Q&A: solving unexpected challenges offshore

February 23, 2021 | Written by: Sensia

We firmly believe the key to our future success is our people. We encourage our team to be curious, to be motivated and to be agile specialists focused on solving our customers’ challenges one-by-one. 
To introduce you to life behind the scenes here at Sensia, we’ve been catching up with some of the people that encapsulate our unique personality and culture. 
Today Daniel Dean – one of our key field support team members – filled us in on a recent, typical offshore field service engagement.
Project background

Our client’s ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig is a MSC CJ70-X150-MD. Designed for year-round operation in the North Sea, the hybrid jack-up rig is currently working in the Norwegian section of the waters.
So, Danny, what was the work scope for this site visit?
The rig was completing a major 5-year inspection and maintenance period, prior to starting the new drilling contract.  As part of the complete work scope on the rig, the Blow Out Prevention (BOP) system underwent a major mechanical rework. As well as the installation and commissioning of additional equipment per customer requirements. As part of the Sensia team, we were responsible for integrating the system modifications into the BOP control system and assisting with the rework and subsequent system testing prior to the rig being deployed in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Special emphasis was placed on delivering the required work scope within the tight schedule of the maintenance period ensuring that the drill ship was returned to service on time for the start of the new drilling contract.”
How familiar were you with the system installed on the rig prior to this trip?
The systems installed for our customer on these particular drill ships are unusual in that they are based on 3rd party technology – as opposed to the Rockwell AADvance found on most Gen 6 assets and Earlier GE Fanuc systems installed on the Gen 4/5 assets. However, I was familiar with these 3rd party systems through prior roles within different companies and I have been able to leverage this experience to assist our customer in support of their installed base.  Additionally, I was part of the team that commissioned the final rig of these customer builds in OKPO South Korea. So, I had some good familiarity with these systems.”
How is the current pandemic affecting our ability to support customers that are based overseas? What additional precautions are taken to ensure everyone’s safety?
“Due to the ongoing pandemic, we had to meet Norwegian requirements for offshore working. On arrival from the UK there we were required to quarantine in Norway for 10 days prior to going offshore, in addition to extensive testing and screening requirements that are designed to keep the team safe and reduce risk of transmission.” 
Did the trip go as planned?
Our customer had appointed a third party to produce the modified applications based on the earlier suppled Sensia project.  During the installation and commissioning of the project some discrepancies, inconsistencies, errors and deployment issues were identified.”
How were these resolved?
“We have a very good and open relationship with our customer developed over the last 20 years of working together in the deploying and supporting their systems. This allows for very tight co-ordination with both their controls group and the third-party software engineering firm that supplied the update system code. Together, as a team, we were able to work through all the discrepancies, inconsistencies, errors and deployment issues one by one. The time requirements drove many long hours re-implementing and re-testing the system modifications to ensure they were functioning to the customer’s specifications and the BOP system was returned to service per the master project schedule.”
Did you receive any customer feedback?
“Both our customer’s project engineer and maintenance department communicated their thanks on a job well done and have requested my return for any future work on the asset.  We wish them continued safe work and successful completion of the new wells as they bring additional reservoir capacity on stream.  I’m looking forward to our next engagement together.”

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