Offshore Terminal Risk Management: How to avoid consequential cost

Whether financial or reputational, consequential costs of unmitigated risks or unexpected events can harm your company. As in most industries, the offshore oil and gas industry holds a great amount of risk. Avoiding risk is not possible, but a holistic offshore terminal risk management plan can make all the difference.  

What is a holistic offshore risk management plan?

Looking at risks in isolation can blind you to their overall consequences and potential for snowball effect. This can cause you to misjudge the likelihood of the risk to occur and the severity of the outcome.

A holistic offshore terminal risk management plan looks at the bigger picture, taking into account fiduciary duties, design, operations and protocols to draw inferences and connections between the risks at hand. Find out more about MARSOL’s holistic approach here.

As every offshore terminal is unique, it stands to reason that every offshore risk mitigation plan must be too.  

The terminal risk management plan is not a stagnant document buried in your ‘what if’ vault. Instead, it acts as a process, integrated with your project lifecycle. 

Offshore terminal risk mitigation within the SPM integrity Management process flow

The goal of a holistic offshore risk management plan

First and foremost, as with any risk mitigation plan, the holistic offshore terminal risk management plan aims to protect the stakeholders’ interests, but it also aims to achieve integrity management through a single point of responsibility or single custodian of the process, while maintaining cost efficiency. 

Finding the root cause

For an offshore risk management plan to work effectively, it must be proactive, not reactive. For this reason, your maintenance team should not be chasing symptoms and effects. Instead, cast your attention to finding the root cause by means of data collection and analysis. 

Some items for your SPM integrity management and risk mitigation plan to consider:

  • Records control/data collection
  • Assets & Spares Management
  • Preservation and Maintenance
  • Compliance to Guidelines

Having this control point or custodian perform the appropriate risk mitigation tasks at regular intervals of your process helps you to identify potential points of failure and to manage them proactively.

Managing Potential points of failure

Adding another dimension to the classic bowtie analysis, MARSOL’s holistic approach uniquely makes room for adjustment and interference before the effect and eventual consequences follow. 

CAUSE → EFFECT (perception snowball) → CONSEQUENCES

In most cases it is lack of maintenance (CAUSE) that causes damage to assets and potentially the environment. (EFFECT). The Consequences, however, may include scenarios like the Tanker making protest letters that could affect how your insurance deals with a claim.

Consider for example these causes, effects and consequences:

Examples of offshore terminal risks and the outcome if unmitigated

In order to effectively integrate your offshore risk mitigation plan into your terminal operations, you can consider an activities layout similar to the MARSOL layout below.

This type of activities layout combined with the integrity management process flow above should provide you ample opportunity to investigate root cause and management potential points of failure before consequences set in, but as every terminal is unique, we suggest booking a consultation to discuss your terminal conditions for best results.

Offshore terminal risk management within the operations and maintenance layout

Isolating consequences to avoid the snowball effect

The snowball effect occurs when a single event triggers a second event and the second event causes further events. 

When a snowball effect occurs, the root cause becomes harder to identify, and many O&M providers may end up treating what they believe is the root cause, but instead, it is merely a second or third effect caused by the initial trigger. 

Such occurrences raise doubt in your company and can escalate the concern to reputational damage such as loss of trust, and financial implications such as work stopping or legal consequences. 


As with all aspects of the offshore terminal, risk must be considered holistically. If you do not understand the bigger picture, unforeseen consequences can creep in and harm your company. Don’t let that happen to you. Get in touch for a consultation about offshore terminal risk management today.

Minimise marine asset breakdowns with an offshore maintenance plan

As a specialist in offshore SPM / MBM terminals and related infrastructure, MARSOL offers various services aimed at the optimization of offshore terminals, including Terminal Inspection Repair and Maintenance. While both asset repair and maintenance require dedicated OpEx, there is a definite difference in the way they are approached and the risk that they pose.

Marine asset repair implies failure of components or assets. This type of breakdown can cause downtime, pose safety risks and threat reputational damage in case of negative environmental impact or the like. 

On the other hand, to us at MARSOL, Offshore maintenance means to maintain our clients’ marine assets in a good working order to avoid breakage and prevent worst-case scenarios. As such, regular maintenance not only mitigates risk, but it also ensures efficiency and reliability. 

In most cases, it is highly plausible that there will be a risk of downtime if the marine asset does not undergo adequate offshore maintenance. These concerns are unnoticeable in the first few years, but later the component experiences an accelerated rate of deterioration, due to incorrect and inadequate preservation practices before the system is fully operational.

MARSOL’s preservation practices ensure that the performance of the whole system is consistent throughout its working life.

Choosing an offshore maintenance partner

When taking a holistic approach, it is important to choose a partner that understands your terminal as a whole. This knowledge and understanding will allow your offshore terminal maintenance partner to address root causes and not simply treat symptoms in isolation.

Bow tie cause and effect study. How MARSOL gets to the root cause of your offshore hose failures.

