challenges in their effort to keep the
business commercially viable. Offshore production has usually higher costs per ton
of hydrocarbons produced compared to production onshore, as capital investments
are often very high. Having this in mind, it is a requirement for the
production to be as efficient as possible, particularly when the margins
decrease due to e.g. drop in oil and gas prices on the global market. One of
the means of lowering the costs of the entire process is through increase of
efficiency of the offshore installation’s upstream supply chain – supply chain
of delivery of necessary goods and services to and from an offshore
installation in order to maintain installation’s operational performance at the
required level.

 

Offshore upstream
supply chain comprises of several sectors which form a network of physical
entities and operations necessary to maintain the flow of goods to and from an
offshore installation. Thus, increase of efficiency in either inbound, port or
offshore sector will lead to better overall performance of the system and cut
the costs related to logistic support of offshore operations. Inbound and port
sectors of a supply chain incorporate operations of delivery of products and
services to Onshore Supply Base/Depot (OSB) where those are prepared to be
shipped to offshore installation. Inside the offshore sector of supply chain,
shipment to installation is carried out using Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs)
which run back and forth between OSB and installations keeping the amount of
necessary products (e.g. food and drinking water, chemicals, fuel, equipment,
waste, etc.) at the level required to maintain production uninterrupted. A
potential stoppage of production due to a breakdown of supply chain is
unacceptable, as it would lead to substantial financial losses to the operating
company. Therefore, upstream supply chain needs to be built in a robust and
efficient way, in order to meet both criteria of economic feasibility in one
hand, and robustness to cope with unexpected events that might occur during
production in the other.

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