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Shutdown Season expected to kick off early in 2022

Because the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the maintenance of many oil and gas projects over the past two years, Shutdown Season is expected to begin earlier than usual this year.

What is Shutdown Season?

Shutdown Season refers to the time when offshore production assets such as oil and gas platforms, wind turbines or Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessels (FPSO) stop production to enable maintenance tasks to take place.

Just as your home needs painting every 3-7 years to protect woodwork and keep it safe from weather damage, offshore production assets need to be checked annually and preventative maintenance carried out to avoid costly breakdowns.

In areas like the North Sea where assets are ageing this is particularly important. Regular maintenance of the fabric and infrastructure of production assets assures integrity and extends operating life. As well as saving time and money by preventing reactive equipment repairs and failures, regular maintenance goes hand-in-hand with safety and ensuring everyone stays safe.

When does Shutdown Season happen?

Fabric maintenance tends to take place during the spring and summer when the weather is calmer and accessibility easier. In the warmer months it is far easier and quicker to reach offshore assets, minimising the amount of time regular, routine maintenance teams need to spend on site.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the maintenance programmes of many oil and gas projects over the past two years so Shutdown Season is expected to start a little earlier in 2022. Anytime from March onwards.

Which skills are needed during Shutdown Season?  

As you can imagine fabric maintenance tasks include activities such as inspection, surveys, coatings, and surface preparation and removing and replacing insulation and passive fire protection systems.

Rope access skills enable you to reach inaccessible areas – adding IRATA Rope Access to your existing trade can be a valuable addition to any CV.

Fabric Maintenance Companies

There are many offshore fabric maintenance companies out there. Some of the biggest names delivering fabric maintenance include Bilfinger UK, Stork, Altrad and PBS – a consortium formed between Ponticelli, Brand and Semco.

In addition to the big operators and service companies, many agencies see a huge influx of available roles throughout this season.