Mission-critical processes such as drilling, dynamic positioning and well control now rely heavily on highly-integrated control systems software. Software, like other aspects of equipment, must be properly managed and maintained in order to avoid equipment failures and health, safety and environmental (HSE) incidents. Software changes (including patches, upgrades, and new configurations) happen frequently and are initiated by many different vendors. All of these factors make Software Configuration Management (SCM) critical and challenging.

Immature SCM policies and lack of adherence to SCM standard practices leave your fleet vulnerable to all of the risks associated with ad hoc installations and updates, inadequately tested software, and insufficient planning for software and hardware end-of-life (EOL). Risks include: equipment failure and corresponding HSE incidents, the inability to maintain or recover safe operations in the face of disasters such as hurricanes, and falling out of U.K. HSE and/or Norway PSA compliance.

To mitigate these risks, leading drilling and oil companies are instituting strong and comprehensive SCM policies and processes across their fleet. This paper includes real-life case studies practices proven to help drilling contractors and operators:

  • Create and maintain a Software Configuration Register

  • Plan for software and hardware End-of-Life (EOL)

  • Implement a Software Configuration Change Control and Release Plan

  • Conduct Periodic Software Configuration Status Reports and Audits

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