OSRL needed a way to monitor, manage and maintain its assets worldwide, to ensure that crucial equipment is always available for rapid deployment in the event of an oil spill.
OSRL worked with SRO Solutions to build a unified asset management solution with IBM Watson IoT software, to track and manage maintenance workflows and asset readiness across its global asset base.
Improvestraceability of assets for repair and maintenance purposes
Streamlinesequipment selection process for more efficient emergency responses
Acceleratesasset deployment by automating the creation of customs documentation
Business challenge story
For the oil industry, environmental protection is paramount—and when a spill happens, it is critical to respond quickly and effectively. Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), an industry organization whose members include BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, is tasked with being first on the scene for containment, control and cleanup efforts, helping to minimize the environmental impact of a spill.
With bases in the United Kingdom, Norway, Bahrain, Singapore, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, and the USA, OSRL must constantly monitor the status and whereabouts of thousands of pieces of equipment, to ensure it is always ready to deploy the right assets to the right locations in the event of a spill.
Marcus Russell, Project Manager at OSRL, explains: “We’re essentially the emergency response arm of the oil industry – if something goes wrong, we must always be able to respond. That obviously puts pressure on us to make sure we properly track and maintain our equipment – we are the contingency plan, so we can’t afford to fall short.”
Historically, OSRL focused on surface-level response, which typically involves inflatable booms, pumps and skimmers to contain and recover oil, or dispersants that can break down the oil and allow it to disperse. This is valuable equipment, but it is relatively easy to stock up and replace when it reaches the end of its operational life.
In 2012, however, OSRL began expanding its operations to help the industry respond to spills at a subsea level. The equipment used to cap subsea oil wells is large, complex, expensive, and scarce, so it requires much more involved maintenance, and much greater traceability to ensure that all components are kept in good working order.
“We realized that our old asset management system was no longer up to the task,” says Marcus Russell. “We needed an enterprise-class solution, which is why we started investigating IBM Maximo.”
Working with IBM Business Partner SRO Solutions, OSRL decided to adopt IBM Maximo Asset Management, to help it monitor the position and status of its assets worldwide, enabling more detailed reporting on asset availability, and more effective scheduling of repairs.
Marcus Russell explains: “We put together a lengthy user requirements document, and asked several IT service providers to demonstrate their solutions, to see if they could deliver the capabilities we needed.
“After going through several providers, IBM Maximo and SRO Solutions were the real stand-outs. We were particularly impressed with SRO’s industry knowledge – they are Maximo specialists, so they know the product well, but they also clearly understand the marine industry in particular.”
Once OSRL had selected the IBM Maximo software, SRO Solutions helped the company to adapt the solution to its specific needs. Marcus Russell continues: “A team from SRO came in to do some workshops with us. Our business model is slightly unusual; any profits we make are reinvested in the company, and the work we do is highly specialized, so we felt it was important that SRO get a proper understanding of who we are. We’re also a very capital-intensive operation – we have over 6,000 individual assets just in our UK base – so taking on and monitoring all that equipment is a challenge in itself.
“SRO were great at helping us set up the solution, getting us to ‘start small’ and work our way up once the system was functional. They were also very good at configuring Maximo for all the different areas of the business that would be using it, with custom Start Centers that show each user the information that is most relevant to them.
“We were keen to improve our business processes wherever we could, and SRO were able to help us do so. IBM Maximo hasn’t just made asset management easier, it’s allowed us to make real improvements and efficiency gains throughout the company.”
With the IBM Maximo Asset Management solution in place, OSRL is now better able to monitor its assets worldwide, with more diverse and efficient reporting tools. These tools enable the company to more quickly deploy its assets in the event of a spill.
“Our reporting processes are much faster than they used to be,” Marcus Russell elaborates. “We save an average of two days per monthly report, because data consolidation is much more automated and efficient.
“Maximo has a feature whereby the independent contractors who maintain and service our equipment are able to log on and update maintenance records themselves. This is much easier than our previous system, where we had to collect and re-key that data manually. We can generate maintenance reports and schedule repairs much more efficiently, and Maximo’s trending features give us a much better idea of the status of all our assets.”
IBM Maximo also aids the deployment process itself. “IBM Maximo makes the equipment selection and deployment process much more efficient,” says Marcus Russell. “Because we can now easily monitor the location and status of all our assets, we can quickly determine which assets we can deploy to an incident in the shortest amount of time.
“Maximo also automatically handles the paperwork of deploying equipment in foreign territories – it displays the status of all our equipment by location, so all we have to do is select the equipment we want to use, and it automatically generates and files the forms we need to get the equipment through customs. That means we can potentially get the equipment out there and begin the cleanup operation more quickly than before.”
Overall, OSRL is deeply satisfied with IBM Maximo Asset Management, as well as the support it receives from SRO Solutions. “SRO have been a good team to have on call,” Marcus Russell concludes. “They’ve always been very quick in responding to problems, and they’ve been great at implementing new features. For example, they recently helped us implement a tool to convert imperial measurements into metric, which is very handy for an international operation like ours.
“With SRO and IBM Maximo, our asset management processes are becoming more efficient. Improved response effectiveness helps us mitigate the consequences of a spill, and better protect environmental resources.”
About Oil Spill Response Limited
Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) is an industry-owned cooperative which exists to respond effectively to oil spills anywhere, anytime. OSRL provides preparedness, response, and subsea well intervention services, and shares its expertise with other industry organizations. The company operates from facilities in the United Kingdom, Norway, Bahrain, Singapore, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, and the USA. With a distinguished reputation achieved by attending nearly all the major spill incidents for the past 30 years, OSRL is an industry leader in its field.
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IBM is an established leader in the Internet of Things with more than 6,000 client engagements in 170 countries, a growing ecosystem of over 1,400 partners and more 750 IoT patents which together help to draw actionable insight from billions of connected devices, sensors and systems around the world. For more information on IBM Watson IoT, please visit: ibm.com/iot
To learn more about IBM Maximo solutions, please visit the following website: ibm.com/software/products/en/maximoassetmanagement