University, Industry Join Forces To Increase Safety for Oil and Gas Companies

Oil and gas companies are boosting safety thanks to an industry partnership between simulator developer Drilling Systems and Robert Gordon University (RGU).

The Oil and Gas Institute at RGU is working with Drilling Systems and its drilling, well-control, and lifting simulator technology to help oil and gas companies identify ways to improve efficiencies and raise safety standards, which, in turn, is leading to cost savings.

During the past 12 months, the partnership has worked with several oil and gas companies to help them reduce nonproductive time and optimize drilling.

Each client’s project is different, but one of the more popular and cost-effective activities being undertaken is to review, analyze, and amend individual company processes and procedures. Often, new procedures are written before operations, but, within the simulator suite at RGU, clients are able to test how procedures work in practice. This enables potential gaps to be identified long before new procedures are implemented in a live work environment and has helped reduce costs from lost time and ineffective drilling practices. In one particular case, a client changed 74 critical procedures on the basis of what they learned from the simulator.

Using the simulators to train and assess competency before live operations has also reaped rewards for clients. As well as enabling safer, smoother, and more-efficient rig reactivations, simulator training is helping oil and gas companies ensure staff competency and improve on-the-job performance. For one customer, nonproductive time was reduced by nearly 40% following a training program for new and existing crew members.

Clive Battisby, chief operating officer at Drilling Systems, said, “We are delighted that our unique working relationship with RGU is helping oil and gas companies save time, money and improve safety. 

“Our simulators create an extremely realistic environment, which mirrors the equipment and conditions faced on a rig. In this risk-free setting, operators can practice every day maneuvers and specific emergency scenarios which test competency, so that, when they start work in the field, they are confident and comfortable with the task in hand and operating at maximum efficiency.

“Our simulators are also enabling oil and gas companies to test the effectiveness of procedures for new equipment or process changes in a safe environment, avoiding costly mistakes or downtime on a live rig.”

Phil Hassard, Oil and Gas Institute drilling simulator manager at RGU, said, “This is a perfect example of a university and industry working together effectively to raise standards and identify better ways of doing things for the oil and gas sector.

“Thanks to simulator technology, our clients have potentially saved millions of dollars this year alone through improved efficiencies and have reduced nonproductive time significantly. Working closely with Drilling Systems has also enabled us to develop innovations such as decommissioning simulators and mobile training units, and we anticipate this relationship to continue. Together we can ensure the sector has well-trained, highly competent workers, well equipped for the needs of the industry moving forward.”



Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter.  If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.





HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.