Ten years ago, I participated in a joint industry project where one team member spoke about dealing with an unplanned emergent failure mechanism of a subsea pipeline and subsequent repairs over the preceding two years. Another team member at the same table then shared how their operations on the opposite side of the world were just beginning to experience the same failure issues. Off the back of this discussion, the member that was beginning to encounter these challenges benefited from the other member’s experience and was able to short-cut the path to proven solutions.
So why is this an important topic? Joint industry projects (JIPs) bring together users, manufacturers, technical experts, and regulatory bodies to provide a robust team that can commit to improve a specific situation for all parties. The power of collaboration to achieve solutions within these environments is usually much larger than the sum of the individual organisation’s potential. By working together to solve common challenges experienced by multiple organisations, collaboration such as this can help to reduce costs, address complex problems and create a safer, more sustainable industry.
There are numerous JIPs running at any given time, and many have been in operation for decades. For example, Wood has recently launched the fifth generation of the Sureflex JIP which focuses on developing, gathering and sharing industry-wide data dating back to more than 20 years, that competently supports the safe operations and integrity management of flexible pipe systems. Currently we have 20 members including operators, manufacturers and energy regulators collaborating across the globe, who regularly discuss the historic trends of damage, degradation and failure that can identify any new emergent threats and assess new inspection and monitoring technologies. The successful collaboration in this JIP has enabled us to update all the relevant datasets to ensure that all industry stakeholders have the latest available information to operate systems as safely and efficiently as possible.
A fundamental benefit of these JIPs is ensuring that lessons are learned, and future operations are optimised while supporting a range of technical standards and guidance for various engineering bodies (in recent years including ISO, BSI, API, Oil & Gas UK, and the Energy Institute). As the global technical leader for Asset Performance Optimisation at Wood, I am genuinely inspired when we get to collaborate with diverse industries to unlock solutions for current and future challenges. I am passionate about understanding the root causes of the issues addressed by our team members, and it’s a key driver for our engineering consultants at Wood to not only develop solutions that improve the world in which we live, but also making a difference to the industry.