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Business Improvement Group:

Risk-based Obsolescence


The offshore industry is facing widespread obsolescence issues on mid-life platforms. Most notably, electronic systems are becoming dated with software and hardware no longer being supported. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) may no longer be in business. Proposals to procure spares made by well meaning discipline engineers often lack the robust business justification required by management.


Optimus offer a risk-based approach to determining the consequences of alternate obsolescence management strategies and the justification of the best strategies through to business case justification.




1. Data Gathering

The initial stage is to gather all data on the systems and develop a comprehensive inventory. This data comes from a number of sources, including:


  • Client's in-house or offshore data files
  • OEM's manuals and records
  • Offshore surveys as appropriate


2. Technical Assessment

The technical assessment entails reviewing the documentation to determine the:


  • Generic or bespoke components
  • Consequences of system outages
  • Systems/devices/parts currently obsolete or likely to become obsolete within a given timeframe
  • Spares holding and availability of spares
  • Marketplace sales & technical support in place

This will involve communicating with OEMs or current healthcare providers.

3. Modeling and Risk Assessment

A decision on whether a qualitative or quantitative assessment is appropriate is now taken. For many systems, qualitative is sufficient when the generic vs bespoke, obsolescence status, costs of spares and consequences of system outages are considered.


Where appropriate, quantitative availability models are developed. This modelling goes down to spares level. Where quantitative analysis is required, additional information is sourced such as:


  • System outage consequence data (e.g. production rates)
  • Original systems information (e.g. Failure and repair rates)
  • Modifications & repair histories
  • Industry standard data
  • Platform/installation specific failure rates


Actual or industry standard platform data on MTTF and MTTR can be used. Monte Carlo simulations of availability are used to derive revenue losses.


Specific issues can also be modelled and scenarios developed, including ageing equipment, lack of redundancy, lack of spares, reliance on personnel / technical knowledge, and alternate asset lives.


4. Develop Strategy

Usually, three generic strategies are available:


  • Keep existing system/device with appropriate spares holding
  • Upgrade system
  • Replace system

The Optimus approach will assist in determining the appropriate strategy for your business and provide the evidence to support the adoption of this strategy in AFE documentation and presentations.



  • Independence – Optimus have no ties with any electronic systems/programmable devices manufacturers or suppliers, enabling us to provide a completely independent assessment.
  • Auditable – all information used in modelling is checked prior to inclusion and documented, and any strategy proposed is backed up by information provided by the risk models, leading to a full audit trail.
  • Economic – by taking a top down approach, a risk based obsolescence study conducted by Optimus produces results quickly and cost-effectively.
  • Handles uncertainty – all numerical modelling implicitly accounts for uncertainties in the decision.


Optimus have used risk modelling technology for a number of clients including Nexen and BG.