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Special Report: Extending the life of assets

by Guest on Jun 20, 2018


As oilfields age, operators face strategic decisions over replacing equipment or opting to upgrade, modify and maintain what they have instead.
As oilfields age, operators face strategic decisions over replacing equipment or opting to upgrade, modify and maintain what they have instead.

With the consistent rising demand for energy, hydrocarbon resources are still contributing to and seen as the backbone to support the current global energy demand.

The energy world is currently going through what is considered an unsettled but dynamic evolution. Fluctuating oil and gas prices, increased energy demand, various political instabilities in key production regions, anxieties concerning security of supply - these are just some of the factors influencing and pushing the industry regarding the development of new oil and gas fields, the modernisation of their existing infrastructure and improving efficiency. 

The oil industry’s operators are now focusing upon the implementation of a more cost efficient and effective approach of designing and equipping offshore installations, aiming to significantly reduce the cost of the projects to cope with the oil price downturn whilst also improving upon their carbon foot print through the adoption of green solutions.

Remote locations, harsh environments, extreme climates, weight and size constraints. These are but a few of the characteristics typical of offshore oil and gas operations in the Middle East. Extreme robustness, high reliability and availability, as well as compact, modular designs are of utmost importance to ensure the integrity of the assets and the overall sturdiness of the field.

Moreover, as project scopes widen, sourcing a vast share of products, solutions and services from a single supplier offers a variety of benefits to engineering, procurement and construction companies and end-clients alike. Reduction of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and project management complexity can be realised, which can ultimately improve project scheduling, leading to earlier first oil production.

Offshore drilling rigs are moving into deeper and deeper waters. Unconventional oil wells are expanding access to previously untapped reserves. The number of active pipelines are increasing at an exceptional rate, driving the demand for marine technology services like marine growth removal and friction welding.

Ageing assets

The Middle East is a leading oil and gas region dating back to the first hydrocarbon discoveries, but now it is facing challenges with ageing assets putting a question before operators whether to replace them with new or service them, while still being under pressure of maintaining the same level of production.

It is estimated that more than 70% of assets are older than 25 years; some exceeding 40 years. While the life of many assets will be extended through modifications and upgrades, a large number will face decommissioning over the coming years.  This will require a fresh approach and a lot of informed investment decisions, either committing to late-life asset management and integrity, or starting to decommission in a safe, environmentally sound and cost-effective way.

Adapting to the market demands, Proserv’s offering is aimed at the entire lifecycle of the field starting from front-end engineering, and manufacturing of equipment and solutions, to local operation services. This includes maintenance services, supply of spare parts as well as upgrades of existing equipment. Proserv has 30 years’ experience in successful removal of over 650 platform and subsea structures and over 300 well cuts. 

As offshore project experts, we integrate our solutions into any platform or vessel design in compliance with all major international and local regulations. We have significant expertise in all major offshore operating regions, from fit-for-purpose to complex requirements from the most demanding end customers. Proserv has invested in finding ways to advance life of assets and extend field life in order to support clients with maintaining or even increasing production levels. Much of this relates to smart-well solutions, field-integration technologies, reduction of downtime and timely maintenance services.

Our research and development continually evolves in all of these areas, the most recent and much acclaimed proof of innovation has been our Smart Box well management solution.

Costly downtime

Utilising proven technology, Smart Box can withstand harsh environments, provide diagnostics for remote monitoring of the well and deliver data from remote sites needed to drive better maintenance decisions. Uptime is a critical concern for the operators in their efforts to maintain production. If a well goes down unnoticed, it can cost as much as $100,000 in lost revenue and operating costs each day until it is back up and running.

Moreover, once it is, you have to allocate valuable human resources to make sure it stays that way. This reactive type of approach is not only expensive, it’s also highly inefficient. Unmanned sites are likely to be 50 miles off the coast and if a critical process breaks down, every minute waiting for a service technician is another minute of lost production and intensifying safety concerns.

With global demand rising steadily, the response from the supply side is crucial. The demand will continue to grow by 1% to 2% annually and the industry will require innovative, economical and reliable technologies to cope with increasingly difficult production conditions. For example, depleting oil fields need 4-5% of production to be replaced every year – and this requires new and improved technologies, which will need to be underpinned with significant investments.

The recurring oil price decreases will still present challenges for financing investments. For Proserv, this is a situation we actively deal with. We support customers by providing technologies to achieve higher equipment efficiency and availability; standardisation, modularisation, and the right choice of technology to reduce CAPEX in the first place and improved production costs for existing installations through integrating innovative products and systems.

We have a broad manufacturing base in the region and service centres from which we are able to dispatch technicians to site promptly. Furthermore, with our global presence we are able to provide reliable service support anytime, anywhere with our pool of experienced local technicians.

Going forward, for the industry it is a necessity that operators and suppliers work together and constantly develop new services and solutions to optimise the efficiency of established operations and create advanced technology for new developments.

Staying competitive requires maximising your production efficiency by increasing the reliability of your assets and processes. And when assets reliability is a must, state-of-the-art technology solutions and maintenance can undoubtedly be your competitive advantage. 


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