A. LEÓN, F. HURTADO, S. PALUMBO, A. TOMÁS
Offshore oil platforms are large structures located on the sea surface, whose purpose is the oil or gas extraction, processing and transferring to an end user; basically it is an industrial installation that conveys obvious limits due to the presence of equipment in a limited space.
An oil platform production is regulated by commercial treaties and subject to government authorizations, which defines the exact valid period for the administrative concession. Consequently, it is essential to optimize installation and production costs throughout the platform life in order to maximize the investment.
This necessity is highlighted in the “Take or Pay” contracts (which assumes a minimum fixed royalty quota to be paid to the country´s government in where the facility is located, regardless of whether or not extractions occurs), or where the local economy and energy autonomy is highly reliant on oil extraction.
These facilities have all the necessary infrastructure for this purpose, highlighting the process equipment and auxiliary services, emergency systems, heliport, office buildings and housing module, among others.
To quantitatively define how to maximize production continuously throughout the lifetime of an installation, a thorough evaluation of the reliability, maintainability and availability parameters is necessary. These three concepts define, precisely, a reliability study, usually called RAM study.
The RAM study is decisive to achieve this objective, especially when the installation design is validated and the maintenance strategy is planned. Sigue leyendo