No single person has all the knowledge you require. That’s what we’d written in our proposal, and our client had agreed. Now it was time to prove the value of our team.

Our client, a major international field operator, understood that drilling rigs were not their primary business. They would leave that to the drilling contractors. But in a post-Macondo world, they knew they needed a new approach to rig intake and startup.

A brand new department had been set up to build rigour into these processes, standardizing them and transferring know-how to the organization’s staff around the world. We’d just been awarded the contract to support the initiative, and here we were attending the kick-off.

“Now we’re up and running,” the new department’s director said, the light from the projector tattooing his face, “we’re changing the way we do things. We need to improve our approach to understanding and mitigating risks to our business before starting drilling ops. Epeus is on board to engineer the process.”

All eyes turned to us. Change is not something that comes easily to large corporations. Especially when consultants come in with their big ideas, throw their weight around and then leave. The audience was made up of senior managers from the wider organization. No doubt each had their own reasons for being wary. It was not the warmest reception, but they soon realized we were on their side.

Our client had identified a kaleidoscope of risks pinned to rig intake and startup: commercial, reputational and operational. The director had come to us for our independent rig knowledge and startup experience. We were given carte blanche to create the most effective and robust processes in the industry—and a six-month deadline to launch it globally.

We like a challenge and put together a team with complementary rig backgrounds, across operations, technical and project management. Each person was a walking repository of hard-won knowledge. Together, they achieved a cohesion that made the unit greater than the sum of its parts.

Drawing from their experience—and exchanging insights with colleagues back home—the team unpicked the workings of this mega-organization to identify and quantify the risks it faced. With all the pieces laid out on the workbench, they were able to reassemble them into a well-oiled machine.

We met our deadline, delivering a process that accounted for every aspect of the rig and ensured our client’s crews and operational controls would stand up to the demands of its ambitious wells program. During development, drilling activity began to ramp up which provided the ideal proving ground for piloting and debugging the new approach. But that’s
another story.

So what?
To meet their global wells requirements our client needed a working process in place quickly. Their department was newly formed and not fully staffed. We provided multifaceted rig experience, an unrivalled databank of rig knowledge, and support from our in-house technical and operational teams. Our client could be confident that when they needed a rig to be ready to drill, it would be. They extended our global support contract through 2015.

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