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A collaborative approach to working

Jan Schipper, Regional Director, Peterson shared his key learning’s regarding Peterson’s role in the SNS Pool at the Australian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference as part of the Collaboration Forum – Learning from other geographies.

The current reduced oil price has led the industry to place finding efficiencies at the centre of its thinking. Peterson has been using its front line experience to find efficiencies to benefit the oil and gas sector for more than a decade, with its Southern North Sea (SNS) Pool a key example.

First inspired by the low oil prices in the 1980s, before being developed and enhanced for a number of years, the SNS vessel sharing pool was formally established in 2002 with the objective to “maximise efficiency by combining volumes and shared capacity”.

Now, 15 years later and supported by a collaboration of nine energy companies with offshore activities in the Dutch, UK and Danish sectors of the North Sea, the now well established vessel sharing scheme passes on financial savings worth millions of pounds to its users through its ability to maximise efficiency and flexibility across various fleets. It has also allowed for a reduction in CO2 emissions by cutting the number of vessels in use.

The model encourages participating users to work closely together, outsourcing their supply chain in an integrated set-up to one expert energy logistics provider, Peterson, who is tasked with the role of pool facilitator, a neutral, transparent and trusted party, providing integrated and intelligent logistics to ensure the smooth running of the large vessel-sharing platform.

This approach means that the focus is on system-wide management of the entire logistics chain as a single entity from a control tower rather than separate management of individual logistical functions. This includes marine operations for supply runs, the supply base, warehousing and inland transport. At present the SNS Pool Marine includes 12 operators, approximately 150 offshore production locations and drilling support, all serviced from one integrated supply base located in Den Helder, the Netherlands.

Initially, the primary focus of the SNS Pool was horizontal collaboration; sharing vessels between different operators, with a significant level of integration between them.  This led to even more horizontal initiatives, such as shared supply base, warehousing and inland transport. As well as vertical initiatives, that related to the coordination of the whole supply chain and end-to-end visibility. The results have proven to be better than anyone had expected and in 2016, the number of offshore installations grew to more than 150, whilst the vessel fleet for production support dropped to around five vessels.

The recent downturn in the oil and gas price has seen the integrated and collaborative offshore logistics model gain further traction and interest. The sharing platform that has been seen to be a well-proven concept and has been identified as a global model for the future – paving the way for further industry cost savings and improved efficiencies. The model’s approach has led to an increase in flexibility and service levels, which has been supported by innovative solutions in all parts of the supply chain.

Much of the success of the pooling has been as a result of the custom built software from Peterson that was developed to manage the complex planning process. The software’s ability to calculate and allocate each partner’s share of all operational costs, taking into account variable factors, such as actual used capacity and handling time per offshore installation has resulted in a thorough, quick and transparent process with high level of details especially on vessel utilisation.

As facilitator of the collaboration initiative, Peterson was awarded with the SPE Collaboration Award in March 2016 and nominated for the UK Oil & Gas Innovation award in October 2016.

Peterson is passionate about working closely with existing and new customers to identify new models and solutions that can benefit all collaborators. In the 15 years since starting, the organisation has created value for its partners by providing effective and safe joint supply vessels and supply base operations.

By means of continuous improvement the SNS Pool has grown to be an industry-leading example of joint co-operation delivering annual savings in the region of 40%, and a proven benchmark of a collaborative approach to working. With continued high-pressure environments such as the on-going low oil price, the time is right to act and work in a pool with increased flexibility, solutions and reduction in operational expenditure.

For Peterson, the opportunity to work across companies and geographies on a global scale opens a vast amount of potential benefits for operators and service companies alike and is a culture that Peterson’s will always champion.

Quayside Den Helder