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Analysis

Maintenance of Offshore Structures

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 11:34

Maintenance tasks are usually appointed to special task forces or service companies in the oil and gas industry. Nevertheless, the remoteness of o†shore structures increase the probability of possible malfunctions within the equipment at sea developing into hazardous situations. In order to prevent the possible risks of downtime and injury, Fernando Araujo Castillo, General Manager of ARPO, believes that wireless technology should be implemented and knowledge should be shared within the people responsible for o†shore infrastructure maintenance.

ARPO began making its way in the industry by approaching its clients with technology and modernization. “We became specialists in the area by garnering the necessary knowledge and combining it with our expertise in construction and maintenance services,” says Araujo Castillo. “We provided companies with wireless tools that reduce the time consumed by maintenance operations.” After specializing in the technological side of engineering for the oil and gas business, ARPO approached construction companies and proposed technology-based solutions. “It started as an integration process, where technology and automation were incorporated into the engineering designs of production equipment, and to promote the proper use of technology we gave training courses,” explains Araujo Castillo. “The process also generated maintenance opportunities, since after ten years the systems would lose their guarantees and require reconfiguration. We were eager to provide our clients with that.”

Usually, when companies provide new technologies, they create training programs for the clients’ personnel so that they can take full advantage of them. What they often do not teach is how to react to possible risks or malfunctions with the technology. “We o†er training courses to clients, not only to make the technology accessible, but also to get certified and organized,” Araujo Castillo describes. “The client is not only interested in understanding the technology, but also in equipping its personnel with easier solutions to face possible risks and problems that stem from it.”

An hour-long production loss due to system or equipment problems could turn out to be a great loss of money. Therefore, Pemex has supported the idea of minimizing the time spent on repairs by submitting its platform-based personnel to risk management and structure maintenance courses. “This way, if safety systems fail, the client’s personnel has the ability to react and present a solution to the problem, helping to prevent possible liabilities created by the failure and even save employees’ lives,” Araujo Castillo argues.

The innovative solution that ARPO provided helped Pemex correctly assess the di†erent areas of expertise and maintenance skills within its workforce. “We o†ered to assess Pemex employees at all levels and classify them in di†erent categories,” Araujo Castillo explains. “Training programs are then tailored for each di†erent group and simulators are created for them to undergo practical, hands-on training and follow their progress through the evolution of the program.”

The biggest project that ARPO has undergone in the company’s history is the safety certification training for all employees at Cantarell. “70% of the systems installed at the complex were implemented by ARPO and are still updated through maintenance procedures. The significance of us being present at Cantarell is the fact that we still address di†erent issues and technical questions that our personnel has,” says Araujo Castillo. “We share additional knowledge with employees at the complex to help them understand how the whole process works and what they can do when equipment stops working.”