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The role of supply vessels in offshore logistics

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Maritime Economics and Logistics
Issue number3
Volume11
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)302-325
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Oil companies are gradually becoming more focused on optimizing their upstream logistics. However, little research regarding upstream logistics has been published. We argue that more research would be beneficial and that more attention must be given to one of the largest cost elements in the upstream chain – the supply vessels. We explore the supply vessel as a means of transport and carry out a logistics analysis based on their use on the Norwegian continental shelf. Carrying capacity, sailing, loading and unloading capabilities are established as the main features of a supply vessel. Thereafter we discuss relevant logistical trade-offs within and among these features, and also in relation to the environment the vessels operate in. This elaboration clearly shows the complexity involved when searching for the ‘optimal’ supply vessel. The analysis also indicates the design and logistics system features that should be challenged in the future. We believe that the findings in this article will be of considerable value for both practitioners and academics