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Walking the Right Path

 Walk to Work is the process of transferring people to an offshore asset – it offers the Energy Sector; Oil & Gas and Renewables, a cost-effective way to increase their workforces offshore and, if managed properly, can achieve significant return on investment through efficiency savings and increased productivity of personnel.

The methodology is becoming more mainstream as operators start to enjoy the benefits it can bring. However, there are some challenges.

 

Always creating new paths

The Walk to Work industry has developed organically and companies have operated in silos with little agreed in terms of what constitutes best practice. Very little has been published on the optimum way to approach these projects. This has led to the development of bespoke systems to manage projects which, both operationally and from an HSE perspective, is inefficient and time consuming. 

 

Parties in the Walk to Work supply chain have realised that collaboration is the key that will truly unlock the potential of Walk to Work for everyone. A huge step forward for the industry is the establishment of an International Steering Group; pioneered by Walk to Work specialist John David Beckers. After an initial June 2019 meeting in Delft (Netherlands), plans are in place to widen the committee to other key players in the market and several areas have been identified for development. With this renewed collaboration, the industry-wide Steering Group will drive excellence for customer benefit. 

 

However, to do things well takes time. So, for those seeking to carry out Walk to Work in the short term we have set out some things to consider below to get you started on the right path.  

 

What is the job that needs to be done?

The first question that should be asked at the start of any Walk to Work project is “what is the job that needs to be done?”. For clarity, the answer is not to transfer people; that is a requirement. The job to be done is the work that is to be completed on the offshore asset. 

 

Walk to Work facilitates, it is not the end goal. In order to achieve the level of efficiency and increase in productivity that is possible with Walk to Work, this ultimate goal should be the focus of all decisions that are made on the project. This information should be shared with all the parties in your Walk to Work supply chain and they should be clear on what success looks like for you, the customer. 

 

Do you really need Marine Access?

The second question, is do you just need to move people? More likely than not the answer will be no; there is probably also a need to move equipment and materials to support the completion of the job. Indeed, moving people alone is unlikely to derive the maximum return on your Walk to Work investment.

 

We believe coordinated logistics encompassing the movement of both people and goods derives the most value from these projects. This is the basis for the argument that Walk to Work is no longer enough; what is needed is Marine Access which represents an integrated approach. The supply chain is aware of this and many of the gangway suppliers have developed combined systems that support cargo transfer; vessel owners will be happy to support the transport of equipment/materials if there are shared benefits to be enjoyed. You just need to ask these questions early, allowing your suppliers to partner with you to develop a package of services that will help you to complete a successful job. 

 

Search out knowledge

At present there are only a couple of sources of expertise available on the topic of Walk to Work and the industry is developing rapidly. 

 

Ultimately, the key to the successful development of the industry is empowered buyers. At TSG Marine, it is our mission to ensure that those who commission Walk to Work, or more valuably Marine Access, are armed with the knowledge to obtain maximum return on investment. TSG Marine are pleased to offer an introductory guide to Marine Access, and we continue to update the Knowledge Hub on our website as new information becomes available. 

 

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