Malaysia’s national oil and gas producer Petronas has revealed early results from a digital optimisation drive in its offshore logistics operations that involves a range of partners including Accenture.
In a recent Accenture-sponsored podcast, Petronas chief digital officer Aadrin Azly described the formation and early work of Offshore Logistics Ventures or OLV, a multi-stakeholder effort to optimise the company’s upstream operations.
Azly said that assets involved in offshore logistics, such as ships, typically had low utilisation rates, owing to wait times and suboptimal routing to and from offshore platforms and ports.
This has flow-on effects, particularly on fuel costs, which in turn impact the company’s ability to meet sustainability and carbon emission targets, he told the podcast.
Through OLV, Petronas is “creating and testing a platform that enables upstream operators to perform tactical optimisation all the way from demand planning, but also from pricing and voyage completion.”
The platform is fed with data from the ships used in offshore logistics; Azly said each ship “creates about 1 million data points”.
“I didn't know this before we went into this venture,” he said.
“We thought, ‘It's just a simple ‘A to B’, what data points are we talking about?
“When you go offshore logistics, it's about upper berth, lower berth, what type of product is it? Is it liquids? Is it chemical? The requirements of the liquids. Where is it going? [There’s] multiple drop points.”
“And from this experience, we found out that it is really, really emitting a lot of data, and there are so many permutations," he said.
Through OLV, an end-to-end platform is being developed that is augmented with artificial intelligence and secure by design.
“We've tested it, we've worked on it, [and] it's really shown some good early signs of success,” Azly told the podcast.
He said that work was undertaken in the past “year or so” had led to “on average, about 15 percent of fuel savings per wait, just on the use cases that we've done as part of our first phase of OLV within the Malaysian waters and within Petronas’ operations”.
Given the limited use case, that suggested OLV’s digital efforts could be used to unlock much larger savings for the company.
But the ambitions for OLV are also bigger than Petronas: Azly said that the broader oil & gas sector could benefit from the platform being produced, suggesting it may ultimately be offered outside Petronas.