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Taking the lead in the offshore and marine sector

May 14, 2019
4 min read
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Abdulkareem Al Masabi, CEO of Logistics and Services in ADNOC spoke to ADIPEC News about the outlook for the offshore sector and why ADIPEC’s offshore and marine zone is so important 


What is your outlook for the offshore and marine sector?

As market fundamentals continue to improve, we see the oil price continuing to positively influence offshore investment, causing day rates to steadily improve. And in the UAE, we are already seeing an increase in demand for marine assets to support ADNOC’s field expansion projects.

Fuelled by such field expansion in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia, we expect the Middle East to stay ahead of the curve. There are also some new projects in the eastern Mediterranean that are encouraging owners to mobilise their assets. While these developments are certainly interesting, for now, our priority and focus remains in the Gulf region.

What is ADNOC Logistics & Services’ focus in the offshore market?

Since we have consolidated our assets and expertise into one company and into a centralised offshore service provider, we have shifted our focus away from simply satisfying demand by offering a greater number of assets, towards providing our customers with ‘a bundle’ of integrated services, fit-for-purpose and for their evolving requirements. As it stands today, we are the only company integrating such an extended array of marine services, from commercial shipping, ports logistics, offshore logistics and onshore services.

Naturally our main focus remains in supporting ADNOC Group’s needs. In close collaboration we have been focused on developing assets and services that support the logistics and transportation scopes i.e. supply vessels, landing crafts, tugs and barges. We’re also looking into IMR (inspection, maintenance and repair) vessels and developing our subsea facilities, in anticipation of growing demand related to field expansion projects in the Gulf. We are also looking to pursue opportunities elsewhere in the region - in other Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman - which can leverage our unique expertise in onshore-offshore logistics.

What is going to be the biggest upcoming issue facing the marine sector?

Although consolidations have helped to create a more focused market, oversupply is still negatively impacting the sector, with over 1000 vessels in lay-up. Even with demand beginning to see an uptick, the industry still needs to see the scrapping of older tonnage. A lot of these older vessels aren’t fit for purpose for a lot of the larger, longer-term projects that are coming, such as ADNOC and Saudi Aramco’s expansion plans. Instead major, charterers (IOC/NOC and EPCIs) are looking for quality, and innovative solutions, which will lead to operational and environmental efficiency. The ability to provide that will prove challenging for some more than others. At ADNOC Logistics & Services, we are ready, as our growth plan provides the required flexibility to succeed in this challenging environment.

How is technology going to play a transformative role in the offshore and marine industry?

Digitisation will inevitably continue to support faster, more informed decision-making across the operational supply chain and will deliver greater efficiencies between onshore and offshore operations. As part of our own transformation since becoming the Gulf’s largest fully integrated maritime logistics company, we have reduced standby time at our logistics shore base by 30 per cent and we are intent on reducing it further. But, the transformative power of digital is only as good as its user, and as an industry we’re still slower than we should be to embrace the technologies out there in the market. 

As a company, we are focused on pursuing the development and enhancement of our marine fleet by applying the latest technologies, as this will not only serve in increasing the operational and cost efficiency, but will also reduce and control environmental impact (‘green and clean’ vessels and diesel electric engines).

Why is the offshore and marine section of ADIPEC so important?

Shipping and maritime logistics are a fundamental link in the energy supply chain – connecting supply to demand. While traditionally oil and gas and maritime events are held separately, ADIPEC brings these interdependent sectors together, supporting offshore and marine players to engage with major global energy players. This provides a platform on which to better explore and anticipate industry requirements, and therefore to capitalise on opportunities more readily, to be able to deliver more competitive and efficient maritime solutions to customers.


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