New Concept of Operations Service Helps Improve Vendor Accountability

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Athens Group Launches Service to Help Reduce Risk – Right from the Start

Implementing a Concept of Operations phase is the critical first step in mitigating software risk throughout the entire offshore asset lifecycle.

Today, Athens Group, an independent third-party provider of risk reduction services for control systems software on high-specification offshore assets, announced the availability of its new Concept of Operations (ConOps) service. The output from this service, a ConOps document, helps reduce integrated control system-related risks (such as non-productive time [NPT], and health safety and environmental [HSE] incidents), from the very beginning of newbuild and refurbishment projects. A ConOps document comprehensively defines, from the owner’s perspective:

  •     Performance, quality, health, safety and environmental (PQHSE) expectations
  •     Validation and verification requirements by project phase
  •     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. In a recent industry survey,* 89% of drilling contractors and operators identified the development of a software-specific risk mitigation plan as an opportunity to reduce NPT. Implementing a ConOps phase is the critical first step in mitigating software risk throughout the offshore asset lifecycle.

“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 lifecycle,” said Mike Haney, CEO of Athens Group. “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. Our ConOps service combines our deep expertise in integrated control systems and our experience adapting cross-industry best practices and standards for upstream oil and gas.”

*The State of NPT on High-Specification Offshore Assets: Third Annual Benchmarking Report.
The report is available online at:

About Athens Group
The high rate of non-productive time (NPT) and project delays on today’s highly-automated offshore assets is unacceptable! Drilling Contractors and Operators rely on Athens Group to help them reduce NPT, improve safety and safeguard the environment by identifying and addressing software-related equipment failures. Our DTA Services were developed specifically for highly integrated control systems and are tailored for each phase of the asset lifecycle. Athens Group has more expertise in this specialized area than any other vendor. Our Proven PracticesSM Methodology; software, hardware, and network topology experience; and vendor equipment experience speed risk assessment and mitigation. This is why the cost ratio of our services to NPT savings typically exceeds 1:100. Our customers, industry-leading companies such as Anadarko, BP, Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Maersk, Marathon, Noble Drilling, Pacific Drilling, Shell, Stena Drilling, Total and Transocean, to name just a few, are all referenceable.


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Monica Giannobile
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