December 5, 2022

Playing the LNG Game With Nautilus Labs and OrbitMI Integration

Partner Spotlight: OrbitMI

The name of the game in the LNG spot market trade is to target the most profitable destinations for cargoes amid huge price volatility. Harnessing vessel data flows is a key enabler to adapt to shifting market dynamics and capture maximum value.

That is precisely where OrbitMI’s collaboration with machine learning specialist Nautilus Labs aims to hit the sweet spot for LNG shippers by combining the different data sets of the two software suppliers to deliver a unified solution that can boost profitability.

The LNG trade has seen a big surge in prices over the past year as gas pipeline supplies to Europe have been disrupted due to geopolitical issues, with charter rates at an all-time high and almost no spare vessel capacity available.

The global market has been characterized by big price swings between different regions, with arbitrage of as much as $20 versus only $1 previously. Cargo owners are therefore pursuing the best prices for cargoes fixed in the spot market, which accounts for roughly 40% of the LNG trade.

Voyage routing turns on price

Consequently, LNG carriers picking up cargoes under offtake contracts may wait before discharging in anticipation of a higher price or may be rerouted mid-voyage, for example from Europe to Asia, to take advantage of a better price at an alternative destination port. Another option is ship-to-ship transfer.

This requires a flexible strategy on voyage routing that is dependent on data availability for fast decision-making in line with changing price trends.

Nautilus Labs provides a leading Boil-off Gas and Voyage Optimization solution for the LNG segment that leverages high-frequency sensor data as well as empirical data for machine learning and thermodynamic modelling, enabling real-time predictions of voyage outcomes to enhance commercial and environmental performance.

This is designed to manage the complex issues of LNG shipment such as determining the degree of boil-off gas that should be used as fuel or reliquefied, regulating vessel speed to minimize emissions, and ensuring the temperature and pressure of the cargo meet with buyer requirements.

Data flows for decision-making

Orbit Reporter, a flexible browser-based tool with standardized reporting structures and templates for such as noon reports, arrival/departure reports and cargo reports, is now able to pull in data from Nautilus Platform for analysis and reporting that can be fed back to the latter, as well as shared with third parties including vessel owners and commercial operators.

Leveraging data from Orbit Reporter, Nautilus Labs is able to enhance vessel monitoring to further optimize vessel performance. At the same time, OrbitMI has access to Nautilus Labs’s digital modeling and boil-off optimization data expertise in the LNG space.

This integration means Orbit Reporter can pull in data from an LNG carrier mid-voyage to provide rapid data insight for more agile operational management, given the importance of the time-value factor in the present market environment.

The collaboration demonstrates OrbitMI’s plug-and-play model that allows data-sharing through integration of diverse APIs across multiple platforms for seamless workflows, with the aim of enhancing value for the end-customer, as part of its mission to break down data silos in shipping.

This transparent approach means such an integrated solution can be up and running for the client in little time as it does not require any complicated and laborious adaptations of existing hardware systems or new software installations as APIs are simply funneled through the OrbitMI interface.

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