O&G Ships for Patrols?

SHAH ALAM: IT appears that APMM is moving towards using idle Oil and Gas (O&G) industry ships to augment its patrol fleet. Not much details on the proposed move yet apart from a tweet by APMM chief Datuk Ahmad Puzi Abd Kahar this morning.

I am trying to get more details but its likely that the APMM will lease Malaysian-flagged O&G ships laid idle by the low oil prices. How many and when it will start is the unknown at the moment. It must be noted that due to the Petroleum Development Act 194, ships involved in the local O&G industry must be Malaysian-flagged.

A screenshot of the APMM chief tweet.
A screenshot of the APMM chief tweet.
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The proposed programme is under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) just like how the RMN uses Bunga Mas Lima and Tun Azizan ships.

Naval Auxiliary Vessel, Bunga Mas Lima
Naval Auxiliary Vessel, Bunga Mas Lima

For a better perspective on using non-naval ships for patrol duties, read the excellent post by Think Defence on the issue. Go Here

KM Perwira, one of the two Bay class patrol boats donated to MMEA by Australia. It is likely that the Bay class was the design proposed for the tri-nation VLPV project  in the late 80s.
KM Perwira, one of the two Bay class patrol boats donated to MMEA by Australia. It is likely that the Bay class was the design proposed for the tri-nation VLPV project in the late 80s.

One of own regular reader – … – has also proposed using O&G ships by the APMM for patrols to overcome the country’s financial constraints. It appears that APMM is also thinking the same thing.

Tanjung Pinang 2, one of the Malaysian flag ships owned by icon Offshore Bhd.
Tanjung Pinang 2, one of the Malaysian flag ships owned by icon Offshore Bhd.

Like its sister services, APMM is hampered by the uncertainty in funding – both in operational and procurement programmes. By leasing idle O&G ships it may be able to conduct more patrols in Malaysian waters especially it is saddled with one of the oldest patrol fleet in the region.

APMM is expected to operate six new patrol boats by 2018 with another two OPVs expected to come on line by 2020 – if the funding is not disrupted due to the current economic headwinds.

— Malaysian Defence

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