Moving the SPS to a virtual space

To mitigate the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, remote SPS commissioning is being tested.

Moving the SPS to a virtual space

Can a Special Periodic Survey (SPS) be remotely commissioned? This is currently being tested on board Maersk Resolute, located in Esbjerg Harbour, Denmark.

Originally, it was planned to perform the SPS with equipment manufacturer MHWirth present on board the rig in Esbjerg. However, in light of the travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, the SPS team set out to see if the onsite commissioning could instead be approved remotely as an alternative way to ensure timely completion.

MHWirth supported the idea and had already conducted in-house tests of a RealWear helmet-mounted device that allows you to remotely see what the person wearing the helmet is seeing, take snapshots, and mark up details for further inspection. In this way, the MHWirth commissioning team could carry out their tasks from their premises in Norway instead of having to travel to the rig.

The Maersk Resolute team discussed the proposed solution to ensure that safety and control over equipment would not be jeopardized. The team included MHWirth in the discussions and looked at the risks involved, possible issues, and mitigating actions. Following thorough reviews, everyone involved agreed that the remote commissioning would be manageable.

The Resolute crew has been extremely supportive of the new initiative. Here is what Technical Section Leader Erik Vandel Jensen had to say:

“The collaboration with the SPS team has gone really well, and it was great to see that we are thinking out of the box and trying new technology. As COVID-19 ruled out the traditional approach to commissioning of having external service engineers on board, this seems to be an alternative option whenever there is sufficient internet bandwidth available.”

The involved teams believe that the test will provide highly useful learnings for the future, even in a time without COVID-19.

“We are excited to be part of this test together with Maersk Drilling and believe that this is one small innovative step towards a more competitive and sustainable industry,” says Øystein S. Pedersen, VP DLS Europe and Africa, MHWirth.  

“This shows what we can achieve when we work as one team with our partners. We can make something good out of a difficult situation and turn it into learnings that can be used in the future. The team saw the opportunity, believed in it, and then we ‘just’ needed to make sure it happened,” says Mogens Meiniche Madsen, Rig Manager, Maersk Resolute.

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