Planning an Offshore Shutdown? Some Costly Errors to Avoid

Because cost-efficiency is more important than ever for oil and gas sector shutdown projects, we’ve compiled essential insights for superb shutdown equipment ROI.

Because we work with clients across the world to help equip their shutdown projects, we often hear about their learnings from previous offshore operations.

Over many years, we’ve noticed some common themes in these conversations with oil and gas industry professionals about planning for a shutdown.

Their insights tend to refer to decisions impacting the cost-effectiveness of a shutdown project so, at a time when budget is more important than ever, we’ve compiled these into a simple checklist.

Our specialists think these shutdown essentials are ‘pro tips’ anyone working for a business involved in shutdown projects should see…

Why Shutdowns Remain A Key Activity (And How They Can Go Wrong)

While the disruption of the Covid months and years has begun to settle, factors such as a potential strike in the UK, wildfires in Canada and – of course – the impacts of sanctions on Russia have an impact on the oil and gas sector.

Therefore the efficiency of the shutdown projects often needed during turbulent times is as important a topic as ever.

As we explained in our Reducing Shutdown Impact blog, meticulous planning and careful equipment choices can help avoid negative outcomes like:

• Unexpected delays: Often arising by lack of planning for the challenging work environments in advance.

• Equipment failures: Caused by, for example, equipment without the right marine spec to remain water-resistant and anti-corrosive malfunctioning.

• Interruptions to operation: A risk occurring when light and power supplies also aren’t robust and reliable enough for the demands of the project.

Clearly, then, a shutdown project rises and falls on its planning and – in particular – with the performance of the equipment used for vital tasks in difficult working conditions. Here’s what offshore professionals have told us about their experiences…

Equipping Your Shutdown for Efficiency: A Checklist

Very often, errors made in equipping for a shutdown occur due to the false economy of choosing lower-spec power or lighting products then losing out on the portability, safety, multi-function design, speed of use and reliability of higher-end products:

• Error 1, Single-Use Rigs: Tasks like confined space entry, hot works, general maintenance, inspections, habitat working and more all share the same need for suitable light, air and power to various degrees. Equipping for a shutdown without factoring this in means unnecessary duplication of equipment capacity.

Tip: Look for modular, portable equipment with the option to use some or all of the products elsewhere on the worksite for other tasks. This multi-use ethos is a key to great equipment ROI and also helps with transport planning.

• Error 2, Trailing Cables: Every minute saved on site means a safer task and a more cost-effective task. That’s why overlooking options to reduce the handling, and presence, of trailing cables means a missed opportunity.

Tip: Using, to give one example, a rechargeable floodlight purpose-made for demanding work environments will deliver a time-saving and safety benefits thanks to quicker task completion and a tidier work area.

• Error 3, Unnecessary Generator Use: Clients who’ve used a generator for shutdowns in the past have been frustrated by the cost, performance and additional logistic demands this brings.

Tip: Review the specification of the SA POWERNET EX 3.8KVA Transformer, an ultra-reliable, highly-ruggedised unit weighing less than 100kg and featuring marine-grade construction.

• Error 4, Manoeuvrability Matters: Planning for the biggest pieces of equipment needed can often see the importance of smaller, portable items being overlooked until the last minute. The risk? Delays due to lead times or – worse – work having to wait onsite while something like suitable lighting for a tank is found.

Tip: Familiarising yourself with the portable, EX certified heat, light, air and power equipment available for shutdown tasks will mean easier planning for every item needed…big and small. Questions? Just ask!

• Error 5, Penny Wise Can Be Pound Foolish: Cheapest-option equipping for a shutdown risks compromising on the certification of products or a product being of such low quality it can’t be used again after a task.

Tip: Choosing highly-certified equipment with the build quality to withstand countless projects will make future planning easier, due to equipment already being held in your own inventory, as well as remove the frustrating waste caused by scrapping products soon after purchase.

Because the benefits of equipping well for a shutdown project extend across before (ie, transport considerations, avoiding delays), during (speed and safety) and even after (future, multi-purpose use of equipment), taking the time to prepare the optimal equipment choice pays dividends in multiple ways.

A Better Source for Certified, High-Spec Shutdown Equipment

SA POWERNET Transformer

We’ve supplied equipment featuring uncompromising performance and reliability for shutdown projects for many years.

In fact, our high-recommended products for shutdowns – like the SA CYCLONE EX Air Mover, SA LUMIN Worklights, SA LUMIN EX Rechargeable Floodlight and SA POWERNET EX 3.8KVA Transformer – are trusted by oil and gas sector professionals worldwide.

For UK projects, we even offer a rental service across many products.

But why SA Equip? Because most SA Equip products are purpose-made for hazardous areas (an industrial range is also available), you’ll find ATEX, UKEX and IECEx certified units designed for extreme efficiency across SA Equip’s range of portable heat, light, air and power products.

An in-house product development team can even devise a bespoke solution.

Most of all, SA Equip brings almost 100 years of pacesetting service and knowledge – with a foundation in the most extreme shipping and oil industry environments – to customers across heavy industry, aerospace, defence, utilities, pharmaceuticals, distilling, power stations and more.

Simply speak to a member of the SA Equip team for help to choose the right portable equipment for your hazardous area project.

See also: Explore Oil & Gas Industry Products, Behind The Scenes: SA Equip’s Innovation Process