Table of Contents

1] MARINE ASSETS: New Warm & Cold Layup Options
– New “Enhanced Layup” class guidelines allows a mix of cold and warm stacking.
– On a cold stacked rig, use solar power to regenerate desiccant gel-packs.
– Modern cold mothballed vessels still need a small preservation crew.
– Using VCIs to safely cold preserve large equipment such as mud pumps and main engines.
– The life of a vessel depends on the condition of its ballast tanks.
– Can modern electrical switchgear be safely cold mothballed?
– Certain rig systems should still be run every 45-60 days.

2] PHILOSOPHIES OF PROTECTING MARINE ASSETS: Issues to think about.
– Warm Stack Or Cold Stack? This May Be The Wrong Question. 1300 Word Article, or download as Podcast #001 (11 Minutes).
– Cold Stacked but Ready-to-Drill.1400 Word Article or download as Podcast #002 (11 Minutes).
– Modustacking Services document proper rig lay-up procedures. 1300 Word Article or download as Podcast #003 (12 Minutes).
– The way we preserve our assets is costing us millions.1300 Word Article
– Managing offshore assets in tight times – the new priorities.500 words

3] CYCLES, TRENDS AND ATTITUDES
Four Oilfield Mindsets That Are About To Change.
The Sears Tower Effect.
Shipping cycles: something nasty in the woodshed?
BP Macondo disaster explained in 300 words.
Top-down safety culture fails to address human needs.
Three Sensible Safety Trends We Would Like To See

4] MANAGING PROJECTS AND MARINE ASSETS
Selecting the right managers to deal with turbulent times.
Rig managers intimidated by politically correct scared cows.
Communicating Asian Style: Dealing with a dozen languages.
Duties of the Owner’s Team.
Prototypes – Innovations in Projects.
Project Planning, a 5 Minute Checklist.
Why Marine Projects Run Late.
Future Topics for this blog.

[Repost] Shipping cycles: something nasty in the woodshed?

Reposted from:

http://splash247.com/shipping-cycles-something-nasty-in-the-woodshed/

There are two nasty things in the woodshed. One is the tyranny of what the late Harold MacMillan, prime minister of Great Britain from 1956 to 1963, called “Events, dear boy, events”, such as the Iran/Iraq war, or as Donald Rumsfeld put it, “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”
Continue reading [Repost] Shipping cycles: something nasty in the woodshed?

The Sears Tower Effect

“The Sears Tower Effect explains why universities have become bloated and expensive purveyors of curricula of questionable value, sold to snookered students buried in student debt. And it explains why Washington, D.C., has become a rich, distended, fat, flatulent, and fetid nest of lobbyists, bloodsuckers, overlords, lobbyists, and bureaucrats. ”

This essay explains how easily hubris sets in, bringing about an entitlement mentality among an organization’s administrative drones, creating as a costly by-product, what the author calls “Value-Subtracted Jobs”.

Recent examples of how the hubris of the very few can bring about misery for millions, can be found in the hubristic behavior of Mao Tse Tung, Winston Churchill and Victoria Nuland.
Continue reading The Sears Tower Effect

Modustacking Services document proper rig lay-up procedures.

Asset owners need to think beyond today’s layup to the time in the future, when the rig is ready to return to work. Without good proof of preservation, class surveyors, and charter’s acceptance surveyors will insist on expensive tests and inspections, many of which will be avoidable , if there is proof that proper mothballing was done during the layup period.

Some senior rig maintenance people, directors of Bangkok based Modustacking Service, Mats Muller and Harry Zonneveld have anticipated this need; they offer the rig owner a full set of properly documented layup procedures.

I found the Modustack guys during my researches into the topic of rig layup and mothballing. You can find my previous articles on this topic here at www.marine-projects.net. Mats and Harry are real rig maintenance people who know what they are talking about. Their ideas are such a breath of fresh air, that I made an effort to contact them and ask for this interview via email. (I have yet to personally meet them.)

Modustack Interview
Continue reading Modustacking Services document proper rig lay-up procedures.

