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Digitalisation in OSV sector: Path to fuel efficiency and decarbonisation

Arnaud Dianoux, Founder and Managing Director of Opsealog elaborates how digital solutions are enabling significant fuel savings in the offshore support vessel industry sector.




Arnaud Dianoux, Founder and Managing Director of Opsealog, elaborates how digital solutions are enabling significant fuel savings in the offshore support vessel industry sector.

Arnaud Dianoux, Founder and Managing Director of Opsealog, explained how data collection and analysis are enabling significant fuel savings in the offshore support vessel industry sector and includes a case study from Opsealog’s work with ADNOC, where digitalisation reduced fuel costs and emissions by 12%:

A variety of factors are encouraging investments in energy and fleet efficiency within the offshore support vessel (OSV) sector, with a strong focus on fuel efficiency. The sector is at a pivotal point. Following years of slow growth, 2023 saw a significant rebound in the market, which continues into 2024. Major oil producing countries, particularly in the Middle East and North America, are pushing for increased production, which is driving up demand for drilling rigs, subsea construction boats, and OSVs. This surge in demand has led to higher utilisation rates, increased term-charter and spot market day rates, and a tighter market. 

Increased day rates and a shortage of vessels are making it imperative for charterers to improve fuel efficiency and manage costs effectively. One significant contribution to this is by optimising fleet management processes – for example, streamlining maintenance schedules – to ensure fleet availability in fluctuating demand cycles. Through the use of digital systems, charterers can better monitor operations, identify optimal fleet sizes, and reduce overall expenses.

For shipowners, the tight market and attractive rates incentivize maximising vessel availability. This is compounded by the increased cost of crew and equipment maintenance and upgrades.  Further to this, higher interest rates and uncertain regulations make newbuild orders less appealing. Instead, the focus is on maximising the current fleet’s technical availability.

The OSV industry’s appetite for investment in new assets, technologies, or digital systems is closely linked to market conditions, which has seen a ‘wait and see’ mentality across not just the OSV sector but also the global maritime market. But as fuel prices rise and the market tightens, incentives are growing stronger to optimise operations, reduce costs, and invest in technologies that will enable access to data that will aid decision-making in the future. Digitalisation is emerging as a key strategy to achieve these goals, offering a low-hanging fruit solution to improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

Bringing data into play

Data plays a crucial role in unlocking operational efficiencies, optimising marine logistics chains, reducing fuel consumption, and minimising greenhouse gas emissions. Comprehensive data collection and analysis allows companies to benchmark progress, measure the impact of future initiatives, and prepare for incoming regulations. 

From a regulatory perspective, while OSV operators are not yet required to comply with the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), future regulations will likely mandate compliance. From 2027, offshore ships above 5,000 gross tonnage will be included in the ETS, while the EU MRV will be extended from 2025 to apply to offshore ships above 400 GT, with additional regulations expected to follow.

Pushed by the public’s demand for more sustainable practices, stakeholders, including energy majors, are increasingly requesting reductions in upstream emissions. 

By leveraging data-driven insights, companies can be proactive in their decarbonisation efforts. Enhancing data collection, integration and analysis enables them not only to comply with regulations, but also to unlock new insights to enhance operational, financial, and environmental performance. For example, 10-15% fuel and emissions savings are typically delivered through Opsealog’s data collection, management, and analysis processes. This is a win-win, saving fuel costs as well as emissions with no risk or upfront investment.

The fuel efficiency landscape

The OSV industry exemplifies the challenges and potential of digital solutions in enhancing fuel efficiency. A prime example is Opsealog’s experience with ADNOC Logistics & Services (L&S), the logistics arm of ADNOC Group.

Opsealog’s initial proof-of-concept trial with 11 of ADNOC L&S’ vessels achieved a remarkable 12% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The results of a trial in 2021 saw ADNOC L&S embark on a long-term partnership with Opsealog, recognizing an opportunity to replace manual reporting processes with digital ones to improve speed, accuracy and support timely decision-making. 

The digitalisation of ADNOC L&S’ vessel reporting processes marked a significant shift for the company, and has led to the deployment of Opsealog’s ”efficiency as a service” solution  across a larger fleet of over 120 offshore supply vessels.

ADNOC L&S achieved these efficiencies through meticulous analysis and adjustments in operational practices, such as optimising engine running hours and implementing mooring buoys to reduce fuel consumption during idle times. This illustrates how digital solutions can transform traditional fuel and fleet management approaches, drawing on Opsealog’s role as a data integrator from multiple sources to enhance operational efficiency and environmental sustainability in the OSV sector.

