Real time data drives digital twin in Oil and Gas Industry!

Oil & Gas despite its enormous worth has been laggard when it came to digital transformation, but COVID pandemic has pushed large and small oil & gas companies to bring about a change in their thought process and adopt digital transformation. One of the technologies which is seriously being considered is Digital Twin. Digital twins allow oil and gas companies to respond to industry challenges with fact-based decision support, which can be especially useful given the added negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea of a Digital Twin is not recent, having been around for over a decade.

So, What exactly is a digital twin? Digital twin is a complete 360-degree digital replica of physical assets small or large, such as a pump, compressor, or entire refinery plant, that allows for data analysis and system monitoring to detect problems before they occur. Simply put, this entails constructing a highly complex computer model that is the exact replica (or twin) of a real object. The physical asset’s connected sensors gather data that can be mapped onto the virtual model. Anyone looking at the digital twin now has access to critical details on how the actual object is doing in the real world.

Digital Twin is now applied to various critical processes of oil & gas industry be it oil rigs or surface facilities, or refineries for;

  • Predictive maintenance is used to keep machinery, production lines, and facilities in good working order.
  • Monitoring goods in real-time as they are used by real consumers or end-users to gain a deeper understanding of them.
  • Optimisation of the various production process
  • Processes for improving product traceability
  • Assumptions are tested, validated, and refined.
  • Increasing the degree of integration between systems and subsystems that aren’t linked
  • Equipment remote monitoring & troubleshooting via the internet, regardless of location

At InfiVR we have tied up with our global partners to provide Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality enabled digital twin solutions to few of the leading oil & gas companies. These companies are using these solutions in remote monitoring of facilities. Integration with AR & VR has taken digital twins of these facilities to a new level providing them refined information visualisation capabilities which was not possible before.

Oil and gas companies are beginning to see the value of Digital Twin, which can provide unparalleled real-time visibility into their activities and facilitates operational excellence by assisting oil and gas producers and owners in adopting a model-driven approach to rapidly convert vast quantities of data into wisdom that creates market value. Asset loss can be anticipated, hidden revenue opportunities can be discovered, and companies can continually improve in the ever-changing, competitive environment thanks to these powerful data insights. In short, Digital twins give us a glimpse at what is really happening to current assets, as well as what could happen in the future.

The constant advancements in digital twin technology are making their use as a business necessity that can provide a long-term competitive advantage to those businesses that adopt it. This dedication to digital twins can be seen in the modelling of existing properties as well as the creation of new ones. The ability to not only track but also simulate operating parameters has a significant effect on decision-making processes. The adoption of the digital twin paradigm by industry-leading companies has been fuelled by the proliferation of the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud computing.

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BP is one of the companies that has invested in the technology, developing APEX, a sophisticated simulation and surveillance device that it has used to build virtual versions of all of its production systems. Its petroleum engineers can use real-time data to improve the efficiency of high-capacity assets β€” not least in the North Sea, where massive amounts of oil pass through well bores, risers, pipelines, and processing facilities every day β€” by evaluating the effect of their operational decisions using a digital reconstruction of real-world assets. According to the group, APEX increased global production by 30,000 barrels in 2017. Simulations that used to take hours to complete can now be completed in minutes, and the impact of potentially unsafe operations can be evaluated in the secure environment of the virtual world. The framework, which was first put to the test in some of BP’s most complex assets in the North Sea, provided immediate operational benefits. Similarly,

InfiVR’s virtual environment enabled solutions provide a clear and sustainable path to a smart digital twin. Our solutions bring these digital twins to life by quickly capturing all the data with terrestrial or aerial laser scanners, P&ID validation and more to create a 3D model. We help to integrate and link valuable operational and maintenance data to make better decisions with just a few clicks away.

On the other hand, ENI is another early adopter of digital twins, which recently completed a virtual model of the Scarabeo 8 ultra-Deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig. Its digital transformation in the drilling and completion area is based on artificial intelligence (AI) to help with operational decision-making, virtual reality (VR) to simulate operations, and advanced robotics to automate drilling. Its objectives are to increase rig safety, boost efficiency, and better plan wells. It can create simulated copies of its wells in difficult operating conditions and simulate the effect of decisions in a controlled environment thanks to digital twins. It’s also being used to provide cutting-edge operational training, with 3D spaces, digital models, and virtual reality (VR) being used to simulate walkthroughs of actual buildings, operational replays of real field operations, and advanced safety drills training.

The development of such a sophisticated tool necessitates close cooperation between solution providers with expertise in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Analytics, etc. as well as operators willing to open up their assets to the data-gathering systems needed for the required detail. Digital twins will quickly become normal with any new asset and an increasing number of existing facilities as these partnerships become closer and more symbiotic. The industry will one day exist in both the physical and virtual worlds, with the feedback between the two boosting productivity, asset life, performance, and, most importantly, protection.