Stage by Stage – New book and website a paradigm shift in commissioning and completions
There was a time when commissioning was a casual and arbitrary process; a small team gathering toward the end of a construction project to ring a few alarm bells, turn a few motors and check off some boxes on their clipboards. The cohesion, prioritization and structured transfer of responsibility demanded today simply didn’t exist.
But today, with digital technology controlling all areas of a project, “Commissioning and Completions” has become an expected and standardised process. Unsurprisingly, the rate and efficiencies of execution have also increased dramatically.
Geoff and John Todd have been at the helm of this shift, with a combined six decades of technical and management experience on some of the world’s biggest and most complex offshore projects.
Their new book, ‘Stage by Stage’, presents a fill-in-the-blanks workflow that can be deployed on any project, making the process of commissioning and completions as structured and easy as possible.
A detailed instruction manual pertinent to the preparation and implementation of Commissioning & Completions as applied to modern day project execution. A cradle to grave guide complete with templates and flowcharts ready to be customized to suit any project environment. Stage by Stage Book 1 begins with Stage I – Preparation before progressing to Stage II – Execution and finally concluding with Stage III – Handover & Closeout. Within each of these stages the reader is presented with templates detailing the work processes & procedures to be applied along with the documentation which, when tailored to the project in question, will fulfil requirements and achieve the desired results. The intent behind Stage by Stage Book 1 was to package information, experience and expertise gained over a 40-year period on projects worldwide and to share this with anyone, novice and expert alike, to make the task of [project] Completions & Commissioning; better structured, better organised and very very straightforward.
“We wrote Stage by Stage alongside the development of our new website, Commissioning123.com, which continues the book’s structured approach through a huge collection of different types of instructive documents, bringing any project a greater chance of delivering to plan and expectations,” explains Geoff. “People will quickly discover that doing something well and right isn’t that hard at all. In fact, our book can be used by anyone from a complete novice to a veteran project lead or manager.”
Continuing, “It’s the same process John and I have deployed on many of our own projects. We reached and surpassed our goals, and now see it as our duty to pass this knowledge on to others. Readers will discover that commissioning and completions is far from rocket science, and that a standardised model and methodology can be applied to all of their projects. The industry has needed a resource like this for decades.”
Geoff started his North Sea career in 1977, working in the maintenance department on the Piper Alpha platform, after spending the previous 16 years working in the nuclear industry at Sellafield. This was followed by engineering positions on two more North Sea Projects namely; Beatrice Alpha for BNFL and North Cormorant for Shell E&P. In 1981 Geoff joined Shell Brunei Petroleum’s Champion 7 Project in Brunei as the Instrument Engineer working for the HUC contractor. Returning to the UK in 1983 he was engaged in his first senior role on HGB’s gas development in Morecambe Bay as the Lead Commissioning Engineer. He remained there until 1986 when he joined BP on the Villages Project in the Southern North Sea as Commissioning manager. Afterwards he worked for Marathon Oil before going overseas in January 1987 to work for; SBM, Lasmo and Maersk in; Monaco, Holland and Denmark respectively. In September 1989 he went to Australia for the first time working on Woodside’s Goodwin Alpha Project being designed and built at that time in Perth, South Korea and ultimately offshore on Australia’s North West Shelf.
Shell E&P figured predominantly in Geoff’s professional life in the 1990’s where he undertook various management roles on the Brent Redevelopment in Aberdeen before returning to Australia for a second time in 1996 to work as the Senior Commissioning manager at Roxby Downs on a mining and process facility in South Australia and in 1998 as the manager on the Cossack Pioneer FPSO refit in Perth and in Dubai. His last full time Project role was in April 2001 on the Bonga FPSO working in New Orleans, Newcastle, London, South Korea and Nigeria where he performed Project managerial duties ranging across a whole range of Project locations. Geoff left the Bonga Project in 2006.
John’s Project career started in 1991 with his first appointment as a Commissioning Technician on Piper Bravo. The following five years saw John work as a Mechanical Commissioning Technician on the Emerald Producer, Gannet, Markham J6, East Brae and Gryphon Alpha. In 1995 John was a Senior Technician on both the Brent Bravo and Charlie Redevelopment Projects for Shell North Sea.
After attending a full time course in Newcastle College from 1995 to 1997, John qualified with an HND in Mechanical Engineering allowing him to transition from Technician to Engineer with his first appointment in that role coming in 1997 when he joined BP’s ETAP Project as a Mechanical Completions Engineer. From then until June 2001 he was a Commissioning Engineer on Hess’s Triton Project, Esso’s Jotun and BG Karachaganak.
For the next six years John worked primarily overseas where his work took him to South Korea, Nigeria and Australia in roles ranging from Completions Coordinator, Engineer, Site Representative and Consultant System Specialist.
With financial support coming from a third party, Geoff and John formed a company together in 2006 through which they created and ran a successful cross-sector service providing Commissioning and Completions Consultancy, which supplied; systems, methodology, software and personnel to clients worldwide. Both Geoff and John left the company in 2015.