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THE PROBLEM

Our client owns and operates an oil rig in the North Sea. When operating the rig it is important to ensure the equipment remains reliable and production is optimised, as any drops in production or failures in equipment have significant repercussions. These repercussions are further exacerbated by the remote operation as well as the recent COVID pandemic, which has seen a drop in oil price and a hightened risk around safety. Our clients reliability team have been using the VROC platform for a number of months and have been able to catch critical deviations, giving them valuable time to interviene and prevent the failures from taking place.

THE CATCH

The VROC production dashboard started showing a warning based on deviations of two tags which were being used to monitor and predict production levels. The tags were from bearing vibrations of a gearbox. Reliability engineers were able to conduct trending of the gearbox’s variables to help identify the cause of the increased vibration on the gearbox, highlighting a deviation in temperature tags as well. The team discovered a previously unknown critical speed band around 1450rpm, which caused excessive gearbox vibration.

THE RESULTS

The reliability team decided not to run the pump at the speed to prevent long term damage and avoid trips.
A spear gear box can take 2-3 weeks to obtain and fit. The client has conducted a cost benefit analysis, and this catch of the day saved 408 barrels of oil.

This is just one of a number of catches recently made by this client.

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