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Subsea Well Intervention Services (SWIS) - The Journey So Far

Friday, February 19, 2016

Subsea Well Services (SWIS)

We are approaching three years since the official opening of our first SWIS base in Norway so it’s a great time to let you all know what we have been up to since then and what is in store for the future.

What is SWIS?

For those of you who don’t know, SWIS is OSRL's dedicated subsea division, providing our Members with the opportunity to access a full subsea intervention capability (capping and containment) which complements the Tier 3 response our general membership provides.

Following the Macondo incident in the Gulf of Mexico, and as an outcome of the Global Industry Response Group (GIRG), the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP) was created in 2011. This consortium of nine leading upstream companies designed and developed advanced subsea equipment for capping, containment and dispersant application that can now be deployed worldwide.

Due to our extensive experience in providing oil spill response services around the world, OSRL was identified as the right company to make this equipment available to industry. 

Designed for a variety of conditions, SWIS aims to enhance the industry's ability to prepare for, and respond to, a subsea well control incident wherever it occurs. The equipment and dispersant are strategically stored and maintained in locations worldwide, for swift international deployment.

What we have achieved

Working with SWRP, we developed several international base locations with equipment now in a response-ready state and available for use in the event of a subsea well incident. Over the last four years, OSRL has worked very hard to establish a whole new service for its members, which we are extremely proud of. Within a two year period we assembled a new team of dedicated professionals, opened four new dedicated bases, and built a robust infrastructure to operationalise the service. The capping supplementary service was launched in January 2013, with the containment service launching in March 2015. To deliver this capability OSRL has successfully collaborated with many suppliers, service companies and organisations. To guarantee response readiness, many audits and exercises have been undertaken ensuring all the necessary processes and procedures are in place should we need to mobilise our resources.

What’s next

The last couple of years have seen significant growth for OSRL with the new capping and containment supplementary services; maintaining service quality and response readiness are key aspects looking forward. Having well maintained equipment, a robust response infrastructure, and a suitably sized workforce, all underpinned by regular training, exercises and audits, will enable us to meet the future needs of our members in the current challenging environment.

OSRL is also continuing its collaboration with SWRP on the final formal phase of the project which is to develop and deliver offset installation equipment (OIE) for the industry. This equipment is an industry first and is designed to support subsea well intervention operations in scenarios where conditions prohibit direct vertical access to a well head. This equipment is expected to be delivered at the end of 2016.

Author Bio(s)

Matt Clements

Regional Director (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Matt has been with OSRL for over 17 years. He led the development and establishment of SWIS as Project Manager from the offset and is now the Service Director.