Case Study

Rig Intake; Ensuring readiness mitigates risk and costly delays


Due to commercial interests the client has requested to remain anonymous


Two jack ups, One semisubmersible


North Sea Continual Shelf (NSCS)


Our client is an international oil and gas company. Their production comes from Denmark, the UK, Norway, Kazakhstan, the US Gulf of Mexico and Algeria. Exploration and development activities are on-going in Angola, Kenya, Brazil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq and in the producing countries.

The client contracted two jack ups and one semisubmersible to commence drilling operations during Q3 and Q4 2016. A number of challenges arose during the rig intake process, including three of the rigs being non-operational and two being new to entering the NSCS prior to commencing drilling operations.

How we helped

Together with the client we identified a number of business and operational risks including:

  • The client had recently acquired the drilling jack-up and were in the process of re-establishing their operational office in the United Kingdom to manage the two rig operations, as such, risks included:
    • Change of the rigs governing management systems
    • Change of the crew consisted of crew
  • One of the drilling jack-ups had never operated on the NSCS and the second drilling jack-up was returning from the Norwegian Continental Shelf, so both would be under scrutiny from the regulators.
  • The semisubmersible had been stacked and had been non-operational for a period of 2 - 3 months.

Our involvement in the rig intake process included provision of technical advice and assurance activity around People, Systems & Equipment.

  1. People
    We conducted assurance activity of certain criteria concerning the crew and management who would operate the rigs. Including qualifications, training and evidence of competence.
    The value of conducting the assurance activity was proven as risks were identified including:
    1. Crew training on the management system tools
    2. Crew competency assessments
  2. Systems
    We conducted assurance activity of the Health, Safety, Environment and Maintenance management systems which governed the operation of the drilling rigs. The value of conducting the assurance activity was proven as risks were identified.
  3. Equipment
    We conducted assurance activity of the condition, compliance and readiness of the rig equipment and systems to undertake the intended well programme. This included intrusively inspecting equipment identified as operationally and safety critical and witnessing the testing of systems to prove operability.

We highlighted anomalies which would have adversely affected the level of readiness to commence drilling. During the assurance activity a number of critical, major, and minor findings were raised that if not rectified, would have had a direct impact and possible delay to the rig going operational. Safety related findings must be addressed before the equipment or system is placed into service.

The impact

Our involvement in the rig intake process, including provision of technical advice and assurance activity around People, Systems & Equipment meant that operational risks and non-compliance issues where clearly communicated to the client, allowing them to work with the drilling contractors to mitigate or remove risk.

This project was carried out by Lloyd’s Register (LR) Energy, prior to the strategic carve out of the LR Energy business in 2020, which is now Vysus Group.

Thanks to LR [now known as Vysus Group] we experienced an efficient start-up of drilling operations with the drilling rigs.

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