Top-down safety culture fails to address human needs

Oilfield safety culture has come a long way since the ground breaking recommendations of the 1990 Cullin Report that followed the Piper Alpha disaster. But safety today is bogged down in a top-down dictatorial mentality which is not keeping up with how increasing systems automation and complexity is affecting the needs of our workers.

1. NANNY STATE AND BLAME CULTURE
Social critic Herbert Spencer famously wrote over a century ago that : “The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.”

The nanny state’s blame culture is a root cause of safety over-regulation. Countries need laws that make citizens responsible for their own actions. If while at work you have been to ladder safety school, and you used a certified ladder and you fell off, then you must share some of the blame.

2. OVER REGULATION AS A CAUSE OF FATIGUE AND DISTRACTION
Some regulations require operators to follow so many mind-numbingly dull procedures that people eventually lose concentration and make a mistake anyway.
Continue reading Top-down safety culture fails to address human needs

Selecting the right managers to deal with turbulent times

“As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next the people hate…When the best leader’s work is done the people say “We did it ourselves!”” – Lao-tz

This article is aimed at the offshore vessel owner, possibly a bank or investment fund, who knows little about the marine or offshore business, but may have recently found that they are stuck with a money losing offshore contracting company in their portfolio.

Finding the right people is possibly the most important topic on this site. The problem of the wrong people running projects (and field operations) has noticeably worsened during my working life, especially in the past decade.
Continue reading Selecting the right managers to deal with turbulent times

Rig managers intimidated by politically correct scared cows.

This article looks at how offshore contractors let sacred cows eat their lunch. Against today’s backgound of slow cash flow and idle offshore assets, we look at what contractor’s operational priorities really need to be. We use drilling rigs as an example, though the take home lessons apply to barges, DSV’s and work boats too.

Here we try to look past the larger question of management talent, to examine the context of the social pressures that pushed the contractor’s operational priorities into throwing a ton of money down the drain, mainly to please the PC police.
Continue reading Rig managers intimidated by politically correct scared cows.

The way we preserve our assets is costing us millions

The way we preserve tanks, pipes, valves and machines is 30 years behind the times.

In polite language: “Too many marine assets are prematurely deteriorating, due to inadequate attention to modern preservation practices.”
– Or in plain language: “To many ships and rigs are needlessly rotting away due to ignorance of new preservation technologies.”
Continue reading The way we preserve our assets is costing us millions

Managing offshore assets in tight times – the new priorities

This downturn is a wake up call to the owners-of-the-owners of billions of dollars worth of offshore assets, the value of which is dwindling away to dust before our eyes. We are in a race against time to stop a rising flood of red ink, we want to preserve our dwindling cash reserves to:
1] preserve our idle assets in contract ready condition; and
2] to be seen that we are complying with as many mandatory 6, 12 , 24 and 60 monthly routine tests and inspections as crew levels and mothball budgets allow.

We achieve this by developing the in-house expertise to look after our assets with minimal outside help.
Continue reading Managing offshore assets in tight times – the new priorities

Cold Stacked but Ready-to-Drill

Is it true that a modern cold stacked rig cannot be “Ready to Drill”?

The very term “Cold Stack” conjures up images of rusting frozen up equipment, though experience with aviation and military proves that cold mothballed equipment can be mobilized and ready to use within a day.

There is another term being used these days, “Smart Stacked”, which implies only partial cold shut down. A potentially more effective way to keep rigs drill ready and in survey. Smart Stack implies a very active rig crew looking after several idle rigs at once. In general, wherever possible, systems are cold mothballed using Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs) to protect tanks, cooling systems, pipes, engines, hydraulic units and electrical panels.
Continue reading Cold Stacked but Ready-to-Drill

Warm Stack Or Cold Stack? This May Be The Wrong Question

“Cold stacked rigs” is a bad name. “Preservation to Milspec Standards” may be a better term; it reflects a more positive mindset

As the offshore service sector continues to head south, the question of how to stack idle expensive offshore assets is on the minds of many Oilpros. “Stack” is rig slang for “layup.” The two words have the same meaning.

