With Singapore’s strategic location in Southeast Asia, it is emerging as a hub for the offshore marine industry, according to a recent newsletter from the Singapore Shipping Association. “Singapore provides companies that own and operate offshore vessels a convenient location for control and supply of their ships for operations as far East as Australia and Sakhalin, as far North as Russia and as far west as the East coast of the Indian sub-continent. These are all major areas of offshore exploration and production (E&P) which are currently experiencing a tide of oil and gas investment and the associated vessel activity.”
This offshore marine sector is driving the growth of many Singapore-founded and Singapore-based offshore vessel owners and operators, which are becoming international names, such as Swire Pacific Offshore, Pacific Radiance, Pacific Richfield, EMAS Marine, Swiber, Jaya Offshore and Marine, Swissco, and POSH SEMCO. Worldwide, the offshore industry includes some 7,700 vessels, and it is a growing industry.
Varied environmental conditions are characteristic of offshore operations, whether the exploration is taking place in an Indonesian archipelago with a tropical climate or extremely deep ocean waters. Oil companies expect exploration to move to even more remote locations, which could mean harsher environments. With these extreme conditions, an essential factor for success is fast, reliable SATCOM, such as KVH’s TracPhone V-series and mini-VSAT Broadband service.
Whether an offshore vessel is engaged in exploration, development, or production, the crew onboard needs SATCOM for a wide range of functions, including real-time data to monitor exploration, efficient and secure means for sharing data with geologists and analysts located hundreds or thousands of miles away, Internet access for crew welfare, and operational needs of the ship itself – from route planning for improved fuel efficiency to remote diagnostics of shipboard systems.
With the offshore industry’s need for a readily available fleet of modern supply vessels, Singapore companies are working to ensure they have the vessels to meet demand. The vessels needed include such specialized categories as offshore supply vessels (OSV), offshore construction vessels, production and storage platforms, maintenance vessels, and crew boats.
Given the increased importance of the offshore industry in the Asia-Pacific region, an “Offshore Marine Forum” is scheduled to take place during the Sea Asia 2013 maritime conference and exhibition. The Forum, on Wednesday, 10 April, will feature a panel of leading experts who will discuss the current state and future prospects of the offshore marine sector in Asia, looking at a range of commercial issues from the market supply-demand of offshore supply vessels to the likely future opportunities presented by expanding exploration.