Careful analysis of work carried out for offshore platforms covering design, manufacture, transportation, erection and commissioning has shown that the original concept of subdividing the work into several parts, either associated with a particular engineering discipline, or with some other special qualification, has resulted in severe difficulties and often in operational deficiencies, with consequent waste of time and money in the overall platform programme and cost. Several attempts have been made to improve on the efficiency but these were usually ineffective as they were based on a different procedure for subdividing the work and not by treating the basic reasons for the problem. Such attempts to improve overall co-ordination and planning do not yet appear to have been carried out on a sufficiently wide basis simultaneously with detailed consideration of all the specialised disciplines involved.

This has been most obvious on the top-side design involving the electrical generation and distribution systems which are often regarded as minor subjects since they are usually one of the smallest cost items and the electrical design is usually completed only after the structure, service and process systems have been finalised. The interaction of these systems seldom receives enough consideration at the design stage and the effects of this are often reflected in operating problems and limitations in service and the considerable number of modifications which are initiated in most new platforms as soon as operations begin.

In the past insufficient consideration has been given to the specialised problem of efficiently organising the commissioning and putting to work of the electrical systems and this is only too obvious when the programme planning charts are analysed in detail. The electrical systems interface with virtually every service and process system but such interfaces are seldom fully identified in the programme of work.

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