Drilling Rigs & AutomationThe Offshore FrontierUncategorized

Mediterranean Maritime Hub introduces rig pit stop concept in Malta

By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator

Malta-based Mediterranean Maritime Hub (MMH) has launched a concept called “Rig Pit Stop” that aims to allow companies to cut costs without cutting capability. “The ‘Pit Stop’ principle is that a rig can come in and offload, for example, a BOP whole and bring on a new BOP that’s sitting there,” Steve Colville, MMH CEO and former CEO/President of IADC, said. “The old one is refurbished once the rig has left, so the rig does not have to wait while the equipment is refurbished. We think it’s possible to reduce yard costs by at least 15%.”

The focus of MMH is to create a full-service facility to allow companies in the oil and gas industry to maintain capability in the Mediterranean region while reducing operational costs and overheads related to overcapacity. “The two things we are doing which make an immediate difference are to provide the services that clients only need occasionally but are expensive to sustain full-time in-house, and to work together more closely so that planning is improved and logistical requirements can be better anticipated,” Mr Colville said.

To utilize the Rig Pit Stop concept, the industry must adapt to new ways of working, however. “Typically what you have on a rig is lots of different equipment from lots of different companies, and they use lots of different ports so there’s no repeatability or predictability. Using one place again and again is more efficient and improves performance because you’re not rolling the dice on the service you’re going to get.

“With ‘Pit Stop,’ we would know the company the rig is from, the equipment that was on it and the likely condition of that equipment,” he continued. “Fewer surprises mean a faster turnaround – for example, we would have spares readily available. That’s a significant cost reduction.”

MMH’s 1.8 million-sq-ft (170,000-sq-m) yard will also be able to support the subsea and marine sectors. “The Hub is designed to make Malta the unique regional center of excellence for the services that the entire oil and gas industry in the Mediterranean needs to operate here,” Mr Colville said. These services will include tubular and riser inspection, repair and recertification, pressure equipment, BOP supply, service, repair, recertification, pressure testing, very heavy lifting and handling, mud plant – supply, recovery, treatment, disposal, redensification – and training facilities. “The intention is to enable companies to have a smaller operational footprint in challenging areas of the Mediterranean by having a reliable support base, with everything they need, centrally located on Malta.”

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