Oilfield service equipment is built to last. It’s necessary because oil drilling and other activities happen in the most challenging and harsh environmental conditions. For instance, oil country tubular goods used in offshore drilling must withstand corrosion. Similarly, onshore oil equipment must also withstand the pressure of drilling thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface.
While oilfield service equipment is built with durability in mind, maintaining and repairing equipment is crucial because the harsh environmental conditions and repeated use will eventually wear down even the sturdiest equipment.
Proactive maintenance and repair can help your oil and gas production and exploration company save money. It can also ensure you stay on track because it’ll prevent downtimes from affecting your production schedules.
What is Oilfield Equipment Maintenance?
Oilfield equipment maintenance refers to preparing, maintaining, and restoring equipment before, during, and after oilfield production. It generally involves several phases of tasks. These tasks must be carefully handled to ensure the equipment is reliable and safe. Otherwise, faulty or malfunctioning equipment can pose several dangers to drill sites, workers, and surrounding areas. It can also cause downtimes, affecting production schedules.
Moreover, oilfield equipment maintenance is necessary because it prevents property loss and damage, especially on offshore drilling rigs. Replacing equipment on offshore rigs is costly and time-consuming.
Risks and Causes
While equipment maintenance is necessary and can help extend your machinery’s longevity beyond its design life, it also has some risks. It can affect workers’ safety and pose business risks and operational challenges.
These risks can affect an oil and gas company’s strategic business decisions. As a result, organizations must quantify and manage these risks accordingly to ensure the continuous operation of aging equipment.
Various factors can contribute to aging equipment, including the following:
- Materials degrading because of corrosion
- Erosion, wear or cracking
- Equipment becoming obsolete. Most manufacturers will stop supporting outdated equipment, meaning spare parts will become challenging to find.
- Changes to engineering codes and standards
- Lack of proper operation of equipment and materials
Why is Equipment Maintenance Necessary?
Equipment maintenance and repair are crucial to ensure drilling operations end timely. It also ensures production schedules aren’t affected.
Adopting a preventative maintenance approach is necessary because it’ll help you extend equipment life, saving time and money.
Functioning equipment is crucial for drilling operations because it helps ensure that projects finish timely or ahead of schedule. If your equipment frequently breaks down, you’ll struggle to complete your drilling operations timely, meaning you’ll fall significantly behind schedule due to unforeseen downtimes. It’ll affect your organization’s bottom line.
Preventative maintenance and repairs ensure that your equipment doesn’t get damaged beyond repair. Minor problems are usually easier and cheaper to fix. In addition, they ensure that your oilfield service equipment assets operate at a steady productivity level throughout the operation. It also reduces capital expenditures required to replace existing equipment if it fails.
Onshore and offshore rigs are dangerous places. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25 deaths per 100,000 workers occur in the oil and gas industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that at least 1,566 workers died from injuries sustained in oil and gas fields between 2008 and 2017.
Therefore, ensuring equipment is working is crucial. It can prevent dangerous issues like offshore fires and malfunctions. Businesses with preventative maintenance schedules also have lower risks of unexpected downtimes, health hazards, and liability lawsuits.
While it might seem contradictory, the reality is that addressing smaller issues in existing equipment can help you save larger expenses than would occur from ignoring them.
Ignoring small problems will cause them to become larger repair concerns, coming with higher price tags. Reactive maintenance is also an issue because it leads to long downtimes, affecting production schedules significantly. Small issues can also be fixed by your workers. On the other hand, you’ll need to get outsourced help for larger issues.
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