This paper describes the operating principle behind motion compensated gangways, how they impact offshore people transfer, the new possibilities and benefits raised by the Walk To Work (W2W) concept. Some examples of vessels designed with this principle are shown.

Ten years ago, W2W with a motion compensated gangway was an unknown concept in the Offshore Industry. People access to offshore structures was basically performed via helicopters or baskets. Nowadays, W2W has become common practice in the North Sea and is spreading all over the world, as a means to increase the number of crew on a platform or to exchange crews in a safe, reliable and efficient way. Active motion compensation technology is the technological driver that enables this innovative concept. The development of accurate sensors, reliable computer power and sophisticated hydraulic and electronics components, motors and actuators, combined with the entrepreneurial spirit of offshore engineers, makes European companies leading in this space.

For the active motion compensation industry as a whole, the ultimate audacious end goal is obvious: eliminate "Waiting on Weather" from the Offshore Industry vocabulary. Although this may be obvious and clear to state, it is definitely a long way ahead of us to actually achieve this vision. However, slowly but steadily, we are getting there. As Walk to Work solutions are advancing in eliminating weather downtime, platforms can be built and commissioned more efficiently, well shutdown durations can be shortened and maintenance or modification work can be planned more accurately. Nowadays, Oil Field Development is required to be all about smarter instead of bigger. The winners of today's oil price fluctuations are the companies that can make use of dramatic decrease in vessel rates and relative cheap shutdown costs, in combination with smart technologies that reduce OPEX costs effectively. The Offshore Industry is a market that is just beginning to open up for the general concept of active motion compensation technology, and at the same time it is essential to embrace this technology in every offshore discipline in order to keep future energy production cost efficient.

Motion compensated crane operations FLNG developments, drilling and well intervention, emergency evacuation are some other offshore activities where active motion compensation is, or will be, a key driver in making the industry smarter and more cost efficient. Offshore motion compensation established itself globally as a reliable part of the offshore ecosystem. But this is only the beginning. The impact on offshore field development budgets can be huge.

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