Next generation technical documentation for subsea projects

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Ole Tobias Rengård Ole Tobias Rengård
Senior Vice President

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Subsea installations (illustration)


Discipline, good practices and continued attention are required to ensure and maintain that efficiency gains from the downturn in the oil and gas industry are not lost with the expected activity uptake.

The recommended practice (RP) DNVGL-RP-O101 Technical documentation for subsea projects has been well received by the industry. However, feedback from the users suggests that further development and refinement of this recent reference document through continued joint efforts is required.

Improvement of Manufacturing Record Books (MRB) has been identified by the industry as one element having great potential to become more useful for projects and operations by being better structured. The development of digital solutions is key to achieving this where modern approaches will be utilized as basis for electronic implementation by the industry.


The approach will build on the experience from the industry in using DNVGL-RP-O101 as well as clear suggestions for improvement and expansion to cover more objects. This will address:
  • Issues requiring correction/updates in the current RP based on input from the users
  • Format and use of Manufacturing Record Books (MRB); with a focus on: 
    • systemizing existing fabrication documentation into an electronic filing system and obtaining the benefits digital technologies can bring to the industry from new and by bridging - as pertinent - existing applications 
    • applicable documentation requirements from project execution to operation (lifecycle information) – how the RP data is accessed/presented
  • From experience conferences, expanding the RP to better cover System Engineering
  • Addressing issues experienced with using the RP in a contractual setting.  


There are clear opportunities for cost savings and increased project value by providing clear expectations between all parties involved, avoiding duplications, misunderstandings and unnecessary work, and encouraging a larger extent of reuse of subsea documentation.


A benchmarking exercise has shown that adoption of the RP could deliver a 42% potential reduction in engineering hours, and it is estimated that the potential cut in documentation can be as high as 75-80% through increased use of standardized documents. By covering more items than the current revision the savings are expected to increase, as well as providing new possibilities by having a better system around MRBs.