Nexen and PlanSea collaborate on efficiency and cost reduction

Nexen uses optimisation and scheduling technology to realise significant costs savings in marine logistics

Ground breaking optimisation and efficiency technology for offshore marine support operations has been developed for the oil and gas industry.

The innovative software, which has been developed by PlanSea Ltd., a spin out company from Robert Gordon University (RGU), has been applied by Nexen to remove significant cost from its North Sea operations.

Working with PlanSea, Nexen was able to simulate 65 weeks of its full North Sea marine operations using different schedules and combinations of its platform supply vessel (PSV) fleet. The results showed that significant reductions in fleet size and improvements in vessel utilisation could be achieved by re-organising its operations.

Nexen’s Managing Director UK and SVP Europe, Ray Riddoch, is delighted with the progress Nexen has made. He said: “In order to live at a low oil price, operators need to make a step change in eliminating waste in the supply chain and this requires a step change in thinking about new modes of operation. Through working with PlanSea, we have been able to enhance vessel utilisation and so reduce our North Sea PSV fleet from four vessels to two, resulting in a 2016 saving of some £6.5M.”

Prof. John McCall of RGU whose expert team at the university developed the system, explained: “Our system uses advanced algorithms to optimise vessel utilisation while still meeting all operational objectives. We have spent several years working with industry partners to model supply vessel operations so that we can be confident we have captured all of the constraints and delays that make offshore logistics such a complex task.”

PlanSea Managing Director, Jim Cargill, is optimistic about the potential for the newly proven technology. He said: “The ability to accurately identify feasible ways in which reduced fleets can operate and validate that in realistic simulation is a game changer. There is a tremendous opportunity for the industry to collaborate with shared PSV fleets, potentially taking 40% – 50% out of resource costs. In the North Sea that could mean continued viability for assets that are struggling to break even in the current environment. Looking forward to a recovery in price, the value of savings made now will increaseas activity rises the cost base will rise at a slower rate as efficient fleet sizing is maintained.”

Stephen Marcos Jones, Business Excellence Director, Óleo & Gas UK, was supportive of the initiative. He added: “Oil & Gas UK launched the Efficiency Task Force in September last year to drive forward efficiency improvement across the industry, as such we are delighted to see this collaboration by PlanSea and Nexen achieving these great results. Their work together shows how taking an innovative approach and harnessing technology can drive efficiency improvements and is another small step in the transformational change required by industry to ensure the sustainability of the UK Continental Shelf.”

Margaret Copland, Senior Wells & Technology Manager, at the Oil & Gas Authority also welcomed the news. She said “As Operators and the Supply Chain work hard to reduce costs there is a recognition that harnessing new technology to help collaboration and reduce costs is essential to allow the industry to prosper. Technologies such as digital have the potential to transform the industry and this example of utilising algorithms and machine learning to optimise vessel utilisation is part of that journey. The progress that Nexen and PlanSea have made in utilising software technology to make significant savings in offshore supply costs is therefore very encouraging.”



For further information, please contact :

Jim Cargill, Chief Executive, PlanSea Limitada Tel : 07514-088766

About Nexen

Nexen is an upstream oil and gas company responsibly developing energy resources in the UK North Sea, offshore West Africa, the United States and Western Canada. A wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, further information on Nexen can be found here :

About PlanSea

PlanSea é uma sociedade limitada, que oferece controle de gestão operacional, otimização de frota e software de agendamento de embarcações de suporte para o setor marítimo e de petróleo e gás..

About Robert Gordon University

RGU provides industry led undergraduate and postgraduate courses leading to highly relevant awards and degrees. Situated on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK, the university is investing £120m in a master plan development project aimed at providing all staff and students with state-of-the-art facilities.

Teaching staff have an outstanding reputation for quality and academic research and our track record in graduate employment is the best in Scotland. The range of degree courses include online degrees as well as traditional taught courses in subjects as diverse as art and design, management and engineering.

About Oil and Gas UK

Óleo & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

The Oil & Gas UK executive formally launched the Efficiency Task Force in September 2015 to drive forwards efficiency improvements, lower costs and streamline operations. You can read more on our site.

About Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)

The OGA has been set up by the UK Government to regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry and has been provided with a range of new powers to enable it to do so.