Offshore Industry Partners Move Towards Rig Standards
On Friday, the American Bureau of Shipping said that it had reached an important roadmap agreement in an international project to create standards for offshore plant construction.
The group includes drilling contractors, Korean shipyards, engineering companies and classification societies, and ABS says the group intends to develop new offshore design standards to improve safety, cut costs and increase efficiency for offshore E&P projects.
“The main focus of the [project] is on the engineering, procurement and construction phase of offshore projects,” said ABS COO Tony Nassif. The team will develop two sets of guidelines, one for equipment and one for structural, piping, engineering and installation standards. A technical advisory group will make sure that the results are in line with the group's objectives. The initial focus will be on topsides.
The initiative builds on previous ABS efforts towards standardization, which involved the Big Three Korean shipbuilders, oil and gas firms and engineering firms.
Multiple industry actors have called for standardization measures in recent years as high capital costs threaten to reduce offshore oil's competitiveness in a down market. Historically, offshore plants have been highly customized, reducing the possibility for economies of scale.
DNV also launched a standardization projects last year, with involvement from the Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association and the Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute; the group focused on components and equipment, including standards on the materials used for construction, piping and electrical systems. DNV suggested that the measures could shave up to 15 percent off of the cost of a plant and help to prevent cost overruns.
“We hope [materials standards] will lead to standardization that helps to reduce design periods and minimize design changes,” said JongBong Park, COO of Hyundai Heavy Industries’ offshore and engineering division in a statement last year. “Other potential benefits include reduced material costs resulting from lower material purchase, manufacturing and testing expenses . . Surplus materials could be used in other construction projects.”