Tackling the Illegal Bunker Market Using Data

Global hydrocarbon theft and fraud is estimated to be more than US$133bn per year. Illegal bunkering is estimated to cost companies and governments as much as US$3bn per year and given the challenges involved in measuring losses it is likely that the true number is even higher.

Brian Purio
February 12, 2020

Singapore: Global hydrocarbon theft and fraud is estimated to be more than US$133bn per year.  Illegal bunkering is estimated to cost companies and governments as much as US$3bn per year and given the challenges involved in measuring losses it is likely that the true number is even higher.

Rise-X today announced that it is collaborating with DNV GL and the National University Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Statistics and Applied Probability on a data science project to help tackle this issue. NUS students majoring in Data Science and Analytics will be tasked to create computer models that analyse 10 billion lines of automatic identification system (AIS) data to determine whether illegal fuel bunkering can be detected using vessel pattern analysis.

“The market driving illegal bunkering activities and bunker theft costs the industry billions every year. The quicker we can build solutions to address that issue, the quicker the industry can become cheaper and more sustainable,” said Rowan Fenn, CEO at Rise-X.

The algorithms produced by the project will go through a vetting process and if they are suitable, they will be integrated directly into Rise-X’s QuayChain platform.  “These algorithms will provide users of the platform with unique insights into vessel performance and management that builds trust for vessel owners and operators. We believe that being good; is good for business,” said David Barker, CTO at Rise-X.

“After partnering with Rise-X to make the QuayChain platform a reality with the help of our Veracity ecosystem, we are very excited about the next stage of this important initiative to revamp the marine fuels market. Data science is starting to gain momentum in the maritime industry, but is still relatively nascent compared to other sectors. We therefore see this excellent initiative, driving efficiency improvements while helping to prevent illegal behavior or honest disputes, as a key driver to improve trust and transparency in the industry.” said Nic Sabin, DNV GL’s technical lead on the initiative.

Beyond the potential direct integration into QuayChain, the algorithms will be enhanced to deliver alternative outcomes.

“The value of this project is how flexible the algorithms can be. For example, modifications will allow us to predict metrics such as fuel consumption and CO2 emissions without installing IoT devices on the vessel’s machinery,” said Fenn.

Providing this information not only gives vessel owners more insights into their vessels’ operational performance, but also open doors for the delivery of carbon neutral voyages.

“This project provides a great opportunity for NUS students to apply their data science and analytics skills to solve a real-world problem. A total of 34 students will be involved in this project, and I am sure they will benefit significantly from their participation under the mentorship of industry experts,” said Associate Professor Tiong Wee Lim, Deputy Head (Academic), NUS Department of Statistics and Applied Probability.

About Rise-X

Rise-X is a technology company that builds enterprise solutions to support value chain and supply chain automation. Their innovative digital solutions are built to enable autonomous commerce to support machine to machine commercial opportunities to unlock new frontiers of productivity and increase the carrying capacity of the planet. Rise-X has a corporate presence in the Asia Pacific Region and Europe through their offices in Perth, Singapore and Spain. Recently, the company was named in the Top 10 Enterprise Startups of 2019.

For additional information on Rise-x please visit www.rise-x.io

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About DNV GL

DNV GL is the world’s leading classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry. We enhance safety, quality, energy efficiency and environmental performance of the global shipping industry – across all vessel types and offshore structures. We invest heavily in research and development to find solutions, together with the industry, that address strategic, operational or regulatory challenges.

For additional information on DVG GL please visit www.dnvgl.com

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About National University Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 12 NUS Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100 countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community.

Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.

For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.

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