Factors influencing on-schedule delivery of IMR subsea services
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This Masters Thesis covers the Subsea Services industry in Norway. Its objective is to identify and evaluate the factors that influence compliance with agreed services delivery schedules. The focus is in on services collectively known as “IMR”, a non-standard industry acronym for Inspection, Maintenance and Repair. Each refers to groups of remote or non-intrusive services, of increasing complexity, that are undertaken on subsea production systems, or around them, without taking over control of the well. Similar studies could be found in Parts Assembly but not in Subsea Services. This 20 years old industry has been growing, driven by the increasing application of subsea technology for small to moderate oil-fields, satellite tie-backs and shallow reservoirs with physical dimensions longer than the reach of horizontal wells. The North Sea leads the world in terms of existing subsea wells and ongoing projects. Maintaining the dependability of these assets will become increasingly critical as the proportion of hydrocarbons recovered from aging subsea assets increase. Each job is normally organised as a short-duration maintenance project involving representatives of the Client (the service receiver), OEM vendors, and sub-contracted service providers. The IMR Project plans, integrates and supervises the execution of these services. It also provides the offshore vessel to access the well. Each of the main operators in NCS has between one to three such IMR vessels on long-term hire. The smaller operators share vessels. The scarce vessel time is shared between competing jobs with different priorities and operating conditions. Delays in service delivery increase service costs and reduce regularity and revenues. This Master Thesis will attempt to model these delays to provide a basis for the increase service efficiency. Their influence factors will be mapped and evaluated, and the methods for coping with these factors will be elaborated. The investigation scope covers IMR jobs executed between 2006 and 2008. These influence factors are identified and developed through interviews, reviews of literature, standards & practices, procedures and job completion reports. The most obvious factors are weather disruption and water depth. In addition, the associated complexity and uncertainty are described and measured. These factors are validated, analysed and evaluated with a multivariable statistical technique, from which a predictive model is proposed. The model explains 53% of the variations in schedule performance, points to water depth and weather disruption as the most significant influence factors and allows a positive conclusion to be reached in six of the eight hypotheses proposed. It is expected that an improved understanding of these factors would not only enable higher efficiency, but would also free more resources for the increasing service work load. These new jobs are increasingly more complex. With the next rounds of IMR contracts due for award in the next few years, a better understanding of the current status might contribute to a more robust contracting structure, an even more adaptive planning framework and the sustenance of the healthy contractual relationships between parties to the service contract. Finally, as new these projects are being delivered in deeper waters, an improved understanding of the complex system can inform the direction of innovation and investments to serve these assets to the same level of performance.
Master's thesis in Offshore technology : industrial asset management