Under traditional methods of contracting for the hire of offshore drilling units, one of the most time consuming tasks required of Operator and Contractor alike is the preparation and analysis of drilling equipment lists required for a particular drilling campaign.
The Standard Format for Equipment Lists program is a recently developed computer application designed to streamline the tendering process and optimize efficiencies in the exchange of bid information between Operators and Contractors. This paper reviews the benefits provided by a new approach to an old problem.
Traditional methods of preparing drilling unit equipment lists for invitations to bid (ITB's) are labor intensive and prone to costly errors. This becomes evident upon examination of a normal ITB progression (as respects rig equipment requirements) which may be described as follows:
Step 1: Operator determines rig equipment required to complete the task and sends the requirements to Contractors as part of the ITB.
Step 2: Contractor receives ITB, transcribes Operator's equipment requirements to Contractor's format and compares Operator's requirements against rig fleet equipment specifications.
Step 3: Contractor selects appropriate rig, converts format to meet Operator's ITB format (including conversions of units of measurement if required), and returns ITB to Operator.
Step 4: Operator receives Contractor's bids and compares equipment lists as bid against original equipment requirements. Variance report is prepared for evaluation purposes.
The flaw in this process lies in the manual transcription of rig information from one format to another, then back again, which increases the potential for errors and strains personnel resources. In the preparation of an equipment list for a particular ITB it is not unusual for a Contractor to devote four to five man-days between its Contracts, Operations, and Engineering departments. Unfortunately, as each Operator has his unique equipment list format and requirements for a particular job, the process is repeated "from scratch" with each new ITB.
It was apparent the development and acceptance of an industry standard for rig description would lead to measurable improvements in the bidding process.
In 1992, the International Association of Drilling Contractors ("IADC") aided by the active participation of industry leaders representative of both Operator and Contractor, initiated a project to develop a standardized rig equipment list format for use in ITB's industry-wide. One of the challenges presented by this project was the need to develop a format which would be broad enough to incorporate descriptions of the wide range of equipment requirements of major international Operators, and cover the variety of rig design and component equipment combinations of Contractors' worldwide rig fleet. The result is the IADC Standard Format for Equipment Lists ("SFEL"), a comprehensive (approx. 100 pages in length) format for the description of rig design, environmental characteristics and equipment [Ref. Fig. 1].