Operational assurance consultants to the global energy industry

Don’t Forget the ROV

Findings and Lessons Learned from a Recent ADC ROV Assurance Project

ADC Energy was awarded a contract to provide intake and acceptance support for a 5th generation ultra-deepwater drillship for a major oil and gas client. The initial project scope covered the entire process from rig tender to selection, contract award, and rig acceptance.

Two weeks before the proposed start date, the client requested the addition of an acceptance audit for the vessel’s ROV systems.

ADC Energy Ltd ROV Operational Assurance

The vessel was just completing a five yearly Special Periodic Survey (SPS) and the systems had been cold stacked for over 12 months. The vessel had a four-day journey to pick up equipment, crew, and the ADC Energy team followed by a three-week sail before beginning the drilling campaign.

Considering that the ROV acceptance should only take four to five days, the client wanted this to be conducted during the first sail, thus allowing the ROV specialist to disembark before the three-week sail.

The project was a challenging one as it would entail an ROV specialist deploying through several countries at the height of the Covid restrictions, with less than a day’s notice, to be able to fulfil the request.

ADC Energy mobilised an ROV specialist, despite the various lockdown rules, who worked with the client while in quarantine to agree a work scope, provide a bespoke acceptance checklist, and review a significant amount of documentation from the ROV operator. As the specialist was able to review most of the documentation whilst in quarantine, a significant amount of the work could be carried out prior to their arrival on board.

The acceptance work was completed by the end of the journey, which meant that the ROV specialist was able to disembark as the client had requested. As there was one outstanding item which could not be achieved during the time on board, ADC Energy’s specialist liaised with the client and the ROV operator to provide support remotely, using video and operational logs.

The systems were found to be in good condition and the reactivation process was thorough. However, a series of major issues were highlighted during the audit and steps were taken to mitigate or repair these issues.

There were a number of potential consequences which were subsequently mitigated throughout the inspection.

Despite a thorough reactivation program by a competent ROV crew, ADC Energy still found issues which could have posed a risk to safety and operational performance, caused significant non-productive time or injury to personnel, or led to environmental incidents.

Working as a facilitator between the client and ROV operator allowed ADC Energy to help resolve contractual discrepancies while ensuring compliance to relevant regulations.

There is often a difference in perceived risk between the client and the drilling contractor or ROV operator. ADC Energy was able to provide an impartial perspective rooted in knowledge of regulations and standards and backed up by a wealth of audit experience and expertise.

By discovering and escalating issues at an early stage, the client was in a better position to overcome any supply chain issues and ensure that all equipment was available before the start of the campaign.

ADC Energy’s proactivity and flexibility allowed us to respond to the client’s changing needs and provide the best tailored solution to increase safety and minimise financial implications.

Global Client List

ENI Total Energies Cnooc Conoco Phillips New Fortress Energy Petronas Carigali PCSB Tullow Oil
Beach Ithaca  Energy Harbour Energy Seadrill EnQuest Wintershall Diamond Offshore
Stena Drilling Exceed Noble Vaalco Woodside OSRL Azule Energy


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