Making Sure Your Equipment is in Prime Condition

8 to 10 weeks saved by identifying parts that need replacement in advance

A line of machinery that has been inspected with PRIME rig inspections

In such a complex and ever-changing industry, drilling contractors need their equipment to be immediately available to return to the field. Understanding what repairs and replacements are necessary before this happens helps maximize efficiency in a time- and cost-sensitive environment.

The PRIME™ inspection service informs drilling contractors well in advance what equipment needs to be repaired, replaced, or upgraded in order to ensure solids control and waste management packages operate reliably and efficiently. Undertaking such efforts allows equipment to be ready to deploy the moment the rig arrives at the shipyard, giving customers a head start on new part order deliveries that can take as long as 8 to 10 weeks.

A series of pumps recertified with PRIME inspection services

The PRIME inspection service assesses the working performance of solids-control, fluid-processing, and waste-management systems and equipment.

During a 3- to 14-day inspection, NOV assesses the working performance of solids-control, fluid-processing, and waste-management systems and makes recommendations to optimize the equipment. Contractual requirements for equipment recertification are also examined so that time won’t be lost on such processes later, and a report produced after the inspection details the condition of and, if necessary, improvements to the equipment. A comprehensive checklist catalogs serial numbers and condition, while detailed photos give customers a closer look at the condition of their equipment, helping them determine if an on-site crew can handle repairs or if they would like an NOV technician to assist.

A closer look at an NOV inspection recertification certificate

After the inspection is complete, a certificate is issued stating that no changes are required or that repairs have been completed within recommendations.

The PRIME survey assesses every component and function within the rig-owned solids control and drilling waste management package, including shakers, mud-mixing systems, gas separation, piping evaluation, friction-loss evaluation, hydrocyclone pressures, pit room, shake house, screen stock, and spare stock.

In a matrix, NOV assigns this equipment condition-based color codes: green for good, yellow for minor issues, and red for major issues. This makes it easier for the drilling contractor to identify what demands immediate attention while prioritizing repairs and replacements. At the end of the process, a certificate is issued to drilling contractors whose rigs are in good condition stating no changes are required or that the repairs have been completed within recommendations.

A look at an NOV inspection report

A comprehensive inspection yields a report in which equipment are assigned condition-based color codes in a matrix, enabling drilling contractors to easily know what needs immediate attention while prioritizing repairs and replacements.

The PRIME service's comprehensive inspection has proven effective for numerous customers in the field, contributing to potential months of time savings. During one inspection, NOV found cracks in a customer's equipment that could have caused significant failure and potential safety hazards. A thorough shaker inspection enabled identification of the issue and allowed the customer to save several weeks of potential downtime that could have otherwise halted or slowed down drilling operations or, even worse, led to an HSE shutdown.

Drilling contractors need to be able to turn scheduled downtime into a window of opportunity, and the PRIME service does just that. Personnel are freed to work on the rig components they know best, while NOV uses the allotted time frame to concentrate on extending and optimizing the operational life of solids-control and drilling-waste management systems. PRIME inspection can take a rig from stacked to contract-ready, representing an evolution in true inspection services; settling for "just good enough" is no longer necessary.


Jim Stephen

Vice President, PRIME Inspections

NOV Employee Jim Stephen

Jim Stephen has nearly 40 years of experience in the oil industry, primarily with solids control. Certified as a marine diesel engineer, he has worked globally in an executive managerial role and is currently the vice president of PRIME™ Services.