshore.

The IAOE members were also given the opportunity to get a first-hand look at functional surface BOP well control equipment used for hands-on training regularly provided to students at the training centre. The attendees were shown how the equipment operates and listened to stories about actual situations involving reliability of equipment. The IAOE members asked many good questions and received detailed answers from LR subsea, well control equipment and other technical subject matter experts. During the meeting, the topic of reducing production costs through the standardisation of operations and equipment components was raised.

The potential standardisation holds for reducing production cost was a point of discussion at a recent Oil and Gas Technology Radar meeting held in Houston, Texas. The subject has also been covered on Oilpro (Standardisation and replication in the upstream industry? and NOV optimising uptime through standardisation and New Angola Service Facility) with some insightful opinion.

With interest in the opinion of ocean engineers on standardisation, we conducted an informal survey. According to the survey results, there was consensus that standardisation is key to reducing the cost of producing oil and gas. Of the respondents, 31% felt that standardisation is important, while 69% felt it is very important to reducing costs. Not surprisingly, 62% of the respondents thought that processes are the part of operations which stand to benefit the most from standardisation. People and equipment each received 19% of the vote as gaining the most from standardisation.

When questioned about the rate of current usage and future adoption of standardisation across the industry; the group indicated a 52% current usage and 75% usage of standardisation 10 years from now pointing to a 44% increase in the use of standardisation by 2025.

When questioned more specifically about the benefits of standardising and replicating equipment components; respondents identified design and construction as the areas of operations to benefit the most and training to benefit the least. Additionally, they felt that safety was, above all, the most important and achievable benefit companies would gain from standardisation. With respect to barriers to implementing standardisation, the respondents indicated diversity of projects, assets and geographies as the most difficult; and CAPEX as the least difficult barriers to overcome.

Meeting of Ocean Engineers Graph 1

Meeting of Ocean Engineers Graph 2

While there are clearly significant challenges to implementing more standardisation across operations and better utilising the replication of equipment components, this informal survey of ocean engineers adds further commentary to the benefits and likelihood we will see more efforts toward standardisation.