SKF & Vantage Cooperate to Improve Reliability of Drilling Ships

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/11/2014, Location: North America

SKF USA Inc. and Vantage Drilling, Inc. a leading international offshore drilling contractor which operates and manages a fleet of modern, high specification drilling rigs have combined resources to improve the reliability of the Vantage Titanium Explorer and Platinum Explorer drill ship fleet. These vessels are designed for operation in the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico and other offshore global basins of oil & gas exploration. Based on SKF’s expertise in the application of condition monitoring systems and Vantage’s philosophy of improving the mechanical reliability of its drilling ships, these ships will be equipped with a comprehensive monitoring system for the propulsion and positioning thrusters.

SKF undertook a careful study of the thruster mechanical system, including bearings, lubrication, gearboxes and drive motors to design a condition monitoring solution, supported by remote diagnostics services that will provide Vantage with timely information about the mechanical health of their thrusters along with advanced warning of issues that could impact drilling or propulsion system operation.

Application of this system coupled with the remote diagnostics services provided by SKF will enable Vantage to comply with American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) guidelines for Condition Based Maintenance procedures. Through the application of these systems and processes, Vantage will now be able to extend the mandatory overall interval required for physical inspection of the thrusters until the operational condition of the asset requires it. This will create a major cost savings over the life of the asset and contribute to significant improvements in operational utilization of the drill ships.

“Vantage Drilling and their personnel are recognized in the industry as providing superior technical support to their clients who comprise several of the major International and National Oil Companies. SKF is proud to be affiliated with them to help them push the boundaries still further.” said, James Henry, End User Director for SKF’s Gulf of Mexico market.

“We have known SKF for many years as a quality supplier of critical mechanical components and found their condition monitoring system and remote diagnostics services well suited for our strategy of improving the reliability and availability of our newest ships. We have been impressed with the professional support and timely implementation of the SKF solution.” said, Bill Thomson, Vice President Technical Services, Supply Chain and Projects.

An important factor in maintaining ABS certification is the monitoring strategy and data analysis process that SKF will provide from their recently certified SKF Solution Factory in Houston, Texas.


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