Warm layup (or warm stack) is the practice of keeping a small layup crew on a vessel to run equipment and carry out protective maintenance on the hundreds of systems found on a modern offshore rig or vessel.
Continue reading Warm Stack Or Cold Stack? This May Be The Wrong Question

Future Topics

Topics Covered in this Blog
Essays on about half the topics listed below are drafted and ready to post.
– Is there any subject you would like to see us post first? You can make your request in the Comments box below.
– Are there any topics that you think should be covered in this blog? Same, just post a Comment.

Turbulent vs Smooth Projects
– What causes turbulence, Unexpected events are inevitable, Certain types of projects are inherently turbulent, Preparing for turbulence

Understanding Your Yard
– The different types of fab yards; Owner vs yard contracted workscope and responsibilities; Us vs Them relationships; The integrated owner-yard project team.

The Speedy Project Schedule
– Why projects run late; Gantt charts in more detail; the Gantt chart as a tool to find resource loadings, milestone and project completion dates.

Managing Manpower
– Qualities of Key People, Soft People Skills, The need for a strong team., Job Descriptions, Organisation Charts, Evaluating Job Performance, Getting hundreds or thousands of people to sing from the same songbook, Most yards rarely get a full day’s work out of workers, Honesty vs Political Correctness

Managing Complexity
– Working with large volumes of project data; Keeping track of who is doing what where

Functional Descriptions (FD’s)
– Why insist on FDs, who uses FDs, who drafts FDs, Samples of well written FD’s; FD Case History: the Lancelot’s exhaust pipes

Building Prototypes
– Problems with innovation

Recovering late projects.

Section 3.0 Managing Construction
– Duties of the Owner’s Team., Deadheads drones no-doers, Too Many Regulations Lead to Too Many Lies

Yard corruption
– Substandard subcons and vendors, Procurement Departments

Safe Work
– The relationship between stress and accidents , SIMOPS safety – morning safety meetings, Use safety officers to support not hinder work, Every thing and location needs a name – signage

Worker productivity
– Using expensive supervisors to organize work, Workteam foremen, Problems managing underfed underpaid yard coolies., Keeping track of workers – Access Control, head counting, time keeping, Maximizing worker time at the workface, Keeping work teams busy,

Section 4 Design Considerations
– Product features and design; Accessibility and Usability Engineering; Ambiguous Controls and Instrumentation

Three Sensible Safety Trends We Would Like To See

1. Reforming Safety Requirements That Kill More Than They Save
For decades, SOLAS regulations have mandated On-Load, Release, Retrieval Systems (OLRRS) for lifeboats, whose complicated and non-transparent name conveys the functionality of these complicated and non-transparent contraptions, which habitually kill innocent seamen. Back in the ’80s, some desk bound marine safety officials cooked up a requirement that lifeboat davit wire hooks had to be able to release a boat full of people when the weight of the boat was still on the davit wires. While it is possible to imagine a rare circumstance when such a capability may be useful, the large number of seamen who have died while testing these clunky and hard to use devices proves that they are useless.
Continue reading Three Sensible Safety Trends We Would Like To See

4 Oilfield Mindsets That Are About To Change

It seems to be too easy for industry participants to forget the naturally cyclical nature of oil and gas. Too many of us are still living in a kind of boom-time dream world. Psychologists say that we fill the gaps of our perception with a mental model of how we "think" the world works. When reality changes, we struggle to change our perceptions. Back in the 70s, in the fast moving world of IT, when makers of 14" hard disk drives couldn’t see the impact of new 8" drive technologies, entire companies disappeared before perceptions changed.

Is this about to happen to some oil service companies?

Trend #1: Oil Service Companies Will Refocus On Their Core Skill-Sets

Continue reading 4 Oilfield Mindsets That Are About To Change

Communicating Asian Style: Dealing with a dozen languages

This article is about the topic of better managing projects by empowering the people on the job with a simple tool to help them talk to each other.
 

