Industry takes concerted action to improve efficiency

Oil & Gas Division
25 Jun 2015

Industry efforts to tackle its costs and improve efficiency were highlighted at Oil & Gas UK’s breakfast briefings on 6 May and 19 May in Aberdeen and London, respectively. Over 550 delegates heard why pan-industry collaborative action is needed to secure a sustainable future for the UK Continental Shelf and about the steps that industry has already taken around the deployment of its people, improving operational efficiency, logistics collaboration, simplification and standardisation, and late-life asset management.

Progress has been made in the following areas:

  • Survey of daily rates paid to independent contractors – consultancy firm, Mercer, will carry out this survey three times a year to enable companies to benchmark their rates against the market. First results will be available to participants in July.
  • Best practice in delivering planned shutdowns of offshore installations – an Oil & Gas UK work group is collating information on best practice in delivering planned shutdowns during the summer maintenance period to help further improve production efficiency. The document will be published this summer.
  • Sharing spare part inventories – Oil & Gas UK has established a database of spare part inventories across the sector, which will allow companies to source replacement equipment quickly and efficiently with the aim of reducing production downtime. Nine oil and gas operators have already logged their inventories of spare parts and examples of success are emerging – a pump exchange between two operators enabled well production to continue for 18 weeks, avoiding a 13-week lead time for delivery of the replacement pump.
  • Control of work and training processes – Step Change in Safety is carrying out a mapping exercise of control of work and training processes to identify priority areas where standardisation will achieve improvements in efficiency. The findings will also guide Step Change in Safety in addressing duplication of standards related to safety-critical roles and tasks in its four traditional work streams (Helicopter Safety Steering Group, Human Factors & Competence, Asset Integrity and Workforce Engagement).
  •  Barriers to adopting new technology – Oil & Gas UK and Decom North Sea have appointed Arup to identify the barriers that currently prevent implementation of new technology to manage late-life assets. Guidance on the best available practices to identify, qualify and adopt new technologies will be published in early autumn.
  • Helicopter audits – Oil & Gas UK is encouraging oil and gas operators to adopt a standard approach to preparing and undertaking audits of helicopter operators. This is in response to the Civil Aviation Authority’s recommendation to reduce the audit burden. An online portal on the Oil & Gas UK extranet provides access to numerous auditing tools, which is being trialled by industry specialists.
  • Cross-sector efficiency study – The Oil and Gas Industry Council has commissioned PwC to study the measures taken by other industries to improve efficiency. Through interviews and research, the Cross-Sector Efficiency Study aims to identify the characteristics that drive efficiency in high performing sectors, namely aerospace, automotive, chemicals and rail, and propose tangible practices that can be transferred to oil and gas operations.

More information on the drive to improve cost and efficiency is available at