Partnership sets out to challenge traditional maintenance

Louise Smyth

Maersk Drilling and National Oilwell Varco have entered into a five year partnership to improve maintenance predictability for drilling equipment.

The shared vision behind the partnership is to implement a new maintenance mind-set that will increase value for customers by minimising operational downtime, while lowering maintenance cost levels.

The agreement covers Maersk Drilling’s three deepwater D-class semi-submersibles as well as the four ultra-deepwater V-class drillships.

Until now, major overhaul of drilling equipment has been carried out with five-year intervals as part of the Special Periodic Surveys (SPS) at quay side. Through this partnership agreement, Maersk Drilling will switch to a condition-based maintenance strategy, where overhaul and repairs will, to the extent possible, be carried out as rolling maintenance while the unit is operating.

“This is a new way of looking at maintenance, and our ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for quay side SPS yard stays every five years, while still ensuring the highest level of safety and operational efficiency possible. In Maersk Drilling, we wish to collaborate with industry leaders to challenge traditional ways of thinking and continue to enhance the way we operate,” explains Frederik Smidth, CTO.

To continuously improve the entire process from daily scheduled maintenance to major overhauls, it is crucial to include knowledge and experiences from both the equipment designer and operator.

“By partnering up with National Oilwell Varco, we aim at achieving a higher level of maintenance predictability, hereby reducing the cash-flow impact from maintenance activities – ultimately resulting in less down time for our customers. Collecting, analysing and sharing data as well as detailed knowledge about the equipment will be key in succeeding, which is why we believe a long term partnership is a must,” Smidth continues.

By collecting and analysing data continuously, it becomes possible for Maersk Drilling to carry out the right level of maintenance, at the right time, without interfering with a busy drilling schedule.

As part of the agreement, NOV will establish a dedicated team that can assist Maersk Drilling’s rigs when needed. The team can be deployed instantly if an urgent task arises or if a window of opportunity opens in which the crew needs assistance with a major overhaul job. As an example, this could be installation and start-up of a new top drive, while less time consuming maintenance tasks may only require parts and instructions to be shipped to the rig for the crew to handle.

When needed and where circumstances allow, equipment will be replaced and sent onshore for a complete overhaul to minimise interference on the rig. Following the overhaul, the equipment will return to service on one of the sister rigs with all latest safety and operational upgrades in place.

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