Platform supply vessel
A Platform Supply Vessel (or PSV) is a ship whose primary purpose is to supply and perform other tasks related to offshore oil platforms. These ships can range from 65 to 350 feet in length and their primary function is the transportation of supplies and personnel to and from platforms.
The primary function of PSV is to transport goods to the platform and return other cargo to shore. It is equipped with cargo tanks for transporting drilling mud, pulverized cement, diesel fuel, water and chemicals used in drilling. It transports fuel, water and chemicals required by oil platforms, and certain other chemicals that mus be returned to shore for proper disposal. The PSV usually does not transport crude oil product from the rig.
The large decks of these vessels usually carry common or specialty tools. Most are constructed or re-fitted to perform a certain job such as deploying, monitoring and retrieving seismic cables. Other vessels are equipped with firefighting capability and monitors for assisting during platform fires. Some vessels are equipped for oil containment and recovery during the cleanup of a spill at sea. Many other types of specialty jobs are performed with these types of vessels.
Crews on platform supply vessels can range from as few as three or four on the smaller ones, to 20 to 30 people on the larger vessels. Often half of the crew are specialists such as scientists, geologists or other people involved in special jobs related to operations on the oil platforms.
Crews sign on to work and live aboard the platform supply vessels for an extended period of times, depending on the company. Work details on PSV are organized into shifts.
Most of PSV have a bridge area for navigation and operation, a machinery spaces, living quarters, and a galley area for cooking and eating. The large main deck area of the ship can sometimes be used for portable housing.