When you bought your last computer a few years ago, you thought you were being smart. You maxed out your computer’s memory at 2 gigabytes and your hard drive at 50 gigs. You thought you’d be all set for a couple of years. Soon after, however, you found out you were already behind the memory and storage curves.
That’s how some OSV operators must be feeling about their relatively new DP-2 boats that were built over the past couple of years. Now, with DP-3 on the horizon, they may be falling behind the curve. Why? That’s what offshore oil companies will likely start demanding that large inspection and repair vessels, supply boats, etc., have. If a DP-2 vessel has a single-point of failure, just one item, the oil companies ask the supply boat to disconnect and move out because it doesn’t have redundancy any more. If a DP-3 vessel has a single point of failure, the thinking goes, it still has redundancy and can stay connected to the rig.
At a WorkBoat Show conference session on OSV vessel design, naval architects Guido Perla and Anil Raj said DP- 3 is coming. Oil companies “are requiring that they have that ultimate level of redundancy,” Raj said. “It has become a marketing thing between vessels.”
DP-3 is basically “two ships in one,” said Perla, who is already designing DP-3 boats. For now, DP-3 vessels may be overkill for many companies. But just like computers, offshore service vessel operators that don’t want to fall behind the curve may want to add as much firepower as they can, even if they don’t need it right now.