As a commercial and technical marine service solutions provider, MARSOL covers Engineering, Project Management, Operations & Maintenance, Inspection Repair & Maintenance (IRM) and Integrity management among other subsea and maritime services. This means that all influencing factors are taken into account when offshore maintenance is done. 

Terminal maintenance and design

In order to maintain an offshore terminal or to repair assets, it is important to understand its environment and its design. Our Engineering Services Division offers a comprehensive package for all Mooring and Hose Analysis for SPM terminals, including validation of third-party analysis from terminal designers.  We use our operational and practical onsite experience for model validation to ensure the model output is aligned with the specific requirements of the terminal.  

Through applying integrity-based Inspection Repair and Maintenance (IRM) and creating a marine asset history, MARSOL can modify operations and maintenance philosophies and associated work programmes periodically to reflect changes brought about by any influencing factors and unusual events. By finding the perfect balance between efficiency, risk and operational expenditure, we greatly reduce risk to the system and encourage sustainability and longevity.

These changes create the opportunity for us to review the current programme, identify areas of improvement and design changes on the system components to safely and economically optimise future activities and schedules and related OPEX costs all the while ensuring all updated IRM philosophies are agreed by the OEM/ CLASS as needed. 

Whether greenfield or brownfield, every optimization starts with the perfect plan. 

Terminal Maintenance and marine asset lifespan extension

Increasing an asset’s lifespan through offshore maintenance instead of periodic asset repair means saving money in the long run, limiting downtime and reducing risk, but only if it is done properly. Our highly qualified team manages local partners to deliver these ongoing programmes, always focusing on international safety and quality standards to ensure that the client and its stakeholders’ reputations are protected.

Man standing in oil. Prevent oil spills with sustainable integrity management for your offshore terminal.

We draw on our experience to validate and modify the requirements as outlined by the OEM for an operational facility. Through data capture, we create a strategy to perform the offshore maintenance on the most suitable techno-commercial manner and get the necessary approvals for the same before execution from the Contractor, CLASS and OEM as needed. 

This strategy lets us achieve the following objectives:

  • Protection of the facility
  • Retention of the intrinsic value of the marine assets
  • Continuity of service
  • Maintenance of warranty
  • Maintenance of Class
  • Avoidance of incidents and resultant pollution
  • Compliance with statutory / permit requirements and international operating OCIMF, ISGOT, IMCA, and IMO guidelines
  • Protection of 3rd party customers/transporters
  • Protection of the buoy and constantly maintaining it in an “as new” condition
  • Ensuring Company Reputation is upheld and built upon


In every scenario, prevention is better than cure. Finding the right terminal maintenance partner can save you time, money, risk and reputational damage.  Consult with MARSOL to find the right long-term offshore maintenance plan for your terminal.

Sustainability for your offshore terminal: Finding the right solution

When it comes to optimizing an offshore terminal, various factors must be considered in order to remain within regulation, while balancing efficiency and sustainability. MARSOL specializes in offshore terminals and related infrastructure.  We provide commercial and technical marine service solutions, including Engineering, Project Management, Operations & Maintenance, Inspection Repair & Maintenance (IRM) and Integrity Management. This places us in a unique position to observe and understand how various factors of an offshore terminal influence one another.

With over 50 years of experience in the field, we have developed a holistic approach to integrity management that carefully balances the influencing factors of each unique terminal in order to find a solution that is right for each offshore terminal. 

The right solution for your offshore terminal

In pursuit of the best solution it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all prescription, but merely a method to finding the right solution to each unique business model and terminal, instead of a single ‘best’ solution for all. 

This method is a complex balancing act between minimising OpEx and CapEx, while increasing safety and efficiency without introducing more risk. 

Integrity management for offshore terminals and assets

Through applying integrity-based Inspection Repair and Maintenance (IRM) and creating an asset history, we can modify operations and maintenance philosophies and associated work programmes periodically to reflect changes brought about by any influencing factors and unusual events thus reducing risk to the system. These changes create the opportunity for us to review the current programme, identify areas of improvement and design changes on the system components to safely and economically optimise future activities and schedules and minimise related OpEx costs all the while ensuring all updated IRM philosophies are agreed by the OEM/ CLASS as needed. 

As a specialist SPM O&M company MARSOL provides site-specific and fully optimised services to allow the client/operator to focus on their core activities, and not be diverted by non-core activities. Our team of specialist management personnel develops and manages all offshore activity programmes associated with the SPM on behalf of the client.

Our ultimate goal is to provide safe operations and maintenance of the terminal and allow efficient and cost-effective import or export between the tanker and the offshore oil facility by optimising the use of assets and resources. Through the installation of procedures and tools that help clients extend the lifespan of their assets, we concentrate on clear-cut maritime packages capable of minimising long-term OpEx exposure. 

We manage and operate third-party owned vessels manned according to international best practice, and employ specialist professionals during the specified contract period to perform all marine works. Therefore, our focus is on the optimisation of the client’s OpEx and not on the maximum utilisation of our own assets. 