The future of OSV operations 

The OSV sector is on the cusp of a digital transformation that promises to drive fuel efficiency, reduce costs, and support decarbonisation efforts. By embracing digital solutions and leveraging data, the industry can navigate the challenges ahead and seize the opportunities presented by a rapidly evolving market. 

As digitalisation progresses, its benefits will extend beyond fuel consumption and emissions reductions. Going forward, we can expect data-driven insights to also be used to support contract performance monitoring, enhance crew management, and improve billing accuracy. 

For these benefits to be realised, however, collaboration between various industry players will be required. Effective data sharing within the OSV sector and beyond will be essential for enhancing the industry's safety, efficiency, competitiveness, and sustainability. However, this task is challenging due to varying levels of data maturity, privacy and security concerns, and technical obstacles. Despite these challenges, the advantages of data sharing are substantial, with the potential to foster innovation, improve decision-making, and optimise overall operations.

Furthermore, digital systems will also play a vital role in ensuring that health and safety standards are met. This includes data on drills conducted on board and stop work policy, which helps enforce safety standards and enables teams to be proactive to ensure safety. This shows the multifaceted potential of data in supporting not only operational, financial and environmental goals, but also in empowering the industry’s most important asset: its people. 


Photo credit: Opsealog
Published: 25 June, 2024

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Singapore-based Opulent Maritime selects ADP Clear e-BDN solution

Marine fuel oil trading firm Opulent Maritime will be utilising ADP Clear’s platform as their electronic Bunker Delivery Note solution for their fleet of four barges.





Singapore-based Opulent Maritime selects ADP Clear e-BDN solution

Singapore-based marine fuel oil trading firm Opulent Maritime has selected ADP Clear to enable its digital bunkering operations, according to the latter on Wednesday (24 July). 

ADP Clear said more than 3,000 bunker deliveries have been performed over its platform.

Through this agreement, Opulent Maritime will be utilising ADP Clear's platform as their electronic Bunker Delivery Note (eBDN) solution for their fleet of four barges. 

ADP Clear said this ensured compliance with the Singapore MPA's eBDN requirements, promoting transparency and efficiency throughout the bunkering process.

"We are thrilled to implement the Advanced Delivery Platform across our bunkering operations in Singapore. Having tried other eBDN solutions, we feel that ADP is the best product on the market for our needs," said Matthew Ong, Shipping Manager at Opulent Maritime. 

"Our crews and customers find ADP intuitive to use and we are especially impressed with its superior connectivity as well as its offline capabilities which ensure the eBDN process always functions smoothly even when our vessels don't have access to wireless networks.”

“Cyber security is very important to Opulent Maritime and ADP's data protection standards and secure blockchain architecture provide us the surety that we need."

"We are excited to be entrusted by Opulent Maritime to lead their digital transition, adding efficiency to their operations and those of their customers by leveraging real-time data and electronic documentation," said Eunice Low, Business Development Manager at ADP Clear.

Related: Singapore: MPA adds ADP Clear as whitelisted solution provider for e-BDN


Photo credit: ADP Clear
Published: 25 July 2024

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NYK installs wind-assisted ship propulsion system on bulker “NBA Magritte”

NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) installed two wind-assisted ship-propulsion units on Cargill-chartered bulk carrier on 8 July at the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.





NYK installs wind-assisted ship propulsion system on bulker “NBA Magritte”

NYK Line on Tuesday (23 July) said NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) N.V. (NBAtlantic) has installed two wind-assisted ship-propulsion units on the bulk carrier NBA Magritte on 8 July at the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The bulk carrier is engaged in a long-term charter contract with Cargill (USA). 

“This is the first time a unit of this type has been installed on an NYK Group vessel,” NYK said on its website. 

Sitting on a 20-foot-long (approximately 6-metre) flat rack container with no walls, VentoFoil has a 16-metre vertical wing that acts as suction sail which expects about 5 times as much force compared to no-suction versions.

Features of VentoFoil

・VentoFoil creates propulsion with the pressure difference on both sides of the wing and is expected to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during vessel navigation.

・It takes in wind through its suction port and obtains greater propulsion by amplifying the pressure difference.

・The system can be easily activated and deactivated through a touch panel installed on the bridge, enabling operation without increasing the crew’s workload.

・It is smaller than similar wind equipment, making it easy to install and relocate.

・It can be folded in about 5 to 6 minutes, keeping it out of the way of cargo handling. (See video below.)

NBAtlantic will collect data on the propulsion generated by this equipment, as well as meteorological and ocean conditions during navigation, and measure the unit’s effectiveness in collaboration with Cargill International Inc. and NYK R&D subsidiary MTI Co., Ltd.