We outline an ultra low cost technique which helps eliminate double work, improves morale and reduces shipyard deaths and accidents.
Continue reading Communicating Asian Style: Dealing with a dozen languages

Duties of the Owner’s Team

From hundreds of yards and thousands of projects over many decades, a class of Owner’s Representatives (OR’s) has arisen in the yards of Asia, whose skills and knowledge to deliver quality products, cannot be found in any school book.

The target reader for this site is an Owner who is looking at using an Asian yard for an upcoming marine project. If his company is not familiar with local cultural and regulatory conditions, can he safely execute a project here? The answer is yes, if he chooses the right Team Leaders and no, if he chooses the wrong people.

TECHNICAL SKILLS VS HUMAN SKILLS
Or intellectual intelligence versus emotional intelligence. Construction projects can be difficult beasts to control, because too often, people were hastily selected – resulting in too many of the wrong people in the wrong job. Rarely does this get fixed. Instead we just make do, muddling along with the people that
we have at hand. The job still gets done, because good project Team Leads Continue reading Duties of the Owner’s Team

Prototypes – Innovations in Projects

Here are some things to think about when building prototypes. Innovation in projects, always ends up costing more time and money than initially anticipated, because it is not possible to anticipate the physical characteristics of something which does not yet exist.

This applies not only to larger oil and gas developments but also to smaller marine projects such as rigs and work vessels. The author correctly points out that innovations should made in the smallest possible increments.
Continue reading Prototypes – Innovations in Projects

Table of Contents

Table of Contents : Protecting and Preserving Marine Assets

1] THE PRACTICE OF PRESERVING MARINE ASSETS (Mostly focussed on cold stack techniques)
– The life of a vessel depends on the condition of its ballast tanks.
– Cold mothballing modern electrical switchgear.
– Certain rig systems should still be run every 45-60 days.
– Using sunlight to regenerate dessicant gel packs.
– Modern cold mothballed vessels still need a small preservation crew.

2] PHILOSOPHIES OF PROTECTING MARINE ASSETS. Matters to think about.
– Warm Stack Or Cold Stack? This May Be The Wrong Question.
– Cold Stacked but Ready-to-Drill
– Modustacking Services document proper rig lay-up procedures.
– The way we preserve our assets is costing us millions
– Managing offshore assets in tight times – the new priorities

3] CYCLES, TRENDS AND ATTITUDES
– Four Oilfield Mindsets That Are About To Change
– The Sears Tower Effect
– Shipping cycles: something nasty in the woodshed?
– BP Macondo disaster explained in 300 words

4] MANAGING PROJECTS AND MARINE ASSETS
– Selecting the right managers to deal with turbulent times
– Rig managers intimidated by politically correct scared cows.
– Communicating Asian Style: Dealing with a dozen languages
– Three Sensible Safety Trends We Would Like To See
– Duties of the Owner’s Team
– Prototypes – Innovations in Projects
– Project Planning, a 5 Minute Checklist
– Why Marine Projects Run Late

Questions for Project Planners

PROJECT PLANNING – A 5 Minute Overview

This blog covers in some detail aspects of managing : a] the planning, design and engineering or a rig or marine project and: b] getting a quality product built and delivered on time.

This post runs to 900 words, a 15 minute read. Please excuse me if you consider any the points made below to be obvious. The reason they are being spelled out here, is due to the large number of projects I have seen that overlooked these basic issues (often at great expense).

Continue reading Questions for Project Planners

Why Marine Projects Run Late

Why rig and marine projects run late

Back in the early 80’s, when offshore rigs were a still a relatively new concept, a slew of then-new yards delivered newbuildings at a faster rate than many yards can achieve today.

Why?

In the early 80s, rig building yards in Singapore- the world’s main center of rig construction at the time, were then new to the business. Jackups were a new thing. In the 70s’ the offshore industry had used floaters to drill exploration wells and platform mounted rigs to drill development wells.

Jackups were such a good idea, that once the concept was proven the industry saw nearly a hundred under construction. Although almost nobody even knew what a jackup was, Singapore and Korean yards quickly mastered the complexity of this unique form of marine
Continue reading Why Marine Projects Run Late