Vallourec has been at the vanguard of field service for almost 20 years, when the Group first began to offer remote services. Anticipating the oil & gas industry’s shift toward digital solutions, Vallourec’s technicians set to work to create a comprehensive remote offer. Recently, against a backdrop of travel restrictions and closed borders, Vallourec proposed the VAM® Field Service (VFS) remote offer to a larger number of customers. Daniel Khoda Rahmi, VFS Director, discusses how Vallourec’s remote assistance offer differentiates Vallourec and helps lessen the impact that global events can have on clients’ operations.
Providing ongoing support services during a crisis
The unprecedented health crisis of 2020 put the oil and gas industry in a difficult position. Field operations had to continue running safely and compliantly at a time when travel restrictions made field services difficult or impossible to conduct. For service providers, this meant finding a way to continue providing key services while adhering to strict health and safety requirements and abiding by travel restrictions.
Our core VAM® Field Service offer is based on our ability to mobilize technicians in the field at anytime and anywhere in the world. When the pandemic hit, we had to find new ways to continue providing support for clients, ensuring safety, running performance and business continuity. When offering our standard in-person services was not possible, our solution was to further develop our remote offer. This substitution was designed to complement our core business in field support, adapting to the unprecedented sanitary situation and our clients’ growing needs.Daniel Khoda Rahmi VAM® Field Service Director
Time-tested, high-quality remote services
Remote services have been available for almost two decades and are time-tested and robust. “There are certain circumstances in which remote services are a serious option,” Daniel explains. “For example, about 10 years ago, a volcano erupted in Iceland and our technicians couldn’t fly out to the rigs due to falling ash. Rapidly adapting to the situation, we provided all the necessary services remotely.” Remote services are also adapted to clients who cannot undergo in-person VFS due to unusual circumstances (e.g., lack of on-rig space, or brief missions in extremely remote locations or time sensitive missions abroad).
The same skilled technicians who would normally travel to the site of the field operations are those who provide remote VFS services. “With only a good Internet connection and access to a screen sharing application like TeamViewer, VFS technicians can review make-up graphs, conduct supervisions, carry out reporting and trouble-shooting operations and interact with clients remotely and any time,” Daniel notes, “remote VFS can offer clients the flexibility they need when faced with exceptional circumstances like those of the pandemic, without compromising on inspection quality and technical excellence.”
A complete portfolio for our customers’ benefits
Our remote VFS offer has brought a range of benefits to clients worldwide. When budgets are tight and space limited, operators can reduce costs associated with travel, accommodation, and avoid the challenge of on-rig restrictions for operations personnel, limiting HSE incidents. In addition, remote VFS can significantly accelerate operations. “In some cases, when working remotely, technicians can cut down overall mobilization required by days,” says Daniel.
To support the deployment of remote services, our portfolio has been expanded with solutions such as Smartengo Running Expert, which increases the reliability and efficiency of running operations in conjunction with VFS connection expertise, as well as a mobile application dedicated to VAM® Field Service. This app will allow participating customers to access VFS remote support anywhere and anytime via a tablet or a smartphone. In this way, they will be able to access all the technical data and resources required to perform field operations on the rig site. This solution will be a world-first for the industry.
An essential part of Vallourec’s future
“For oil and gas operators, remote VFS is just one more tool in Vallourec’s vast toolkit for providing efficient, high-quality services,” Daniel concludes. “This is why we chose to revamp our VFS remote assistance as a complement to our core offer. While we are not looking to fully replace the immediacy and precision of in-person services, the future will certainly include remote VFS when necessary.”