Three Benefits of Using Accurate Weather Data to Support Offshore Tenders
Weather plays an important part of offshore operations even before the work begins. As part of offshore tender responses, bidding companies will typically analyze project-specific requirements against metocean data to understand potential weather conditions, establish vessel availability and estimate the time needed to complete the work. They will also place specific tender requirements, such as maximum wave height, wind speed and wind direction, into their evaluation to determine the limitations of the job. But what happens when weather data is inaccurate or incomplete? It is can lead a bidding company to miscalculate the weather risk—a potentially expensive mistake.
For example, a company bids that during a 50-day project there will be up to 15 days of downtime based on weather data. What happens when the project runs into 20 days or more of downtime? The company may have to continue to pay for the vessel, crew, materials and fuel, putting profit at risk.
Comparing private and public weather data
The United States National Weather Service, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides weather data, forecasts and warnings for the protection, safety and information for the public. The information is disseminated to NWS offices, which then customize the forecasts for their region. For long-term, large area predictions, NOAA uses the Global Forecast System. In many other countries, a public weather service provides the forecasts, warnings and alerts. These are excellent providers of public weather information, and often work in collaboration with private weather companies, but businesses responding to offshore tenders require more customized data to accurately price the project.
Private weather companies provide detailed forecasts for specific locations or routes and configure the analysis based on tender specifications. They will assign meteorologists to monitor, advise and warn the customer on hyperlocalized weather data that could potentially impact the project. Often, these meteorologists have specific industry knowledge to analyze the data with an industry perspective. For example, DTN has more than 30 years of experience in providing forecasting services to the offshore industry. Proprietary weather models and technology designed for offshore operations before and during the project ensure consistent safety and efficiency throughout the life cycle.
Three key benefits of using accurate weather data in tender responses
A DTN whitepaper further explores the challenges offshore tender response teams face when using metocean data. Here are three reasons why accurate weather data is an important part of the offshore process.
Knowing the likely limitations of a project and available weather window means a bidding company can price more competitively and plan the project more effectively. Weather data can also help companies determine how to bid, including whether to push for a lump sum or a day-rate contract and ensure cost savings in the long run.
Improved planning for offshore asset design
Before even starting work, weather data can feed into the design specification process, helping ensure that offshore assets are able to withstand the local conditions and minimize associated weather risks.
Reduced risk of unplanned downtime
Analysis of the metocean data, combined with the vessel requirements, enables setting reasonable timelines for projects. A better understanding of the available weather window helps assess when the work is likely to happen. This reduces the risk of unplanned downtime during the project.
Investing in weather data, insights and intelligence while tendering will help companies price competitively. It is important to be confident in the weather data due to its large impact on estimated downtime, work schedule and safety throughout the project life cycle.