This initiative is part of NYK’s long-term target of net-zero emissions of GHGs by 2050 for the NYK Group's oceangoing businesses. The NYK Group will utilise the knowledge gained in this research and development to promote initiatives related to various energy-saving technologies, including the use of wind power.


Photo credit: NYK Line
Published: 24 July 2024

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DNV: Leading maritime cities driving decarbonization of shipping

Dr Shahrin Osman, Business Development Director, DNV Maritime Advisory and co-author of Leading Maritime Cities report, explains the central importance that decarbonization and digitalization occupy within shipping.





Dr Shahrin Osman, Business Development Director, DNV Maritime Advisory

Dr Shahrin Osman, Business Development Director, DNV Maritime Advisory and co-author of the Leading Maritime Cities report, explained the central importance that decarbonization and digitalization occupy within shipping in this article published on Tuesday (23 July). 

He outlined how maritime cities are the centres of gravity driving this forward, facilitating innovation and coming up with the solutions which are needed for shipping to reach its ambitious decarbonization goals:

The Leading Maritime Cities report shines a light on the key cities driving the maritime industry forward. With decarbonization and digitalization key factors in today’s maritime world, the report’s co-author explains how these are being advanced by activities in the leading maritime cities.

The latest edition of the Leading Maritime Cities (LMC) report was published in April this year. The collaboration between DNV and Menon Economics delivers fresh insights into the maritime cities which offer the best policy measures, infrastructure and supporting institutions, and how these are driving advancements in the maritime industry.

Leading maritime cities in a world of transition

The LMC report recognizes the central importance that decarbonization and digitalization occupy within shipping. The impact of these two dimensions cuts across the traditional pillars that cities are benchmarked on. To address their transformative effect, this year’s report introduces new indicators – such as capabilities in the adoption of digital technologies and automated processes for port operations, and proactivity in implementing green and sustainable financing practices.

“The maritime industry is in the midst of a major transformation,” says Dr Shahrin Osman, Business Development Director, DNV Maritime Advisory and co-author of the report. “Decarbonization targets mean that the entire industry is looking at how it can undergo a transformation of technologies and fuels to reduce emissions, all of this being supported by advances in digitalization.”

Singapore dominates rankings with strong decarbonization efforts

“Maritime cities are the centres of gravity driving this forward. This is where the leading companies and talents are residing and where the real transformations are taking place. They provide platforms for progress and serve as conduits, linking the industry with the wider global economy.”

Like in the previous edition of this report in 2022, a combination of objective and subjective indicators are used to rank the different cities. Singapore was once again recognized as the leading maritime city, followed by Rotterdam and London, with Shanghai and Oslo making up the remainder of the top five. The Asian city-state hit the top spot in three out of the report’s five pillars, retaining its position as leader in Attractiveness and Competitiveness and overtaking Athens and Shanghai in Shipping Centres and Ports and Logistics. Much of this is due to Singapore’s strong positioning towards decarbonization.

The Silicon Valley of the maritime industry

“Driven by key bodies like the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization, Singapore has a forward-leaning, future-ready approach. They look at things not just for the next few years, but for the next decade,” says Shahrin. “This includes policies towards building up a multi-fuel infrastructure, the electrification of harbour craft, and the promotion of green shipping corridors.”

“Overall, this has made Singapore an attractive location for shipping businesses, to the point where we now regard it as the Silicon Valley of the maritime industry.”

Government policies driving the green transition in key cities

As the example of Singapore has shown, strong, progressive government policy is one of the key factors behind the evolution of maritime cities, underpinning a forward-leading approach. This can attract companies and top talent to a city, while creating a competitive economic environment with well-developed infrastructure can encourage these actors to stay.

“This is especially relevant for decarbonization initiatives, where returns on investments take longer, and are dependent on wider infrastructure being in place,” says Shahrin. “Government support mechanisms can be crucial in facilitating innovation, so that new products and solutions can be developed.”

Shahrin points to the Norwegian Green Shipping Programme as a prime example of good government policy in action. This brings together public and private actors to overcome key decarbonization barriers, supported by funding from the Norwegian parliament.

Attraction of talent to cities key to progress

Central to the attractiveness and competitiveness of a maritime city is its ability to attract and retain top talent. The presence of research and educational institutions can help to develop talent within that location. The availability of professional opportunities and general high standards of living will encourage leading talents to relocate.

“Achieving technological progress is dependent on aggregating available knowledge that could otherwise be located in silos, and bringing it all together in clusters,” says Shahrin.

Note: DNV’s full Maritime Impact can be viewed here


Photo credit: DNV
Published: 24 July 2024

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