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Assessing the risk of a blow out preventer.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lloyd's Register is developing a software tool, "BOP Risk Model", to monitor the risk performance of blow out preventers (BOPs) at any time.

The tool is being built by two Lloyd's Register companies, Scandpower and ModuSpec. ModuSpec is one of the world's leading drilling rig inspection companies and Scandpower is a global provider of risk management services.

The software tool uses Scandpower's "RiskSpectrum" software as a foundation, which is being used in half of the world's nuclear power plants, and incorporates the company's experience in helping manage nuclear power safety.

ModuSpec's Well Control Centre of Excellence based in Houston has recommended to continue operations 29 times when otherwise the regulator would have forced the operator to pull their BOPs to the surface. This has saved operators $200+ million in lost revenue by preventing non-productive time (i.e., 29 BOP stacks remaining in operation X an average of $1.2 million per day X 7 days minimum non-productive time).

"When you detect a failure (in a BOP component) it is very important to judge the criticality of it," said Inge Alme, technical director of Lloyd's Register Scandpower. "BOPs have many components and the judgement is not straight forward."

"Today when people (onboard) detect a failure they do an adhoc risk assessment, all this has to be done with the pressure of being onboard,"
he said.

And when it comes to recording how decisions were made, "the traceability might not be as good as it should be," he said.

There are also a range of opinions in the industry about what to do in certain circumstances, and the software can help resolve the argument.
For example, some people in the industry believe that a loss of hydraulic fluid from a blow out preventer means that it should be considered failed and drilling needs to stop. However some people believe it is safe to continue drilling after a loss of hydraulic fluid.

ModuSpec is developing tools which can get a deeper understanding of how serious a hydraulic leak is.

Skills

ModuSpec also notes that if the well control equipment supervisor has all of the necessary skills to manage a blow out preventer, the amount of non productive time can be much less.

There are 6 basic skills to manage a blow out preventer - electrical, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, technology integration and asset management.

The company has developed software tools to assess well control equipment supervisors, so they can be trained in their weaker areas.



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» Lloyd's Register
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