The management of People on Board (POB) it’s a crucial and inherent challenge to the oil and gas industry. As a risky environment, it claims for meticulous assignment of activities for professionals onboard. It involves the proper mapping of demands that require work.

Beyond natural risks involving people working in an offshore facility, unplanned events happen, which claims for workers to solve the occurrence. This event harms the planning of the POB previously done and increases the downtime of the asset, which leads to significant financial losses and possible legal outcomes.

Therefore, it’s urgent that the industry rethinks how to make the most out of their POB avoiding resource waste and accidents. However, to do so, it’s necessary to understand why having People on Board is such a big problem.


Why is POB Management an Oil and Gas challenge?

Operating in a naturally hazardous environment with a significant amount of flammable hydrocarbons requires careful management of People on Board. Taking into account the inherent risks of the location, balancing the number of POB is crucial. However, while reducing the POB count may appear straightforward, it is essential to have people on board to ensure the constant monitoring of the asset’s health.


People on Board represent a valuable resource for the asset activities. It involves displacing professionals to the FPSO, which is not cheap, and exposing them to numerous risks. It’s necessary to set in advance what the problem and the solution are for that specific job to be done. If set properly, workers can perform their tasks smoothly and without incidents.

There are many concerns about safety in FPSOs, and reducing the number of People on Board for inspection activities is a good way to improve it. This is made possible by new technologies, such as robots, drones and sensors that not only reduce staff, but also increase efficiency, doing the job faster in the combination of experienced workers + AI.

From the perspective of the assigned worker, there are several concerns involving their displacement and execution of tasks, encompassing the remote location of the asset, difficult-to-access areas, dangerous activities, unstable weather, and distance from their family. And, when it comes not to just one professional, but an entire group, the operation carries with it a great deal of risks to the people involved, which may implicate direct expenses and indirect repercussions, further amplifying the economic burden.


How technology reduces the POB numbers

Currently, to execute inspections in industrial assets it is no longer necessary to have entire teams in the FPSO. Industrial software using technologies such as: AI, digital twin, drones, photogrammetry, robots, and others, have managed to reduce the number of people on board.

The adoption of a digital asset inspection delivers a much faster and more accurate operational panorama. In this new scenario, it will no longer take months to complete the process with hundreds of professionals, marking a much more efficient process that requires far fewer POB.

Here are some of the main innovations reaching the oil and gas industry:



Significant players from the oil and gas industry have been adopting robots to execute inspections and other activities in FPSOs. There are many examples of robots in the oil and gas industry and their roles may vary according to the task. For instance, there are painting robots to execute coating, cleaning robots that go through pipelines and a variety of inspection robots.



The most famous of them, the robot dog, is crucial to identify anomalies during inspections and it frees up operators to execute other works. It circulates the facility listening for strange noises and looking for malfunctions within the asset. Its observation capacities are beyond the human spectrum, which delivers a much more accurate analysis without exposing any human being to fatal risks.



ROVs, or Remotely Operated Vehicles, are free-swimming submersible crafts used to perform tasks within the subsea. They are employed to inspect and survey underwater structures, such as FPSOs, pipelines, shipwrecks, and underwater cables. They provide real-time video feeds and data, allowing operators to visualize and diagnose structures remotely.


The use of ROVs in the oil and gas industry has significantly increased safety and efficiency in underwater operations. They have become an essential tool for inspecting offshore assets in one of the most challenging and demanding environments on Earth.This allows operators to perform tasks in dangerous and hazardous underwater places without exposing human divers to potential risks.



Drones are being used in the industry to execute inspections in a much faster and safer way than allocating professionals, such as climbers. They are equipped with advanced sensors and cameras and their main role is to fly along the FPSO inspecting for anomalies. The process of inspecting an FPSO with drones is faster and safer than the traditional way.


This being said, it’s necessary to understand that the drone use for inspections not only reduces POB but enhances the performance of the asset. By adopting this technology, companies can integrate drone images with any kind of FPSO data within an app, facilitating the decision making process.

By performing the inspection digitally with Vidya’s platform, it becomes much easier to integrate equipment data, safety standards, and identify corrosion anomalies throughout the asset. This process not only reduces the number of POB required but also delivers work orders in up to 97 days.




It is known that POB management encompasses a variety of obstacles, such as legal limitations on POB numbers and the impact of unplanned events leading to downtime and other financial losses. By harnessing technology and moving towards digitalization, the oil and gas industry can improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability while outcoming those challenges.

Furthermore, embracing technology brings additional benefits beyond POB management. Great improvements are reaching the industry by providing new ways of visualizing the structure and reducing the number of people in the field, turning a complex process as offshore asset monitoring into easy and reliable. By considering the benefits of a digital management system, offshore oil and gas companies can stay competitive in an increasingly digital industry.

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