Tug owners and offshore support vessel (OSV) owners working in the Middle East will be expected to use data analytics to cut fuel consumption for the next round of term contracts
Owners are not yet expected to use internet-of things (IoT) and data processing to save fuel costs, but this will be required within two years in the Middle East.
These are the expectations from national oil companies and engineering, procurement, installation and construction (EPIC) contractors in the Middle East.
McDermott director for marine operations in the Middle East and North Africa Doug Korth said fuel efficiency will be essential to win future support contracts.
McDermott constructs and installs offshore production facilities for national oil companies and operates derrick lay barges in the Middle East. His group contracts in a fleet of up to 150 tugs and OSVs to support projects for Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia and for energy companies in Qatar.
“Fuel efficiency is becoming part of our services... we are starting to look for support vessel owners that will look at the fuel efficiency. It will be a significant factor in this region,” said Mr Korth at the Seatrade Offshore Marine & Workboats Middle East conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“In Qatar we have to pay for the fuel as part of our delivery model,” he explained. “In Saudi Arabia, Aramco will pay for the fuel, but in the new contract packages, Aramco said it will not supply the fuel.”
This changes the dynamics for EPIC contractors in the region and thus their requirements for tug and OSV owners.
McDermott uses tugs to tow barges of material from supply bases to offshore project areas. It also uses anchor handling tugs and multicat workboats to position anchors to its pipelay barges and construction units.
Mr Korth thinks owners can become fuel efficient by monitoring and processing consumption data. “For fuel efficiency, the only answer is technology implementation to keep the costs down,” he said. He also wants tug and OSV owners to consider monitoring vessel performance.
“Predictive maintenance can extend the period between overhaul of machinery and improves vessel uptime,” said Mr Korth. “Performance data means owners can find the inefficiencies, then produce procedures and training to make vessels more efficient. Weather data is also important.”
In another session at the conference, delegates were introduced to technologies for reducing fuel consumption and improving vessel efficiencies from Helm Operations, Onboard, Schottel, MAN Energy Solutions and Royston.
After listening to these presentations, Topaz Energy & Marine head of information technology Kris Vedat said challenges to fuel optimisation include processing big data volumes and transferring data from vessels to shore.
“We are seeing 20 GB of data coming from ships per day and more will be coming,” said Mr Vedat. “We need better communications to get the data off the vessels.”
Demand for more fuel efficiency drives owners to invest in IoT on vessels as a replacement to daily reports. “Noon reports become redundant with big data,” said Mr Vedat. “Ultimately, it becomes almost real-time reporting. Fuel efficiency then becomes about throttling down and reducing speed and route optimisation,” he concluded.
Fuel optimisation will be a key topic for discussion at Riviera Maritime Media’s series of Optimised Ship Forums, the next one is on 1 October in Hamburg, Germany