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Optimizing Helicopter Transport of Oil Rig Crews at Petrobras

Optimizing Helicopter Transport of Oil Rig Crews at Petrobras Petrobras produces nearly 90 percent of Brazil's oil at about 80 offshore oil platforms. It transports approximately 1,900 employees daily between these platforms and four mainland bases, using more than 40 helicopters that vary in capacity, operating costs, and performance characteristics. Each day, flight planners must select the helicopter routes and schedules that satisfy passenger demands. We developed a system that requires less than one hour to generate optimized flight plans that meet operational guidelines, improve travel safety, and minimize operating costs. By using this system, Petrobras reduced its number of offshore landings by 18 percent, total flight time by 8 percent, and flight costs by 14 percent, resulting in annual savings of more than 20 million. Our optimization model is a large-scale mixed integer program that generalizes prior helicopter routing models. We designed a column-generation algorithm that exploits the problem structure to overcome its computational difficulties. As part of the solution method, we use a network flow model to optimally assign passengers to selected routes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Interfaces INFORMS

Optimizing Helicopter Transport of Oil Rig Crews at Petrobras

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References (7)

Publisher
INFORMS
Copyright
Copyright © INFORMS
Subject
Research Article
ISSN
0092-2102
eISSN
1526-551X
DOI
10.1287/inte.1100.0517
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Petrobras produces nearly 90 percent of Brazil's oil at about 80 offshore oil platforms. It transports approximately 1,900 employees daily between these platforms and four mainland bases, using more than 40 helicopters that vary in capacity, operating costs, and performance characteristics. Each day, flight planners must select the helicopter routes and schedules that satisfy passenger demands. We developed a system that requires less than one hour to generate optimized flight plans that meet operational guidelines, improve travel safety, and minimize operating costs. By using this system, Petrobras reduced its number of offshore landings by 18 percent, total flight time by 8 percent, and flight costs by 14 percent, resulting in annual savings of more than 20 million. Our optimization model is a large-scale mixed integer program that generalizes prior helicopter routing models. We designed a column-generation algorithm that exploits the problem structure to overcome its computational difficulties. As part of the solution method, we use a network flow model to optimally assign passengers to selected routes.

Journal

InterfacesINFORMS

Published: Oct 1, 2010

Keywords: Keywords : helicopter scheduling ; integer programming ; column generation

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