Managing offshore assets comes with a variety of challenges. Weather can affect supply, scheduling downtime can be difficult, and safety is a key consideration at all times. Proactive maintenance is crucial to prevent unscheduled downtime and lost production. Part of any effective maintenance regime should be lubrication, and switching your equipment to high performance synthetic lubricants could help improve their performance while giving enhanced protection against the elements.

In severe operating conditions, synthetic lubricants help extend the life of equipment components, increase drain intervals and help reduce or eliminate failures. Synthetic lubricants should be considered in any situation where high loads and pressures, extreme temperatures, frequent stops and starts or wide operating temperatures are present. The upper temperature limit of a synthetic lubricant can typically be as much as 50 degrees celcius higher than an equivalent mineral grade, and even higher in the case of some products.

They have excellent thermal stability and oxidation properties, which help to reduce deposits and increase the intervals between oil drains, which in turn reduces consumption. Synthetic lubricants also perform much better than mineral products in low temperatures. Their high viscosity index means that they flow better at low temperatures compared to mineral oils which tend to thicken. A consistent film thickness reduces friction and wear in equipment, and can also produce energy savings as components don’t have to work harder to move through the oil as the temperature changes. Although synthetic lubricants are usually more expensive than their mineral counterparts, in an environment such as the offshore sector, their benefits can quickly generate tangible financial savings for operators. A reduction in unplanned maintenance can also have a positive impact on safety and reduce administration time.

In addition to reviewing your lubricants, we would always recommend that you implement an oil condition monitoring program for your key equipment as part of your lubrication strategy. By analysing your oil regularly, you can identify potential issues before they cause a problem or failure. Early identification of issues and a proactive maintenance routine can save you thousands of pounds in unplanned maintenance, equipment repair costs, man hours and lost production. It can also help extend the life of your equipment and improve its performance if issues are dealt with effectively.

If you would like to discuss lubricants for the offshore sector, or speak to one of our team of experts about improving the lubrication on your platforms or vessels, please contact us on 0800 612 3536 or drop us an email.