Safe as MDL
Strengthening the safety of oil and gas operations doesn't have to mean higher expenditure - with the right tools, H&S and cost reduction go hand in hand, believes MDL commercial director Mike Gaskin.
Ever since the tragic incident of Piper Alpha in 1988, the industry’s focus on safety has intensified, year on year.
Today, the HSEQ side of the oil and gas business has become a complex organism, with numerous regulations and processes put in place to ensure our operations are as hazard-free as possible.
However, when money gets tight in a depressed market, running this organism can put a strain on even the biggest players in the industry.
But what if increasing safety also meant reducing operation costs?
At MDL our mission has always been to solve back-deck challenges faced by our customers - from increasing efficiency to reducing operation costs.
As we’ve delivered on this mission, we’ve grown into being a market leader of our niche; and as such we recognised our responsibility to provide the safest solutions to tackle our clients’ problems.
That is why we have ensured that every piece of MDL equipment sets the benchmark for hazard-free flex lay.
Let me give you an example - a traditional offshore flex-lay project requiring the use of a reel drive system.
For the reel that would be used first on the RDS, personnel had to climb inside its drum to chain the two reel drive towers together.
Once out in the field, to lift the reel off the cradles for spinning, the personnel would have to operate lock rings under the reel jacks - manually and at height.
If handling more than one reel, onboard personnel would have to manually unbolt clamps on the towers to shift them onto the next position, and then bolt them back on, to prevent unwanted movement.
The amount of manual handling involved is clear with this example - but what about the non-operational time lost in the process? Let’s look at how the MDL system addresses these:
- reel cradles integrated into MDL RDS tracks hugely speed up the product mobilisation, whilst simultaneously increasing the safety of the reels - and that of the operators who don’t have to secure the reels separately;
- the MDL towers are self-supporting - no chaining of towers required;
- automated raising and lowering system eliminates any working at heights, as all reel handling is carried out remotely; this also reduces overall mission time;
- automated walking and clamping system means the towers “walk” up the tracks to move to and securely stop by the next reel autonomously - that’s another reduction in mission time;
- controls that facilitate this automation run on the latest software developed by MDL in house. Another feature is the WAB (Walk About Box) which allows the operator to take up the most optimum position on deck to monitor the operation, whilst maintaining a safe distance from any potential hazards.
All these elements differentiating the MDL RDS from the market norm have been put in place primarily as safety features; however, as such, they also speed up the mobilisation/demobilisation in port, as well as reel handling and change-over at sea.
The combination of these elements results in a shorter mission - and therefore reduction in project cost, equal to: vessel days saved x vessel day rate.
The MDL RDS is a good example of our “cost saving through safety” approach, as the systems form part of the MDL Offshore Service, available to rent worldwide. The added reassurance with the MDL fleet is that it only includes third and fourth generation systems, which are all under three years old.
Why does age of technology matter? Think of early cars without seatbelts - would you drive one today?
To better explain the safety features of our equipment we have launched a social media campaign #SafeAsMDL; it will look in more detail into how different equipment designs affect operation, and the possible implications on project safety.
But - in line with our mission - we need to constantly improve, and find even safer ways of conducting global flex lay; so please feel free to get in touch with your concerns and problems.
Jointly, we can achieve a truly safer industry - one lower-cost step at a time.
