When Mark Chapman, Integrity and Reliability Manager on Gryphon floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, received a routine inspection report for a typical small component, he began wondering if there might be a more efficient way of running things. His simple solution generated stunning savings in both cost and time. It’s a brilliant example of challenging existing ways of thinking. Here he tells his story.

Interview by Danielle O’Donnell

The 2-inch pipe support is an integral part of the system and supports the surrounding pipework. The inspection report noted that this particular shoe was corroded and recommended that it should be re-painted. This got me thinking about the number of times we’ve done this.


You’ve got to perform a visual inspection, generate an inspection report, wait for it to be reviewed and approved, log it in SAP and create a permit, all of which takes time and effort. This is all before you’ve even begun the task.


Surely there’s a better, more efficient way to carry out what is really quite a simple task? Over the course of this single component’s life, the cost to inspect, report and paint can come in at around £3,000.


When you consider the tens of thousands of small parts we have on our assets, the collective cost is significant. So my question was, do we continue to inspect and repair or should we simply inspect and replace?


I started by contacting some suppliers. I was initially quoted around £390 to supply the part, still a lot cheaper than carrying out the repainting routine. Rather than settle for this lower cost solution and stopping there I decided to approach some suppliers that aren’t local to the oil and gas industry but still meet Maersk Oil’s technical standards.


In the end, I managed to source the part for £17.50. You read that right, just £17.50. What’s more, this new part came with a galvanised coating which hugely increases how long it can function without requiring any recoating.


There are many thousands of components on our assets which could benefit from a different way of working. Offshore, the benefits of this approach are clear to the team.


Operation Engineer Kevin Jackson comments

“It makes sense to replace parts when it works out as cheaper than the maintenance routine. The minute we stop challenging the way we’ve always done things is when we’ll start slipping. Mark’s solution is not only a cost saving, it’s also more time effective. A three day task is now possible to execute in as little as half a shift. This is hugely significant to us. It means we can focus our time and resources more effectively to ensure the integrity of Gryphon, and above all keep the oil and gas inside the pipes.”