ConOps Service Launched to Reduce Integrated Control System Risk

Houston-based Athens Group, a provider of risk reduction services for control systems software on high-specification offshore assets, today unveiled its new Concept of Operations (ConOps) service.

Output from this service, a ConOps document, helps reduce integrated control system-related risks, such as non-productive time (NPT), health, safety and environmental incidents, from the very beginning of newbuild and refurbishment projects.

A ConOps document, or text document, defines from the owner's perspective performance, quality, health, safety and environmental (PQHSE) expectations; validation and verification requirements by project phase; and contractual requirements for the owner to sign by project phase.

Most offshore assets are now built or refurbished through turnkey, builder furnished equipment contracts. This procurement model makes it challenging for the asset owner to exercise the level of oversight and control needed to hold their vendors accountable for delivering a safe, reliable, and fit-for-purpose asset, the company said.

In Athens Group's recent industry survey, The State of NPT on High-Specification Offshore Assets: Third Annual Benchmarking Report, 89 percent of drilling contractors and operators identified the development of a software-specific risk mitigation plan as an opportunity the reduce NPT. Implementing a ConOps phase is the critical first step in mitigating software risk throughout the offset asset life-cycle, Athens Group said in a statement.

"Many of the project delays and much of the NPT we've seen could have been prevented if risk reduction planning had started earlier in the project life-cycle," said Athens Group CEO Mike Haney, noting that other industries that rely on large, one-of-a-kind systems integration projects have significantly reduced risk by starting each project with a Concept of Operations document.

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