In this 16 part series, our head of Rig Inspection Services Steven Lee shares tips on how operators and owners can get through rig inspections with flying colours – and which pitfalls to avoid! Mr Lee has more than a hundred rig inspections under his belt, from all parts of the world. In this third chapter, we look at reactivation inspections.
As we discussed during the previous rig preservation blog, reactivation and preservation are two sides of the same coin. Reactivation inspections are similar to a newbuild acceptance program, in that the basic functionality of a rig’s systems should not be taken for granted.
Experience from conducting reactivation inspections on both warm stacked and longer-term cold stacked rigs is that you will have equipment failures. Typically these will be small, relatively inexpensive components.
These failures can have more impact on reactivation timelines than hardware budgets, as often these inexpensive components are not readily available. So the lesson that has been learned during reactivation is the sooner and more rigorously equipment function testing can be done, the sooner any equipment failures can be identified without ultimately impacting the project’s deadline.
Another important lesson is that as we develop more complex hardware, which relies largely upon firmware and software systems, such systems need to be maintained at the version they were at before preservation.
Manufacturers are continuously striving to improve firmware and software. As such, system upgrades are commonplace in much of our rig systems. We need to resist the temptation to cut corners and have upgrades installed as we reactivate. Failure to follow this method can lead to hugely time-consuming problems, as any faults encountered cannot be identified as a result of software or firmware upgrades.
This leads to another problem area during rig reactivation, which is addressing all the equipment technical bulletins, safety bulletins and the like from the equipment manufacturers. There needs to be a documented process ensuring that this is being addressed and that important upgrades/modifications etc. are not inadvertently missed.
Reactivation inspections focus heavily upon equipment testing and review of equipment that requires recertification, looking specifically at any findings and how they have been addressed. Planned Maintenance systems will also come under heavy scrutiny. Inspection teams will look at how calendar-based maintenance during the preservation period was addressed, if there are any backlogs of maintenance and how that is being addressed.