Analysis of the drilling fluids engineer position and the proposition of relocating the position to shore
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The petroleum industry in Norway is in a time of optimism, due to recent reservoir findings. However, a continuing problem for the industry is its high and increasing level of cost. This has been one of the reasons for the Norwegian government to recommend the industry to take advantage of the un-released potential expected to lie within the use of integrated operations (IO). The IO potential on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) has been estimated to be 300 billion NOK. Some of this potential has been taken advantage of during the past decade through the use of new technology and the establishment of onshore operation centers (OOC). The technological improvements that have been made, which is the backbone for enabling IO efforts, are new possibilities for fast and reliable communication between offshore installations and onshore centers, as well as automation of processes done offshore. This thesis takes a deeper look into the possibility for further exploiting the IO potential, by looking into the specific proposition of transferring the drilling fluids engineer (DFE) to shore. A central part of being able to do so, is by implementing an automated measurement system (AMS), to replace the manual mud testing procedures - procedures which have remained unchanged for the past 60 years. The proposition is evaluated on the basis of performing a feasibility analysis, an economical analysis, as well as discussions and considerations of relevant incentives and issues. Incentives for the proposition are found in economical gains and improvements concerning health, safety and environment (HSE). More specific incentives are reduction of personnel on board (POB) the rig, improved decision making processes, data quality and availability improvements, reduction in risk exposure, reduction in work performed offshore and efficiency improvements. The feasibility analysis is based on evaluation of the possibility for redistributing all the tasks that the DFE performs offshore. The economical analysis is based on building a model to simulate possible cost reducing scenarios. The feasibility analyses reveal a positive result for transferring one DFE position to shore per rig, while transferring both positions seems difficult. The economical analysis gives a mean-value range for cost reduction from 3-12 mill NOK/year/rig for three different simulation scenarios. The expected economical gain has to be compared to the expected installation- and maintenance cost induced by the implementation of an AMS. The proposition also includes challenging issues due to the DFE not being present on the rig. Transferring the DFE to shore would be a specific step in the recommended direction of IO, and could imply the realization of valuable potential.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics