Engineering consultancy Magma Products has launched a shutdown division to bring a fresh approach to this complex arena of the oil and gas industry.
Aberdeen-based Magma – an established provider of commissioning and decommissioning services – has appointed Stephen Potts as shutdown director to lead the new service offering. He has more than 30 years’ experience and an industry-wide reputation for the delivery of successful shutdown programmes.
Magma says it decided to launch the new division following an increasing number of requests from clients. The business plans to use its commissioning expertise to deliver a phased resumption of production, while still allowing for essential maintenance work to take place.
Philip Tweedy, managing director at Magma Products, said: “The appointment of Stephen demonstrates from the very beginning the level of expertise and capability we plan to bring to turnaround strategies. Stephen has a track record of delivering projects that minimise risk and maximise production.
“Using our commissioning expertise, we are bringing a systemised approach to shutdown projects with work being carried out in stages. This option has the scope for the asset to be producing rather than not producing at all. We are confident this will be a successful addition to the engineering solutions we offer the market.”
Stephen said: “I’m excited about this role as it enables me to pass on my expertise and lessons learned to a broad range of companies and projects. Shutdown teams require a high level of experience. Magma is able to fill any knowledge gaps and deliver a road map that keeps projects on schedule and on budget through a phased and structured approach.”
Identifying the capability of the project team and shaping a clear plan, says Stephen, are key steps to saving millions of pounds on shutdown projects, with reducing downtime the prime consideration.
He added: “Initially you have to look at the capability within the shutdown project team, identifying the strengths and areas where improvements need to be made.
The next step is project planning with clear communication – everyone involved needs to know their role, what they are doing and when they are doing it. The scale-up phase where numbers – both people and costs – start to rise also needs to be managed. In short, a robust process and project expertise can lead to significant savings further down the line.”
Stephen led an onshore team to develop strategies for shutdowns as part of the redevelopment of the Montrose and Arbroath platforms in the UK North Sea. He has held a number of roles for operators including shutdown manager, offshore delivery manager, flotel campaign manager and OIM (offshore installation manager).
Magma has carved out a niche in the commissioning area, with a track record for managing all the checks, inspections, certification and tests that need to be carried out on components, systems and infrastructure before handover to the operator, duty-holder or project lead.
It used this experience to deliver decommissioning projects in recent years and is now again broadening its capability with the addition of a shutdown division. The company also delivers engineering support from front-end engineering design studies to upgrades of existing infrastructure.
Magma has developed its own online solution to enhance safety and efficiency during key phases of commissioning projects. The Completion Hand Over Management System (CHOMS) is a web-based tool designed to capture all completion and certification data for all parts of a project.
Established in 2008, Magma has the scope to significantly increase the current headcount of 53 through its database of technical support and engineering personnel. The company also has offices in Great Yarmouth and Bucharest.