This report provides a summary on the prospects for aerial drone applications for the smart inspection and maintenance for maritime and offshore industries. The report's findings are based on respondents' answers to surveys and focuses on when aerial drones will come into smart maintenance operations and their business potential. The report is produced by the PERISCOPE Group at Aarhus University for the PERISCOPE network.
The value chains for offshore oil and gas and offshore wind are both basically driven by the demand for energy. This is heavily dependent on a number of factors including the price of various energy sources and the policy making of the states which influence legislation, indirect subsidies and direct investments. At the center of both value chains are the energy companies. The energy companies have a number of suppliers and sub suppliers which provide a range of equipment and services to the offshore operations. The supply industry is characterized by horizontal cooperation (between suppliers at the same level) and vertical cooperation (between suppliers in different layers). Finally the suppliers and the energy companies are supported by a number of companies which are usually not considered as part of the offshore sector but are important none the less. These companies provide a number of services including includes legal advice, financing, insurance etc. The two value chains have a number of activities in common. Both include (1) a tender and concession phase where the energy company obtains the right to explore and produce energy from the authorities. (2) An exploration phase where the physical location is examined and the installation is planned. (3) An installation phase where the equipment is produced and transported to the site where it is installed. (4) An operation phase where the energy is produced or the energy source is extracted and (5) a decommissioning phase where the field is abandoned. Most suppliers are positioned in several links of one or both value chains, at various levels (direct supplier, sub supplier, 3rd tier supplier etc.) and providing a variety of services. A supplier can move to new positions within the value chain. The increased servitization is a good example. Traditional manufacturers are often 2nd or 3rd tier suppliers in the installation phase. But by providing after sales services these companies also become direct suppliers to the energy company in the operations phase. Finally a supplier can have different positions in different geographical markets. A supplier can thus be a direct (1st tier) supplier in one market but needs to go through a local contractor (as a 2nd tier supplier) in another market – even if the provided service is exactly the same in both cases.