Travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic have presented significant challenges for oilfield service companies such as Tenaris.
Early in March, Tenaris stopped its employees from travelling internationally when the implications of coronavirus became all too clear in the company’s large-scale operations in Lombardy, Italy, and in China.
Tenaris’ internal travel ban, which pre-dated government-led restrictions, presented a dilemma on how to provide the service level that customers expect and require.
New solutions were required in mid-March when an oil company requested Aberdeen-based field services specialists to be mobilised to oversee pipe-running operations in the Netherlands. What followed was an international team effort between the operator, Tenaris, and the Tubular Running Company (TRC), using both web-based communications technology with the good old-fashioned telephone for backup.
Tenaris considered it essential to be able to continue to offer 24-hour technical advice. However, this was the first time that the company had been asked to provide remote support to a customer’s operations. It was essential to establish the right ways to work with the TRC’s technology and to ensure that the communication between each of the stakeholders was as good as it could be under the circumstances. The field services specialists who would later provide the remote support from the confinement of their homes took part in onshore, pre-job trials to ensure that they were familiar with the web-based set-up.
Thanks to a successful rehearsal and the collaboration of both the operator and the TRC, the field services specialists were able to provide remote supervision for all of their usual responsibilities.
The duties included pre-job inspections of the material through to make-up supervision and trouble-shooting from a desk in Aberdeen, using the TeamViewer application to remotely view the make-up graphs and offer support in real-time.
Several lines of communication were established to ensure that contact would not be lost due to potential technical issues.
The excellent communication between the operator, the TRC and Tenaris ensured that the challenges presented by working remotely due to the coronavirus were overcome. The first ever instance of Tenaris providing fully-remote tubular running assistance was a resounding success and provided a benchmark for future operations.
The operator’s senior drilling engineer commented: “I am very pleased with the remote operation support provided by Tenaris.
“Interaction between Tenaris, rig crew and the TRC during preparation of the job was quite efficient despite the short time to do so.”
The remote support pioneered from Aberdeen represents a global first for Tenaris. The company is now planning to replicate this experience so as to be able to offer the service for its other customers throughout the world, and help them play their part in keeping the industry running.
Tenaris is a leading manufacturer and supplier of steel pipe products and related services for the world’s energy industry and other industrial applications. We operate an integrated network of steel pipe manufacturing, research, finishing and service facilities with industrial operations globally.