Mike Gaskin, commercial director
- Out with SWL - in with MOLLDecember 2018
- Let's start at the Front EndNovember 2018
- MDL debuts in first mid-stream California projectOctober 2018
- Mexico: bridging the gap to faster recoverySeptember 2018
- MDL delivers first LiveWire spreadAugust 2018
- MDL returns to Norway with TechnipFMCJune 2018
- Double Bibby win for MDLJune 2018
- Halving the headache with a simple approachMay 2018
- MDL awarded California pipelay jobMay 2018
- MDL wins Mediterranean umbilical installationMay 2018
- Three lessons about changeApril 2018
- Delmar and MDL join forces to launch LiveWireApril 2018
- Leading the way in subsea innovationMarch 2018
- Disposing of hidden costsMarch 2018
- RDS completes first GoM mission for Subsea 7February 2018
- Hitting the 150Te markJanuary 2018
- Maritime Developments Year in Review: 2017January 2018
- MDL sets up equipment base in GoM with DelmarDecember 2017
- MDL maximises focus in the AmericasDecember 2017
- A helping hand across the SeaNovember 2017
- Instinct, MaturedOctober 2017
- Oceaneering adds MDL 800Te RDS to global fleetOctober 2017
- Safe as MDLAugust 2017
- Calculated MovesMay 2017
- 24/7 AmbassadorsApril 2017
- MDL Spread concludes Trinidad jobApril 2017
- Turning the frown upside down at ExpoFebruary 2017
- MDL converts Expo leads to RNLI cashFebruary 2017
- Contract award brings MDL tensioner to APACJanuary 2017
- Maritime Developments Year in Review: 2016January 2017
- Winding up the new-buildsDecember 2016
- 800 Tonnes of InnovationDecember 2016
- MDL goes east with new appointmentNovember 2016
- A different cup of teaOctober 2016
- Early project makes a comeback with USA deliveryOctober 2016
- New system redefines global tensioner marketSeptember 2016
- MDL Spread hits anniversary milestoneSeptember 2016
- Latest rental RDS completes first missionJuly 2016
- Asking the right questionsJune 2016
- MDL launches innovative well intervention systemMay 2016
- Portable spread creates new opportunitiesMarch 2016
- An ex-Captain’s perspectiveFebruary 2016
- MDL opens door in AmericaFebruary 2016
- Subsea Expo 2016: Inspiring smart conversationsFebruary 2016
- That's one New Year's resolution worth sticking toJanuary 2016
- Subsea Expo 2016: MDL powers up flex-lay costs reductionJanuary 2016
- Maritime Developments Year in Review: 2015December 2015
- Mission accomplished for MDL PVLSNovember 2015
- Maritime Rentals fleet continues to growOctober 2015
- Maritime Developments' first PVLS sets sailSeptember 2015
- Selling value: The toughest challenge with supply chainSeptember 2015
- Let their hair down: Investment that pays backJuly 2015
- Maritime Developments raises £1,400 for Marie Curie Cancer CareJuly 2015
- Cutting costs: Why we’re all in it togetherJune 2015
- Looking hot this summerJune 2015
- Innovation: Speaking the same languageMay 2015
- Final winch order ready for early pickupMay 2015
- Latest reel drive system steals the spotlightApril 2015
- The Budget: A step in the right directionMarch 2015
- Maritime Developments seals 15th anniversary with first VLS orderFebruary 2015
- Smart thinking at Subsea Expo: It all figuresFebruary 2015
- Bespoke tensioner boosts Maritime Developments’ rental fleetJanuary 2015
- Maritime Developments targets well intervention market with joint ventureJanuary 2015
- Third winch package tips electrical delivery over £12millionJanuary 2015
- Maritime Developments Year in Review: 2014January 2015
- MDL celebrates 15th Christmas with magical fundraiserDecember 2014
- MDL extends competitive edge with electrical pushNovember 2014
- Key appointment boosts Maritime
Developments’ electrical divisionNovember 2014
- Maritime Developments celebrates 15 years in businessOctober 2014
- Maritime Developments marks RDS success with Aker deliverySeptember 2014
- Major winch delivery ahead of scheduleSeptember 2014
- £1,000 raised for RNLI at Maritime Developments’ eventSeptember 2014
- Patent protection secured for Maritime Developments’ tensionerSeptember 2014
- Maritime Developments celebrates 15th anniversary with workshop hog roastSeptember 2014
- Subsea Expo winners’ pit stop at British Grand PrixSeptember 2014
- Maritime Developments at Subsea Expo 2014April 2014
- Lochnagar fundraiser for Paul Lawrie FoundationApril 2014
- West African contract success as further growth targetedApril 2014
- Largest contract to date for MDLApril 2014
- Maritime Developments launches equipment hire serviceMarch 2014
- Bright future for subsea specialistMarch 2014
- ‘Next Generation’ Tensioner designMarch 2013
- Increased capacity at Aberdeen and PeterheadMarch 2013
- Paul Lawrie swings by MDL stand at Subsea 2013February 2013
- Maritime Developments appoints Operations DirectorSeptember 2012
- Maritime Developments appoints Commercial DirectorJune 2012
- Maritime Developments continued expansionMay 2012
- Fast-track US contract delivered on timeApril 2012
- £1.7m contract from international subsea businessApril 2012
- Maritime Developments exhibits at Subsea 2012 in AberdeenFebruary 2012