The ocean’s economy output in 2010 was valued at $1.5 trillion, with the direct full-time employment figure at around 31 million, according to OECD’s Ocean Economy Database calculations.
Those numbers are expected to reach a staggering $3 trillion, and 40 million jobs respectively by 2030, with the fastest growth expected to occur in offshore wind energy, marine aquaculture, fish processing and port activities.
The unbelievable potential of the ocean’s economy has been stimulated by a number of factors. In the survey and geotechnical market, Fugro has been innovating from the outset. Its satellite positioning system, Starfix, was fuelling growth in the Gulf of Mexico even before GPS had been invented.
Today, Fugro is setting a new direction for the digital marine economy. Currently, the speed of internet links enables offshore data to be sent to data processing centres in real-time, while unlimited storage and computing power enables real-time analytics and insight into marine infrastructure, asset fleet management, streamlined maintenance and field activities, delivering project results to clients, digitally, within hours.
Already, all Fugro asset inspection data are automatically routed to the Fugro Roames environment for automated processing, reporting and modelling in a digital 3D environment. Physics-based simulations are then carried out to ensure that the inspection and maintenance programmes are working efficiently and that their life can be extended and optimised. Using Roames the results can be delivered within 24 hours. This kind of state-of-the-art technology has been used for the search of the MH370 aircraft – one of the biggest search projects in history – demonstrating the high volumes of high quality data that the system can handle.
The data-driven services are only a part of the picture. In order to increase efficiency of the survey projects themselves, Fugro uses its globalised OARS® systems. With its command centres in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and the North Sea area, Fugro can perform a number of its standard survey services remotely, without dedicated personnel on the vessel. A combination of lower costs, streamlined operations, lower HSE exposure, and simpler logistics have contributed to a significant increase in operational efficiency. A new OARS command centre in Singapore will now also cater to the clients in that region with the same high level of service.
As so many of these technologies are available to consumers in daily life, one could suggest that automatic, cloud-based and real-time services are nothing new. After all, consumers are regularly using the likes of Google, Dropbox and Facebook to name a few.
However, making this kind of technology securely work thousands of kilometres from the nearest coastline and a couple of kilometres under the water surface – is an enormous challenge, and only the best organisations can make this happen.