In an MCEDD presentation on late Wednesday morning, in Milan, Italy, a acknowledged subsea knowledgeable mentioned that, in his opinion, the reluctance of operators to undertake new expertise within the sector is tied to threat. There are 4 important elements that contribute to this reluctance, mentioned David Saul, the Subsea Engineering Technical Authority for BP’s Global Project Organization, who made his presentation on behalf of the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT).


These 4 elements, mentioned Saul, embrace supply considerations, reliability considerations, the price of failure to the operator, and the final word query, “Do we actually want it?” Regarding the latter issue, Saul mentioned that innovators at tools/service firms, who’re attempting to push new expertise to operators, want to have the ability to reply the next query: What does it try this we are able to’t achieved with confirmed, dependable expertise now? Saul famous that ceaselessly on main initiatives, new expertise is delivered late. “Yet, for my part, if new expertise is delivered late, it’s as a result of it was ordered late.”

Saul mentioned that regardless of the ever-present reluctance to undertake new expertise, there’s a lengthy record of initiatives which have helped to push the subsea sector ahead over time, together with the primary subsea effectively in Lake Erie, in 30 toes of water, throughout 1943. Then there was the primary submerged manufacturing system, put in in 1977 by Exxon. Later, in 1983, Shell developed the primary underwater manifold system. In 2000/2001, added Saul, Statoil put in a pilot separator at Troll subject. This was adopted by Total utilizing the primary all-electric timber in 2008 on the K5F subject on the Dutch Continental Shelf. The most up-to-date step change occurred throughout 2011, when Total’s Pazflor subject went onstream offshore Angola, that includes the world’s first subsea separation unit.

So, persevering with the subject, “ought to we be extra accepting of recent expertise?” mentioned Saul. He answered his personal query by noting that there are a few methods to have a look at new expertise as being a facilitator. “We can have a look at new expertise as an enabler,” defined Saul. “In subsea conditions, it might assist us go deeper and warmer with larger pressures from father away,” he added. “We will be extra aggressive. We can also have a look at new expertise as a cost-reducer. Fundamentally, there comes a degree, the place there is no such thing as a scope to additional scale back prices, based mostly on present subsea applied sciences.”

At the tip of the day, mentioned Saul, the tools/service firms pushing new subsea expertise want to have the ability to reply the query coming from mission managers, “What’s in it for me?” He defined that one strategy to reply the query is to indicate that the brand new expertise will scale back whole prices and/or be a technical step-change of great dimension. The different strategy to reply the query, mentioned Saul, “is to convey folks alongside. Be clear why it’s a step ahead, and present the incremental steps, if there are any. Be positive to have early engagement with the operator on these new applied sciences.”

Last, however not least, mentioned Saul, “be sure you perceive the doubtless considerations centered round threat. Make positive that mission managers perceive that the brand new expertise will scale back their threat, in addition to be cheaper.”


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