Aerojet Rocketdyne is collaborating with Kelvin TOP-SET to reduce cost and potential downtime.

kelvintop-set News

Aerojet Rocketdyne is collaborating with Scotland-based Kelvin TOP-SET to reduce cost and potential downtime.

In 2012, for instance, a major offshore production platform was experiencing a problem. The rig had been impacted by failures, resulting in a series of emergency shutdowns. Not only were the shutdowns costly, but they were potentially deadly as well.

Surface and subsurface safety values on its production wells had failed to close, opening the possibility of a chain reaction that could have resulted in catastrophic platform failure, causing a major spill, multiple fatalities, regulatory fines and penalties, and a tarnished reputation.

Aerojet Rocketdyne and Kelvin TOP-SET were asked by the oil company to identify the root causes and recommend solutions to the problems. Together, each company brought its own expertise. The two companies identified a number of issues. For instance, Aerojet Rocketdyne identified design flaws; data retrieval issues; use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer parts; and deficiencies in maintenance, internal communications, control-room monitoring, operating procedures, operations readiness and assurance, control instrumentation reviews, risk assessment skills, and staff competence at critical failures.

In addition, Aerojet Rocketdyne identified insufficient understanding of major accident hazards and incident reporting as well as fatigue and difficulties in coping with increasing workloads.

Kelvin TOP-SET’s investigation and root cause analysis, meanwhile, discovered a lack of operational readiness prior to start, work priorities misaligned and insufficient resource capability due to unattractive employee value proposition for remote extreme work locations.

The two companies offered their recommendations, which were implemented, enabling the offshore production platform to keep workers safe, avoid a future disaster and potentially save millions in downtime.

David Ramsay, president of TOP-SET, said he is convinced of the value of using rocket science extreme engineering in the offshore environment.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” said Ramsay. “But it helps.”

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