In the oil and gas upstream sector, there are new fields to be exploited which don’t deserve the cost of a new platform, but where in alternative an existing platform from another field could be reused.
In times of low oil barrel price, there is a squeeze on new investments, especially capital expenditure, right across offshore oil and gas and all this implies a strong focus on finding economical ways to extend the life of these existing platforms for re-use in a new location.
This solution is considered strategic, in comparison to the construction of a new platform, with respect to the time required to production, which can be anticipated.
From the investment perspective, a cost-benefit analysis is to be primarily undertaken to prove the lower price of the used platform compared to the cost to be incurred for the design / construction of a new structure.
Cost saving is the issue but, of course, also the structural safety is to be considered as primary target.
RINA can support, in view of the possible purchase of the existing structure, by carrying out an appropriate assessment aimed at confirming the engineering feasibility of the project and analyze the costs with the purpose to quantify the economic benefits.
The feasibility study consists of evaluating, by means of a system structural analysis, the residual life of the platform in relation to the new installation site conditions (e.g. soil, waves, current, etc.).
The platform assessment shall include the execution of a gap analysis between the requirements of applicable codes & standards, specifications, procedures used as reference for the original project and those defined by the potential purchaser in order to highlight any discrepancies.
As a definitive step, a survey must be carried out according to the “condition assessment plan” prepared on the basis of the findings of the above mentioned activities.
This plan is intended to describe the inspection activities by defining, for example, the non-destructive methods and extension, the laboratory mechanical and chemical tests to be carried out. In addition the “corrosion assessment” of the existing structure must be carried out during the survey.
Based on the findings coming from the survey, additional checks and tests can be carried out; moreover, if necessary, a refurbishment, repair or modification plan is to be issued.
RINA provides offshore certification since early Seventies: our experienced surveyors know the rules and the operating environment and verify that offshore platform design, topside critical components and equipment meet established standards.
For the purpose of platform reuse, we will provide expertise and relevant certification to support investment and operator’s decision-making.