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Ray Rudge is the HSEQ Manager at Australian Offshore Solutions who offer marine services to the offshore oil and gas industry. Ray will be presenting at the Offshore Support Vessels (OSV) Conference in Perth this June, and in the lead up we asked him a few questions related to Australia’s evolving OSV sector.
How do you think the OSV sector has and will evolve, as recent and future offshore projects come on stream?
Recent and future projects are driving size and quality of vessels to higher levels. Requirements from Regulators to meet environmental and safety approval specifications and from Clients to be seen to be meeting these requirements and minimising their impact on the environment and community is driving the technical advances and efficiencies which were once rare on a vessel to now become the norm. Continual raising of environmental standards and safety processes will be ongoing in the OSV sector.
What do you see as the top 3 challenges for the sector going forward?
In order, I believe the top challenge for the OSV sector moving forward will be continued reductions in environment footprint on the benthic habitat, spills overboard and exhaust gas emissions
Secondly the ongoing training of younger crew to ensure the availability of trained, competent and experienced mariners able to operate in Australia and Internationally in the long term future. Finally I believe the industry expectations of constant improvement of vessel capability and performance will see the technological advancement in new build vessel significantly shorten the Client prescribed lifespan of a vessel. Tender requirements for low emission, greater efficiency and performance and superior new electronic technology (navigation, communication and operating systems) will result in significant operator cost increases and a flood of relatively new vessels available on the market that no longer meet client and industry requirements.
What do you think Australia’s OSV sector can learn from other regions?
Being aware of and implementing the Lessons Learned from incident and near miss investigations conducted in other regions is an important learning opportunity. The importance of operators around the globe sharing their experiences with Marine Forums and other operators is paramount to ongoing safety and operational improvement resulting in project approvals and successful completions.
Safety is of paramount importance to the sector, how can the industry best navigate the complex regulations for both the offshore oil and gas actives and the marine regulations to shift safety culture to the next level?
Open and timely communication between Regulators, Companies and Vessel Operators to facilitate current regulations and standards as well as consultation in proposed changes to regulatory compliance requirements are paramount. Forums must be held to discuss the changes to be implemented (such as the navigational Act 2012 forums conducted around Australia by AMSA), to provide the opportunity for involved agencies to provide information and guidance as well as operators to question/clarify interpretations and understanding of changes and implement such that shore side staff can deliver the quality operational documentation to ensure safety standards continue to rise.
What are the conversations that you are looking forward to having with your peers at OVS 2015?
I am looking forward to discussing OVID requirements and changes, understanding and navigating successfully Marine Jurisdiction and what my peers perceive as effective practices in maintaining safety performance within the OSV industry.