Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest energy producer, has invested in offshore vessel tracking and fuel monitoring to optimise fleet performance
It has approved GTT Group subsidiary Ascenz and Credence Offshore as a vendor to deploy electronic fuel monitoring systems across its offshore support vessels as part of Saudi Aramco’s digital transformation programme and the fourth industrial revolution sweeping through the country.
This supports the company’s ambitious vision to be the world’s leading digitalised energy company and its drive to transform its chartered-in and owned vessels into smart ships.
Saudi Aramco project management vice president Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi said deploying fuel monitoring and vessel tracking systems had multiple benefits. “This deployment is a continuous effort in our journey to accomplish excellence,” he said, “by incorporating the latest technologies in these projects to achieve safe operations, cost optimisation, emissions reduction and operational efficiency.”
Saudi Aramco will install fuel monitoring sensors and an internet-of-things (IoT) network on vessels operating in the Middle East Gulf and Red Sea, with data transferred regularly to a cloud facility for onward analytics.
This followed a pilot on anchor handling tug and supply vessel Zamil 301 in 2020. This 2012-built vessel transferred fuel consumption data to Saudi Aramco’s Tanajib base, where it was analysed by managers and advice sent back to the vessel.
Ascenz commercial director Tang Teck Hong explained the importance of this pilot. “The success of the pilot is a very positive move forward that validates our core solution being at the forefront of smart shipping,” he said.
Ascenz demonstrated its ability to track and monitor fuel usage, which Saudi Aramco wants to implement across the rest of the fleet. Onboard sensors and Coriolis mass flow meters are used for accurate ship data collection. Data is compressed, encrypted, and transmitted to a cloud-based facility for advanced computation.
An online vessel management portal then transforms the data using analytics into performance insights, which are presented on multiple intuitive dashboards on vessels and ashore.
Ascenz said this process is done entirely in real-time and with full automation, providing all stakeholders – shipowners, vessel operators, charterers, crew and commercial representatives – visibility and traceability of vessel performance.
Saudi Aramco’s teams will receive daily reports showing key performance indicators for fleetwide fuel consumption activities and alerts when benchmarks are exceeded, allowing managers to optimise fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
Saudi Aramco plans to use the onboard IoT platform to gather high frequency data from any available source on these vessels, compress and encrypt it and send it to shore for advanced processing and analysis.
In its latest newsletter, Saudi Aramco said automatic data collection removes human error from manual processes and reduces the administrative burden for crew and onshore teams. Better data quality enables reliable analysis and results, leading to more informed decisions.
Saudi Aramco said it will use artificial intelligence and cloud computing “to derive insights from the raw data” and “give advice to optimise the future performance” of vessels. It will benchmark vessel operations, compare similar situations and enforce best practice among the crews.
This will be an online platform for integrating third-party data sources such as weather forecasts and housing different applications, while encouraging collaboration.
GTT Group chairman and chief executive Philippe Berterottière said Ascenz technology will enable fuel-efficient smart vessels to operate in Saudi Arabia.
“As digitalisation gains momentum in the maritime industry, fuel monitoring will be a game-changer, which will shape the future of sustainable shipping,” he said.
Credence Offshore is Ascenz’s authorised partner in the Middle East region.
For further information on the Aramco Digital Transformation Program click here.
Vessel and fleet optimisation and emissions reduction technologies will be discussed during Riviera’s series of virtual conferences and webinars during 2021 - use this link to access more details and register for these events