Oil and gas

Industry effort to streamline subsea documentation delivers first results

Amid low oil prices, pressure is growing to find industry wide solutions which can reduce costs. The documentation demanded today for subsea operations is time-consuming, complex and costly to deliver. Now a DNV GL led joint industry project (JIP) involving twenty industry players has made a major step forward in addressing this global industry with the first issue of a Recommended Practice.

Working together the partners have invested considerable time to scope out and agree upon a set of typical subsea production systems (SPS) and functions with common terminology and a required minimum set of documentation between E&P operators and contractors. A first issue of the DNV GL Recommended Practice (RP) establishing industry guidelines and recommendations is now available to JIP partners and will be publicly available later this year. The work has been performed in Norway but has an international focus, not limited to appliance to the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

“The JIP group has made significant progression in standardising the vast set of documents for designing, approving, manufacturing, verifying, operating and maintaining subsea equipment. The RP is an important element in DNV GL’s wider drive to streamline the global subsea sector and to increase efficiency, predictability and assure quality,” explains DNV GL JIP project manager, Jarl S. Magnusson. “We are now in dialogue with oil majors in Houston with the aim to build an even broader international network collaborating and capitalising on the joint work.” 

Halvar Larsen, Subsea Manager, Det norske says, “The collaborative approach to solving a common industry challenge through a JIP on neutral ground is the fastest way to develop a common global standard. Alignment between operators, contractors and suppliers and establishing a common understanding of the need for appropriate information have been interesting to witness through this JIP. In addition I see increasing interest from the industry and am really looking forward to using the results from this JIP in our next subsea project.”  

Jan Ragnvald Torsvik, lead engineer of Life Cycle Information at Statoil and co-chairman of the project, is now operationalising the draft RP in Statoil, implementing the RP result from 2014 with Statoil’s technical requirements for Life Cycle Information. This requirement will be adopted for new projects including development of the Johan Sverdrup field. Statoil is one of the first international E&P companies to implement the new standard. 

“As a contractor, processing, handling and expediting various types of documents to and from suppliers, clients and third parties represents a significant portion of the man hour costs on typical subsea EPCI projects today,” says Torgils Skaar, engineering department manager at Subsea 7. “Aligning documenting procedures and paperwork will present marked financial savings and provide a higher level of predictability for the production, handling and administration of technical documents and time taken to undertake such tasks.”

The subsea documentation RP is linked to current sources of industry standards and practices and is open for industry review. To request a copy of the publicly available RP later this year, please register here. At a later stage, the RP may be included in industry guidelines, such as NORSOK, and/or as an amendment to relevant ISO standards. 

The next phase of the JIP is now to extend the current scope of subsea production systems to also include subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and to further address documentation requirements between contractors and suppliers. Phase 3 of the JIP will be run in 2016 and will include among other activities to identify an improved and shared solution for governance of information and a finalized DNV GL RP. 

JIP partners: Aker Subsea AS, Centrica Energi, Det norske oljeselskap ASA, DNV GL, FMC Technologies, GE Oil & Gas, GDF SUEZ E&P Norge AS, Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies AS, Lundin Norway AS, Oceaneering, OneSubsea, RWE Dea Norge AS, Statoil Petroleum AS, Subsea7, Subsea Valley and SUNCOR.  

Observers: Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.