The West Hercules and the West Aquarius, two of Seadrill’s deepwater rigs that were built at DSME and furnished with Aker Solutions drilling equipment, are currently operating in the South China Sea. The rigs have been in operation since late 2008 and early 2009. The rigs have experienced various operational issues related to the drilling equipment, which left Seadrill waiting for Aker Solutions to help them resolve the issues.
When Seadrill late last year prepared to move their operation support team from Stavanger to Singapore, the issue was put high on the agenda in joint meetings between Seadrill’s operations management and Aker Solutions.
“We have a good and tight dialog with Seadrill, which has improved further after Seadrill reorganised its business and moved the Asia operation support team to Singapore. We agreed that a step change was required, to improve operational support and clear all the outstanding items which have been resting with these rigs. We established a task force consisting of people from Aker Solutions in Kristiansand, Singapore and Germany as well as Seadrill representatives from China and Singapore,” said Johannes Eikland, regional manager for Aker Solutions’ drilling technologies in Singapore.
The task force has been in operation since mid-January and has reviewed the technical issues in connection with the two rigs. Following a three-day meeting with Seadrill to go through all issues, a common list with priorities and timeline for providing a solution to all items was established. The first step will be to prepare work packages for a team to go onboard the West Hercules in February when they have a 48-hour window to fix some of the most urgent outstanding issues.
Thereafter the Task Force will work systematically in accordance with the jointly agreed priority list in order to deliver the technical solutions for implementation on the rigs. The prompt action and close collaboration has been welcomed by the customer.
“We see the new task force as a very positive initiative, and we do believe that we will be able to get to the bottom of our outstanding items,” said Magnar Gresseth, Seadrill’s director of operations of deepwater rigs in Asia. “Aker Solutions’ initiative is welcomed by our office in Singapore, and certainly on the rigs and base office in China too. We, on our side, will do our utmost to contribute towards closing all items on the list,” he added.
”Investing in upgraded customer support and allocating the right resources are prerequisites for future success,” Eikland emphasised. “In Singapore we recently appointed Lu Tze Lin to be our technical support engineer and from beginning of February he moved into Seadrills’ offices to work closely with the operation support team. The main purpose is to be close to the customer and to be available in order to help them out when dealing with technical problems related to our equipment. Furthermore, an equally important task is to proactively initiate and suggest any improvement efforts pertaining to the performance of our equipment.”
Lu and his colleagues in Singapore are offering strengthened customers support. However, they will not replace technical customer expeditors (TCE), who will continue in their roles as single point of contact (SPOC) and register and follow up all inquiries from the individual rigs.
And while Eikland, Lu and the rest of the team are offering support on the two abovementioned rigs, a team of specialists in Kristiansand is assisting them with equipment and system expertise to make sure all issues are sorted out as quickly as possible.