One Team Approach Guides Successful Grand Banks Project

The Irving Shipyard Team presented a framed photo of the GSF Grand Banks to Transocean at the conclusion of the shipyard project. Pictured left to right are John Salvage, Irving Commercial Manager; Al Hutton, Irving Project Engineer; Blair Martell, Irving Production Manager; Neal Hayes, Transocean Project Manager; Paul Ledrew, GSF Grand Banks OIM; and Tim Brownlow, Irving Site. See back cover for a photo of the Transocean Project Team.



February 14, 2012. For those involved in the GSF Grand Banks shipyard project, it will be remembered as the day the rig went back into service—coming in $1 million under budget and two days earlier than expected. It was fitting that the project ended on Valentine’s Day—a day that’s all about celebrating successful relationships.

Work Scope Expands

The rig team of the GSF Grand Banks, drilling offshore Newfoundland in Canada, had planned with their customer, Husky Energy, to bring the rig into Irving Shipyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in January 2012. The project scope included installing larger lifeboats per Canadian regulations, along with routine maintenance on equipment and structure. Plans were proceeding nicely until November 24, 2011, U.S. Thanksgiving Day. That’s when a supply boat caught in bad weather struck the Grand Banks, leaving a hole in one of the columns of the moored semisubmersible.

While it might seem fortunate that the rig was about to enter the shipyard for previously scheduled work, the rig now would need to arrive in Halifax in December and the work scope would need to be expanded to include the repair.

“We intentionally scheduled the shipyard project for January so that the work wouldn’t be affected by a reduced workforce during the Christmas and New Year holidays,” said Rene Rodrigues, Rig Manager, Performance. “Now, the One Team approach was going to be more important than ever.”

One Team, One Goal

Transocean’s One Team concept was developed to help teams achieve Project Excellence—one of the company’s wildly important goals of delivering 100% of planned shipyard projects within scheduled out-of-service days. “In the past, when a rig went into the shipyard, the projects team would handle the workflow then hand it over to the operations team when the shipyard work was complete,” Rodrigues explained. “One Team gets everyone involved upfront—the project, shipyard and operations teams. Everyone is responsible for achieving our goal to get the rig back in service on time.” 

The Grand Banks shipyard project technically began on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day. “We phoned the shipyard on the day of the incident to tell them we would be coming early. They were able to place orders for the prefab material so it would be ready when we arrived,” said Scott McKaig, Sector Manager, Operations.

McKaig credits Neal Hayes, Project Manager, for leading the team. “Neal did an outstanding job of establishing trust with the shipyard, listening to people, dealing with different management styles while professionally driving things forward,” McKaig said. “From day one, we were all aligned with the goal to get the rig out as soon as possible, safely, in a state to operate.”

“The One Team concept requires personnel from all sides to put their egos aside and work as one unified team with the same end in sight,” Hayes said. “The Grand Banks project was successful because the projects team worked closely with the operations side to ensure that the rig was repaired and ready to operate.”  

Customer Service Focus

McKaig also was impressed with Irving’s customer service. “I visited the shipyard during the project several times. You could tell the shipyard personnel were customer focused. They always wanted feedback to know how we saw things,” he said.

Justin Meyers, Assistant Rig Manager, Performance, agreed. “I can’t say enough about the Irving Shipyard managers. We had good planning sessions and they had a good grasp of our schedule. They were always one step ahead, which made life easier.”

Leon Tracey, Rig Manager, Asset, also noted the shipyard personnel’s willingness to help out the rig crew. “When we arrived, there was a big storm coming. Shipyard team members were on the pontoons helping secure the rig. And when we ran out of welding fuel two days before Christmas, they found a supplier that could deliver it instead of having to wait until after the holiday.”

Jack Berglund, Project Manager, Irving Shipbuilding, said the One Team approach made all the difference. “Any time you bring in a rig for a shipyard project there are always challenges to overcome. The Grand Banks project was further complicated by the incident. We had to complete a lot of work in a short period of time, but as one team, we had an atmosphere where we could talk about anything and resolve issues quickly,” he said.

In appreciation for such a smoothly run project, Irving donated C$6,000 worth of gym equipment to the Grand Banks rig crew to replace the equipment that had been damaged in the supply boat collision.

Husky also had high praise for the One Team approach. “The teamwork between Irving and the Transocean project and rig teams, and the management support that enabled it was outstanding,” said Martyn Fear, Vice President, Drilling and Completions, Husky Energy. “Achieving timely completion of the project, and resumption of the drilling program, was vital to Husky’s 2012 and mid-term objectives. Congratulations to all of those who contributed to the GSF Grand Banks shipyard project.”