The usual basis for staffing new offshore assets are the oil company's operating model, estimated numbers of maintenance hours and input from staff with O&M experience taken into early project phases. In many cases this approach builds in too much conservatism and results in a number of staff equal to already existing assets of similar size operated by the same company, independent of whether the asset under development holds a number of innovations and improvements aimed at reducing the need for offshore staff.

The Center for Integrated operations MTO function allocation method has been used in the preparations of setting staffing levels in greenfield developments projects to optimize the number of staff according to the implementation of new technology and alternative organisation of maintenance resources. In the cases referred to in this paper a number of improvements, such as higher degree of automation, improved process safety and monitoring systems, potential for more onshore support, infrastructure for logistics and data communication designed for more efficient operations was implemented.

This paper shows how the MTO function allocation method is used to pinpoint the effects from the investment in new and improved systems in offshore projects, how to interpret the data and how the analysis results are used to challenge the truths about traditional manning models and set the right staffing level for optimal operation of the asset.

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