I remember one of my early awaking to the Offshore reality, back in the mid-1970’s
I was waiting for a rig move on a rig in the Java Sea, when I overheard the Companyman talking to a boat arriving from base. It went something like this:
“When you get here, just come in close so I can have a look at what you have on your deck, in case there is something I want”.
I thought that a bit silly, so I asked the Barge Master if they didn’t get a manifest or something before the boats arrived in the field?; “Yes, but he doesn’t like to read them”.
I could fill pages with anecdotes from later experiences of the kind, all over the world.
4-5 year ago I was engaged to look at the logistic problems for an Oilco in Malaysia. I found that they were having a lot of wastage from boats running half empty, or returning with part of the cargo still onboard, as well as a spending a lot of time idling in the field, waiting for the rigs and platforms to call them alongside.
Another problem was that they had a large number of small and inefficient AHTS on hire, mainly used to make cargo runs and assisting on rig and barge moves.
It was quite common to have 3-4 boats waiting for days at the end if a rig move, two with empty deck to assist the rig on approach and one or two with deck load (Spud materials).
Usually the boat with empty decks would either wait for days before delivering their bulk and liquid load, or they would return to base with it still on board, because there where urgent need for some material or another
I proposed to charter two large modern PSVs to run regular supply runs, leaving base on fixed days of the week, known to all suppliers and logistics coordinators and the people offshore.
On arrival in the fields (3) a semi-flexible turnaround route to be followed, but not left to the whims of anybody, (OIMs, Companymen, or others) If they hadn’t manage to deliver and take backload by the time they had to return to base, the boat would leave with whatever they had on board. My estimate was that it wouldn’t take long for both suppliers and receivers to learn to plan a bit ahead.
I had a big problem to explain to the Logistics Manager that a small and inefficient boat wasn’t cheaper then a big and efficient one, even though they burnt less fuel (at full speed) and was on lower dayrate. Especially so if you could put half the charter fleet off-hire due to better planning and efficiency.
Is that how they are doing it now?? NO WAY!!
It stranded on the different departments; Drilling, Operation and Construction, not being able to cooperate, each running separate boats and separate show.
The other thing was that less boats would mean less kickback to certain people in the Logistics department.
Did it bother me that they didn’t listen to my advise? Not at all. I got paid handsomely for the study and lost no sleep over their waste of money. (Name of Company shall remain with me)