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Cranfield University uses @RISK from Palisade to demonstrate benefits of investing in reliability of subsea oil and gas production equipment

Cranfield University’s ( School of Applied Sciences used @RISK software from Palisade Corporation ( during a research project to encourage business managers in the oil and gas industry to invest in the long-term reliability of production equipment. The assignment illustrated that time and resources spent early on in the product design lifecycle can significantly increase return on investment (ROI).

Subsea oil and gas production equipment can be required to function in excess of 2000m below sea level. The failure of any product or product component, has huge ramifications on cost and oil and gas production. @RISK is used to calculate the likelihood of this equipment failing and the overall cost throughout the project life cycle, should it do so.

For example, the cost of a support vessel can exceed $200,000 per day. Depending on the severity of the malfunction and the length of time it takes to restore a system to working order, the total cost of intervention can often be more than $10,000,000. In addition, for the duration of time that the equipment is out of service, oil or gas isn’t being produced, which is also a substantial opportunity cost.

@RISK combines the two core risk analysis engineering techniques – RAM (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability) and LCC (Lifecycle Cost Analysis) inputs – as defined by Cranfield project managers into a single model, and then runs thousands of simulations to show a distribution of all possible installation performance outcomes, the probability of each outcome occurring, and the lifecycle cost implications for each performance outcome. It does this by using Monte Carlo simulation, which shows all potential scenarios, as well as the likelihood that each will occur, thereby providing decision-makers with the most complete picture.

Karl Woods, Engineering Doctorate Research Engineer from Cranfield, comments: “@RISK’s sophisticated analysis enables us to measure the unknowns and combine reliability forecasts with the cost of breakdowns; thereby illustrating that lack of investment in making a product more reliable can often be a false economy in the long term.”

In addition, the risk calculations are enhanced by @RISK’s sensitivity analysis feature. This enables the project managers to take into account a particular component in the overall system that is most sensitive in terms of reliability, but may not be the most sensitive when it comes to cost.

Wood concludes, “The sensitivity analysis of @RISK means we can weigh up the significance of failure for each element of a complex piece of equipment. End-users are therefore fully informed and can accurately identify areas that need further investment in product design.”


About Palisade
Palisade is the market leader in risk and decision analysis software for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project. Headquartered in Ithaca, New York, where the company was founded, Palisade also maintains offices in London, England; Sydney, Australia; and offers special services to Latin American customers. Palisade users can be found in over 100 countries, and include the likes of AT&T, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Proctor & Gamble, Dow Chemical, Citigroup, Bristol Myers-Squibb, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Unilever, London Underground, Infineon and Statoil.

About Cranfield University
Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate institution with a worldwide reputation for excellence and expertise in aerospace, automotive, defence, engineering, environment and water, health, management and manufacturing. The University is made up of the following Schools: Cranfield Health, School of Management, School of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering, and The Defence College of Management and Technology at Shrivenham. For more information visit

School of Applied Sciences:
The School of Applied Sciences is recognised globally for its multi-disciplinary approach to research and teaching. The school addresses the key areas of manufacturing, advanced materials, natural resources and sustainable systems and focuses on fundamental research and its application, together with teaching, to meet the needs of industry and society. Sectors addressed include aerospace, automotive, energy, engineering, the environment, manufacturing, motorsport, offshore, water and waste.

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.