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Stena Drilling uses revolutionary training approach to get rigs back to work

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Oilfield Technology,

As the oil and gas industry picks up, a revolutionary training approach is helping Stena Drilling prepare its personnel for faster, smoother and safer rig reactivations and operations.

Stena Drilling has teamed up with advanced simulator developer and manufacturer, Drilling Systems to combine competency assessment and coaching in-the-field with the On-The-Rig (OTR) simulator for the very first time to better prepare its drilling and lifting crews for rig start-ups and on-going operations.

The approach of conducting realistic, rig-specific simulated exercises and tailored coaching to fill competency gaps at the work site is the first of its kind for the oil and gas industry. Following its success on the reactivation of Stena Drilling’s semisubmersible, the Stena Don, Stena Drilling has signed a framework agreement with Drilling Systems to roll out this approach to three of Stena Drilling’s ultra-deep water drillships: Stena Forth, Stena DrillMax and Stena IceMax.

Stuart Greer, operations manager at Stena Drilling explains: “The Stena Don had been in a warm stack situation from November 2016 with reduced crews. After securing a major contract, we needed to reactivate the rig in March 2018 and had new personnel joining some of the existing Stena Don crew. Quality, safety and performance are our top priority so we wanted to ensure all of our personnel were fully competent and able to cope with any eventuality.

“We approached Drilling Systems and together developed a three phased approach to preparing our drilling and lifting teams. We used Drilling Systems’ mobile OTR simulator, which can be located on the rig itself and realistically mirrors drilling and well control operations, alongside individual coaching sessions. This meant the crew could familiarise themselves with well control situations/procedures, as well as operational running of equipment in a controlled, safe environment. We were also able to test a wider range of high risk operational scenarios which could never be replicated on the job. Because the functions and graphics are very representational of the actual Cyberbase system, crew members gain experience and confidence and are better prepared for the real thing.

“As the OTR system can also be operated without an instructor, we are keeping it in-situ to enable continuous training and development for the crew. This project has helped us test and verify our crews’ skill levels in a safe, fast and highly effective way and gives our clients assurance that we are operating at the highest levels of safety and competency. Due to the success of the Stena Don project we will now be using the same approach on other rigs as they are brought back into use.”

Kevin Franklin, chief executive officer at 3T Energy Group, which includes Drilling Systems, said: “Stena’s investment in crew competency is setting new standards for the oil and gas industry. At a time when the industry needs to embrace technology and look to ways to do things differently, Stena is the perfect example of how this approach can ultimately help the sector improve performance and raise safety standards.”

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