Operating drilling rigs and vessels all over the world, Seadrill’s 5,400 employees produce vast amounts of information. Seadrill is an international offshore drilling contractor with headquarters in Norway and offices in Singapore, Houston, and Aberdeen, Scotland. The company’s fleet includes harsh-environment semi-submersibles, jack-ups, shallow and deepwater tender rigs, and deepwater drill ships. In addition to providing equipment, Seadrill provides platform drilling, well-intervention, and engineering services. The company’s yearly revenue surpasses a billion dollars, and it has a presence in 14 countries. Together with partners, the company operates 37 offshore oil-drilling units, 15 of which are currently under construction.
A major challenge faced by Seadrill was how to ensure that its operations, maintenance, and supporting administration personnel had easy and organized access to all manner of documentation in order to ensure rapid, high-quality processes.
A Case Study By Lars Ovlien
ORGANIATION: Seadrill, www.seadrill.com
VENDOR OR SOLUTION PROVIDEAR OF CHOICE: IntelliSearch, www.intellisearch.no
"Easy information access across applications is essential to our effectiveness and operational utilization," says Steffen Myklebust, manager of information systems at Seadrill. "When looking for operational information, users need to be able to find the requested information quickly and easily by entering simple search strings." Myklebust is also wary of the possibility of "valuable data disappearing in some hidden corners of the corporation."
Plumbing the Depths of Information
Rig operations are technically complex in the extreme. The highest demands are placed on utilization and security. Thousands of documents are needed for the daily operation and maintenance of a rig. Instant retrieval of the right version of a document for aspecific drilling rig is of utmost operational importance.
By way of example, when rig operators, together with their onshore support team, perform maintenance on a specific valve on a rig, they need a number of pieces of supporting documentation in order to perform the task without undue delay. These may include a service history, technical drawings and specifications, maintenance routines, health and safety instructions, a vendor contact, and a spare-part availability report. All of these documents are associated with the specific valve at the specific location on the specific rig. Seadrill needed to be able to access all of this disparate information with as much efficiency as possible.
"If information access saves us one day of rig operations, it represents up to half a million dollars of value," says Myklebust.
In addition to efficiency, Seadrill wanted a broad reach—a single global access point to data residing in five different applications. These applications included IFS Procurement, a maintenance and logistics system; a Lotus Notes-based TQM 9000 quality system; a ProArc technical and administrative documentation system; Eyeshare electronic invoicing; and a Synergy health, environment, and safety system.
A Beacon on the Horizon
Seadrill found the solution to its document-management concerns in its newly implemented enterprise search solution from IntelliSearch. Having implemented the platform in early 2007, the company now has instant access to information across the board, increasing its competitiveness by securing process quality and freeing up time for its core activity.
The information-access solution implemented at Seadrill is the IntelliSearch Enterprise Search 2.0 platform. The solution is based on IntelliSearch’s award-winning Enterprise Search Platform, which can be utilized for enterprise search, website search, ecommerce search, competitive intelligence, online media, and OEM search embedded in a third-party application. All of these functions are Web 2.0 enabled. The search results can be distributed via email, text message, or a personalized monitoring page—all according to preference. IntelliSearch 2.0 is an enterprise search solution that provides employees with one single point of access to data filed anywhere in the corporate network. The IntelliSearch platform allows access to any file, any file-server, any mail server, any application, and any external or internal website.
"We have moved our focus from applications to information. It doesn’t matter where the corporate information resides, as long as it’s relevant and accessible. This is the same kind of approach that you will find in Google and other major search engines," explains Myklebust.
"The organization is spread across the globe. When someone logs on, say from Indonesia, they have the same information access as if they were working in our headquarters," Myklebust continues. "People working on rigs offshore get their technical specifications, their HSE reports, or their invoices the moment they need them, regardless of location."
Seadrill has indexed its complete document databases. All in all, those documents—nearly 350,000 of them—translate into 220GB of data. As of late 2007, 1,500 employees had access to the IntelliSearch 2.0 platform,
In addition to providing equipment, Seadrill provides platform drilling, well-intervention, and engineering services. Together with partners, the company operates 37 offshore oil-drilling units, 15 of which are currently under construction.
The Solution Sets Sail
Seadrill employees perform their information retrieval through a search page, similar to the Google search page, by entering a free-text search string. The search engine processes the search string and returns a categorized hit list. The categorized result tree appears to the left of the screen, next to the result list. From there, users bore down to subcategories by clicking the plus sign on each category.
The categories include: application source, document type, author, date, and organization. A search string may, for instance, return groups of invoices and technical documentation. When drilling down in the documentation category, users find the names of specific oil rigs. Narrowing down further, users can find disciplines categorized (for instance, drilling, IT, electrical, and so on). From there, users choose document lists accordingly. If the data belongs to a project, they will also get information about suppliers.
"The user interface is easy to understand and to use, and we are definitely saving lots of time," says Myklebust.
"Useful options are the possibility to view the data from separate angles or to refine the search. If you want to find all the approved invoices from a certain supplier, that’s easy with this solution. The invoices will appear by searching for the supplier name and invoice. You can even drill deeper down and get approvals by date or by project."
For the operations and maintenance crews and their onshore support team, the new information access tool means easier information retrieval. The tool ensures quick access to all of the information that is needed to perform operations and maintenance, leading to minimized process lead-time and faults and increased overall rig utilization.
IntelliSearch 2.0 allows users at Seadrill to search and monitor all internal and external information related to their particular roles and interests in the company. The information is readily available in user-friendly interfaces, and has advanced search and monitoring algorithms to ensure quick, relevant search and retrieval.
Data is provided according to the access level of the employee; users only get the results on screen if they are allowed to access the documents. "Security is crucial to us and our clients. The system matches the search against the user’s access. If you have no access, you don’t even get to see the match," explains Myklebust.
By now the administrative staff of Seadrill has used IntelliSearch 2.0 for some time, and the feedback has been entirely positive, relating both to search speed and accuracy, intuitive learning, and the ease of retrieval with categorized search results.
"The user interface is intuitive and we are definitely saving time and making more money," says Myklebust.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LARS OVLIEN Lars Ovlien has followed the computer technology as a columnist and writer ever since 740K was an imposing amount of RAM. Now he is the editor of Datateam Magasin and a widely recognized freelance journalist specializing in the full IT integration of business processes.