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Talent, falling oil prices and local content tackled at Sea Asia Offshore Marine Forum

Talent shortages and falling oil prices were today pin-pointed as the top challenges facing the Offshore Marine Industry at Sea Asia’s Offshore Marine Forum. 

Secretary General International Maritime Organization Koji Sekimizu joined offshore industry leaders at the forum to look at these challenges and debate potential solutions.

Vice President Offshore V.Group Alessandro Ciocchi commented that recruitment, training and retention are challenges that must be engaged to ensure the industry can continue to operate safely and sustainably.

“With over 3400 offshore support vessels (OSVs) at sea today, the question remains: how do we continue to find qualified crew to operate these vessels?”

He added that investment in people needs to happen early in their careers to tackle this training challenge.

“We need to ensure that those coming through the industry have been provided with enough at-sea training opportunities to ensure we have a strong pipeline of talent for the future.

“We also need to focus on transferring the knowledge that sits with long-serving members of the industry to those now joining the ranks,” he said.

The domestic economic policy in a number of markets is calling for the creation of ‘local content’ and Mr Ciocchi said that companies and the industry must invest in local training and capability programs to ensure they’re able to meet these requirements.

“Local content requires local solutions. This means taking the time to train local talent in a safe and efficient way and working with local schools and maritime authorities to raise the capability of local crews,” he concluded.

Managing Director Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd Mr Neil Glenn commented that falling oil prices are also creating significant short-term challenges for operators in the industry.

“The lower oil prices are making oil and gas operators reduce their capital and operational expenditure which has a significant knock-on effect on the offshore industry.

“Day rates for new charters are coming under pressure and the oil and gas industry is also requesting reduced rates for existing contracts. This is leading to weaker utilisation and a highly competitive market environment.

”Mr Glenn said this is creating overall revenue pressure for players in the industry, adding that there are three key things that the industry can do to manage these challenges.

“The industry needs to look at how it can sustainably reduce costs while maintaining training, safety and quality standards. We also need to be more stringent in vessel finance discipline and look at opportunities for consolidation and standardisation so we can leverage economies of scale,” he said.

President Director PT. Logindo Samudra makmur Tbk and Chairman, Indonesian Shipyard and Offshore Association (IPERINDO) commented that these revenue pressures are being felt in Indonesia.

“The oil and gas industry in Indonesia slowed last year as a result of the Presidential elections and the more recent oil price pressures have meant that there has been no recent improvement. This is putting pressure on the offshore industry where big projects have been deferred or delayed.

“At the same time, there’s an oversupply of offshore vessels and charter rates are under pressure from oil and gas companies as well as the Government which has requested that companies not only look at future rates but those in place under existing contracts.”

He added that Indonesia’s demand for energy will continue to grow and therefore the long-term outlook for the industry is positive if there is more alignment between industry players and the Government.

“Indonesia today consumes around 1.6 million barrels of oil per day and is only able to produce 800,000 with the rest needing to be imported.

“By 2020, it’s expected that with current exploration and production (E&P) activities, the country could grow local oil production to 1.5 million barrels but demand will have reached 2 million barrels in the same time frame.

“We need to align and work closely with the Government to ensure we’re able to meet the local energy needs in a way that’s sustainable for both consumers and the industry,” he said.

Moving forward, Mr Glenn added that players “need to seek to learn, adapt and engage with all stakeholders in the industry to find out how it can meet their needs on a sustainable basis.”

Sea Asia is a platform where this takes place.

Seatrade Chairman Chris Hayman said: “Sea Asia and today’s offshore marine forum is an important platform for all sectors of the industry to come together to debate challenges and potentially find solutions.

“Today’s discussion highlighted the current state-of-play for the offshore industry and the speakers provided insight into how challenges and opportunities can be managed,” he said.

Sea Asia is taking place in Singapore until Thursday 23 April. Over 14,000 participants from around 70 countries are expected to take part in the conference and exhibition.

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About Sea Asia

Sea Asia, an international conference and exhibition for the maritime and offshore industries, is returning for the 5th edition from 21 to 23 April 2015 at the Marina Bay Sands®, Singapore. Sea Asia serves as a focal point for both the global and local maritime communities to network, explore new businesses, and showcase the latest maritime innovations, equipment and services. Co-organised by Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation, Sea Asia is an anchor event held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week and is well-attended by the most influential and respected leaders in the industry. The 3-day Sea Asia conference will bring forth the latest discussion and debates on key trends, opportunities and challenges facing the maritime industry.

Sea Asia is supported by principal sponsors Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd, DP World UAE Region, Executive Ship Management,  Lloyd’s Register, Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Sohar Port & Freezone, as well as sponsors ABS, Admiralty, AXSMARINE, ClassNK, DNVGL, G Travel, Hempel, JTJB LLP, Keppel Offshore & Marine, LUKOIL Marine Lubricants,  M3 Marine Group Pte Ltd,  Mobil Industrial Lubricants, Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd, PANAMA MARITIME AUTHORITY, WORLDWIDE LEADER FLAG STATE, PSA Corporation Limited, QBE INSURANCE (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED, ,Singtel, The Standard Club Asia Ltd, Veritas Petroleum Services, and Zamil Offshore.

For more information, please visit www.sea-asia.com.

About Seatrade

Seatrade provides a range of global events, websites and publications that covers every aspect of the cruise and maritime industries, bringing together key people to encourage innovation and to produce powerful learning, networking and promotional platforms.  Founded in 1970, Seatrade was acquired recently in 2014 by UBM, the world's second largest media and event organiser. Seatrade sits with the UBM EMEA, which connects people and creates opportunities for companies to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote brands and expand markets. Operating in over 23 countries, UBM EMEA organizes many of the world's largest, most important exhibitions, conferences, awards, directories, websites and publications in a wide variety of industries.

For full details about this event, visit www.sea-asia.com. Find out more about Seatrade and UBM, visit www.seatrade-global.com/seatrade-global-information/about-seatrade.html and http://ubmemea.com.

About the Singapore Maritime Foundation

Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) is a private sector-led organisation that seeks to develop and promote Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC). As the representative voice for the commercial players of the maritime industry, SMF seeks to forge strong partnerships with the public and private sectors of the maritime industry. SMF spearheads initiatives to promote the diverse clusters of the maritime industry in Singapore and at international frontiers, and to attract young talents to join the sector. SMF is directed by its Board of Directors which comprises prominent leaders in the Singapore maritime community. For details, visit www.smf.com.sg.

Posted 22 April 2015

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