The maintenance of blowout preventers (BOPs) has significant financial, logistical and safety implications for drilling operators and rig owners. DNV GL has now established a joint-industry project (JIP) to develop a risk-based maintenance methodology with the aim to deliver more effective and cost-efficient BOP maintenance. Several BOP manufacturers, operators, rig owners and shelf state regulators have already joined the JIP, and others may still come onboard.
BOPs have traditionally been subject to time-based maintenance, which can create critical challenges, such as unstructured maintenance management, reduced reliability and equipment overhauls, which consequently may lead to increased operational downtime.
DNV GL oil and gas project manager Rui Quadrado said: "A risk-based maintenance approach aims to mitigate these issues. Benefits include increased safety and operability by improving BOP performance, the introduction of lifecycle design input and increased maintainability. Ultimately, this should deliver optimal maintenance planning, thereby reducing costs."
Current regulation proposes the use of alternatives to time-based maintenance. The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway, in particular, has focused on the drilling operators’ maintenance functions and this has increased industry understanding of risk-based maintenance.
Quadrado added: "This JIP is looking to put this knowledge into action and provide a recommended practice or international standard, in which effective maintenance tasks will be identified and a cost-benefit analysis of these tasks will be evaluated. Our experience and collaborative approach to technical challenges have already demonstrated that risk-based maintenance (through FMECA and RCM analysis) can be successfully implemented on subsea BOPs."
The work will be conducted by DNV GL and supervised by a steering committee. A kick-off meeting will take place on 25 September 2014 in Norway and industry partners are welcome to attend.