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Practical Solution for Enhanced Drilling Equipment Integrity

Offshore top drive

Maintenance cutback is just one of the domino effects of lower oil price and activities within the offshore oil and gas industry, however, recent investigations indicate that near-fatal mishaps may be related to corporate cost-cutting decisions. With extreme budget cuts, is it still economically viable to maintain maximum uptime whilst ensuring long-term equipment reliability?

In this article, we present a viable two-step solution to keep and improve the technical integrity of drilling equipment without compromising production efficiency and safety.


Reactive and planned maintenance regimes are quite common among many companies, yet, the majority of equipment failures are not time-correlated. Aside from the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) recommended maintenance schedule, there are several unique factors that should be taken into consideration, as proposed through API RP8B:

Environmental factors:
  • Different sea depth: 150m or 1000m?
  • Cold or warm climate?
Type of drilling operations:
  • Exploration drilling?
  • Production well drilling?
  • Plug and well abandonment operations?
Load cycles:
  • Any drilling-related incidents to consider, e.g., heavy jarring due to stuck pipe problems?
State regulatory requirements:
  • Is the asset in compliance with relevant rules and standards of the rig’s location?
Operating time:
  • Where in the asset lifecycle is the equipment?
  • Close to a CAT IV re-certification survey or recently performed?
  • Has the equipment been remanufactured or modified in any way?


GAP Analysis involves the comparison of the operational conditions the equipment is subjected to, the OEM’s suggested timeline of maintenance and repair, and the operator’s existing maintenance program. It essentially provides operators a foundation for quantifying their investment of time and capital to achieve optimal asset performance.

This practice aims to identify and eliminate non-productive maintenance tasks and replace them with a risk-based inspection program.

Top Drive - Drillstem

The American Petroleum Industry (API) defines RBI as a systematic methodology that uses risk as a basis for prioritizing and managing an in-service equipment inspection program by combining both the probability of failure and the consequence of failure. It utilizes historical operational data and compliance trends to design an optimized inspection program that allocates inspection resources to high-risk equipment.

The benefits of RBI include:
  • Focused and minimized inspection resources and costs
  • Optimized equipment lifetime
  • Controlled degradation by analyzing ton-mile calculations
  • Maintained technical integrity

Based on the GAP analysis including relevant standards, an RBI analysis should be performed resulting in a RBI inspection program. In addition, for RBI to work successfully, it requires a versatile and highly skilled inspection team with extensive experience in all types of drilling equipment. The greater the technical expertise on fixed and loose drilling equipment, and the understanding of the relevant standards and regulations, the better the results that in the end influences your drilling performance.


The qualitative and quantitative information obtained from GAP analysis and RBI analysis serves as a basis for developing and implementing a prioritized inspection plan and long-term maintenance strategies. Assisting the asset owner to reduce the need for inspections where the risk of failure is low, and minimizing the time-consuming dismantling related to the preparations needed for inspection. Meanwhile, items with higher probability for failure and severe consequences are given more advanced and more frequent inspection, leading to reduced cost and increased safety.

Axess Group, a highly competent oilfield service company, provides drilling equipment integrity management for the offshore industry. Our accreditations and qualifications include:

Certified Enterprise of Competence since 2003

  • ISO 9001:2008 Certified QA System by DNV (ISO9001 certified since 2001)
  • ISO 14001 certified in 2009 for Environmental Management by DNV
  • In compliance with ABS/DNV requirements for continuous surveys
  • Our team has engineers (BSc, MSc, PhD) with extensive offshore experience and has developed RBI programs and strategies for several clients, e.g., Det Norske, Shell, Wood Group and Transocean
  • Multi-skilled teams offshore – more competence which allows the teams to solve more tasks on-site. Often in a combination of engineers and craft-certified personnel.
  • Extensive regulatory knowledge within relevant standards and regulations
  • Frame agreement with the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for technical evaluation related to investigation and supervision

For more information about our services, contact us at post@axessgroup.com

Contact Information

Axess AS
Oscar Hanssens vei 5
6415 MOLDE
+47 982 43 600
Axess North Sea Ltd.
Units 6 & 19 Robert Leonard Centre
Howe Moss Drive, Kirkhill Industrial Estate, Dyce AB21 0GG, UK
(duty): +44(0) 7912212854
St. John's
Axess Baffin Inc.
702 Water Street, Suite 201
St. John's, Newfoundland
+1 709 758 7937
Axess AS
Kokstadflaten 35
5257 Bergen
(duty): +47 976 88 578
Axess North America Inc
15915 Katy Freeway, Suite 501
77094 Houston, TX
+1 (281) 994-0367
Ciudad del Carmen
Axess Operations De Mexico S de RL de CV
Calle Bosque de Ciruelos 180 PP 101
Colonia Bosque De Las Lomas CP 11700 Cuidad De Mexico
+52 938-152-7688
Axess AS
Koppholen 25, 4313 Sandnes
Stavanger, Norway
(duty): +47 982 43 600
Rio de Janeiro
Axess do Brasil Ltda
Rua Dezenove de Fevereiro
171 - Botafogo
CEP 22280-030 Rio de Janeiro
+55 (21) 4108-0532
Axess Petrorig Ghana Limited
3rd floor, The Pelican
8 Blohum Street, Dzorwulu, Accra, Ghana
+233 (0) 30 397 0548
Axess Luanda
Rainha Ginga
27 Luanda, Angola
+27 82 202 5266
Cape Town
Axess Africa Ltd.
1 Nares Street
7925 Cape Town
+27 82 202 5266
Axess AS
Nedre Bakklandet 58C
7014 Trondheim
(duty): +47 982 43 600
Axess AS
Grønøraveien 1
7300 Orkanger
(duty): +47 41 78 06 30
Axess AS
Filipstad Brygge 1, 3rd Floor
0252 Oslo, Norway
(duty): +47 982 43 600
Axess Offshore Korea LLC
#103 (Aju-dong Hyunjin Evervil) B1 Yang 1-gil, Geoji-Si
Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
+82 10 2696 2016
Axess Offshore (Mumbai)
B2-306, 3rd Floor
Kanakia Boomerang,
Chandivali Firm Road
Andheri East, Mumbai- 400072, India
Axess Offshore Pte Ltd
Nordic European Centre #05-31 South Wing
3 International Business Park
609927 Singapore
+65 6908 4174
Axess Offshore Australia Pty Ltd
304 Newcastle St
Perth WA 6000
+61 4 3373 0739
Axess Offshore Australia Pty Ltd
140 St Georges Terrace L28,
Perth WA 6000
+61 4 3373 0739
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