In this way, we help clients to build autonomy, and as such reduce their risk and dependency. As part of our unique approach, we develop procedures and protocols for each offshore terminal and train the client’s terminal staff to take over all management activities for a sustainable future. 

Achieve sustainability for your offshore terminals and assets

As MARSOL is actively involved in all phases of the SPM life cycle (i.e. from the cradle to the grave), we are in a unique position to understand the typical points of failure. Moreover, we have spent much effort in services that look for opportunities to maximise the Asset’s service life, irrespective of whether MARSOL is contracted by Owners/Operators, Consultants, Contractors or others.  

To be sustainable means that the offshore terminal is designed, engineered and managed in such a way that it favours longevity over short-term burn-out. Alongside this type of integrity management for marine terminals, is also the preservation of company reputation and upholding of fiduciary duties in a sustainable way.

Sustainable design for marine terminals

Throughout all of the MARSOL integrity programmes, we use tools such as computer simulations, physical scale modelling, cause and effect risk assessment, performance and metocean data gathering, to name but a few. These allow us to create turn-key solutions, perform design/service validation and enhancements or re-Engineering, ultimately enhancing the contracting parties’ “exit reputation” and warranty protection.

Sustainable management of marine assets

Safety is our priority, and by understanding the potential points of failure and influencing factors, we can meet and exceed the industry standard SPM Terminal Regulations and procedures. True to our parent company, KOTUG, we ensure the team carries out the services with all due diligence, efficiency and economy without compromising safe practices, even in times of world crisis.. This is achieved through prudent practices, accepted techniques used in the industry, sound management, technical and engineering expertise, use of appropriate advanced technology, and safe and operational equipment, facilities, assets, and methods.

In conclusion

Whether greenfield or brownfield, it is never too early or too late to make the right decision. Invest time and money into finding the right solution for your offshore terminal for a sustainable business with lower risk and minimised long-term OpEx, while improving efficiency and safety. 

Does this balancing act seem too good to be true? Get in touch for a consultation today. 

Rethink your offshore terminal with an O&M Strategy

While your offshore terminal may seem like a small piece of the puzzle, it plays a crucial role that can make or break your business in the oil and gas sector. To ensure that your terminal, whether single-point-mooring or multi-buoy-mooring, operates efficiently with your long-term goals and budget in mind, you need a sound O&M strategy. 

Aspects of an offshore terminal O&M strategy

Your offshore terminal O&M strategy should serve to optimise and protect the integrity, reliability and availability of your offshore assets. This includes on-site management and operations, administration, engineering and maintenance execution. 

Inspection, Repair and Maintenance

Through applying integrity-based Inspection, Repair and Maintenance (IRM) and creating an asset history, your terminal O&M strategy should be able to modify classic philosophies and associated work programmes periodically to reflect changes brought about by any influencing factors and unusual events. This will reduce risk within the system, as change is inevitable.

Associated services

  • Inspection & Condition Assessment
  • Preservation Maintenance

Tanker operations

Your offshore terminal O&M strategy should make provision for all marine assets and resources to ensure that time and money is accounted for. This provision will also highlight procedures required for safe and efficient tanker mooring and unmooring at the SPM/MBM. This includes hose connection and disconnection services as well as product transfer services.

Associated services

  • Pilot Services
  • Tanker Handling vessels
  • Emergency Response Services
  • Oil Spill Response
  • Training

Marine Hose Management Services

To ensure safe and reliable operation of marine hoses, a good offshore terminal O&M strategy will cater for hose management as well. Make sure that your turnkey O&M service provider is meticulous about regulated testing and as well fit-for-purpose operation of marine hoses.

Associated services

  • Hose Inventory Management & Storage
  • Hose Change Out
  • Testing and CLASS
  • End-of-life assessment
  • Destructive testing

Commercial Marine Products

Hardware provision is not an O&M service provider requirement, but it certainly is something to be included in your strategy. If your offshore terminal O&M partner can supply the desired marine products and can install, operate and maintain them according to manufacturer’s specifications – it’s definitely a bonus!

Products include

  •  HDPE Boats
  •  HDPE Modular Floating Docks
  •  HDPE Tanks

Why you need a turnkey O&M service provider

In the offshore oil and gas industry, many terminal service providers claim to be turnkey operations and maintenance providers, but they fail to meet the mark. This leaves you with unexpected operational costs and opens doors to risk, should multiple service providers fail to operate harmoniously. 

A true turnkey solutions provider should cover every aspect of your offshore operations and maintenance so that you can focus on your core business. This includes the supply and maintenance of mechanical and electrical hardware, staff management and training, on-site execution and third-party outsourcing. 

Such a provider gives you peace of mind through a single contact point and accountability.


The condition and operation of your offshore terminal can make or break your business in the oil and gas industry. To ensure that it functions at its very best, you need a sound O&M strategy and selecting a good long-term solutions partner is key. 

As pioneers in the holistic terminal operations and maintenance approach, MARSOL prides itself on being a turnkey offshore O&M service provider, serving both greenfield and brownfield projects.

Don’t take chances on a patchwork team. Get in touch today.