by Tina Olivero

    How to Reduce Risk While Implementing a New Technology.

    Any operations start-up has a degree of risk associated with the first time it is done at the rig site. Whether it be the first time the crew has ever been together to do a reasonably routine operation or the first time the operation has been attempted by a cohesive team which has been together for multiple campaigns. There is usually a high degree of visibility and attention paid to the first operation and many eyes on the task can ensure the attention of all involved, but similarly adds pressure to the team executing operations. If you are considering doing something new to optimize operations here are some of the lessons we have learned:

    • Early contact with the rig is very important – Normally we perform a rig survey and try to make sure we do this around crew change day. This allows us to present the technology to both rig crews and allow them to give thoughts or questions about how this is all going to work. Many of our operational and technical improvements come from sharing what we do with experienced drilling people. A fresh pair of eyes may highlight a risk that hadn’t previously been addressed.
    • HAZID/HAZOP/DWOP/Pre-Section Meetings – Every node and interface in the operation should be assessed. How the equipment and people fit into the rig is critical for a successful operation. Some of our equipment is not familiar to the crew and may not have been considered in the rig safety case. Any equipment critical to well control should be thoroughly assessed from an equipment design perspective and pressure relief settings agreed in advance. Ultimately the driller will be responsible and should be aware.
    • Contingency Planning – What do we do if something fails? How will that impact our process? We spend time creating a decision matrix to highlight what the reaction should be for any possible failure of equipment and the specific remedial action for anticipated failure nodes identified in a FMECA (Failure Mode, Effects Criticality Analysis).
    • Critical Design Testing – If we have a specific part or item which has been identified in the pre- planning as being affected by the operations to a point of failure then additional 3rd party testing may be required. For example, we had an item whose integrity needed to be confirmed if it were to be exposed to 15,000psi differential pressure. Specifically, in the case of an evacuated drill string which is below the rotary table during a well control event. In this instance additional 3rd party witnessed pressure testing was carried out on the item to reduce the risk of failure.
    • Coaching – New technologies usually need additional assistance during the startup/initial implementation. Additional supervision at the rig site and additional personnel in the Operators office help to coach rig site and shore-based supervisors through getting involved in critical path meetings. Also, should the situation change then supervisors and technical experts are on hand to give expert advice at short notice during critical phases of the operation.
    • After action review and lessons learned – After the operation, there are always things we say we can do better the next time. Whether an opportunity to optimize parts of the process, equipment which could have worked a little better, it is critical to capture these opportunities for improvement and ensure that they are used to help things go better next time. For most people the first time is usually good, lots of focus on the plan. As we repeat a process, we should get better, but usually we get worse first. This is a typical learning curve and we see it on most of our operations, but if we learn the lessons and optimize where we can we can usually streamline, get faster and better at what we do without any compromise to safety or taking shortcuts.

    Adrilltech have spent the last 10 years implementing continuous circulation technologies for 15 different operators on many different rigs, this is a quick summary of our lessons learned, can you share more?

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