Decarbonisation requires a fresh approach to offshore energy projects.
The pursuit of net-zero energy requires a new way of conceptualising, designing and executing projects – with all that means for optimised economics, maximum efficiencies and minimal emissions.
Cooperations and collaboration are more important than ever in this new environment, whether between engineering and project disciplines within companies, between operators and their suppliers, or across partnerships and joint ventures.
Digitalisation is central to facilitating contemporary working practices, creating shared spaces, visualisation landscapes and multi-disciplinary cross-company networks necessary to foster open and effective communication.
Digital technologies are essential tools for leveraging a platform-neutral approach to unlocking critical project information wherever it is stored and in whatever format.
Digital and visualisation pioneers, including Norwegian company FutureOn, are committed to leveraging the collaboration and teamwork that technology offers. The rewards are streamlined economics, maximum returns and minimal impacts.
Energy companies in the low carbon era face two main challenges: how to reduce emissions and minimize the environmental impact associated with the developments from existing projects; and energy security in an unstable geo-political landscape.
Each energy sector faces similar challenges: offshore wind and other emerging offshore renewables, carbon capture and hydrogen as well as oil and gas. And the interconnected landscape of energy transition means more than one technology will often come into play.
The keys to success in this landscape include understanding the full impacts across any project – production, emissions, maintenance, capital expenditure – as well as the ability to make early decisions, with the least risk, based on that information.
Collaboration and communication multiplies those benefits, creating a community of interest working in tandem to create the best possible project, with the greatest degree of experienced input, using the best and most appropriate technologies, on the fastest timeline. Digital collaboration is one of the biggest time savers in the industry.
And digital tools with open APIs for simple integration and data exchange, hosted in the cloud for instant availability, makes that possible: stitching together the input of different divisions within companies, linking developers and suppliers from the project design stage , through every phase and into field operations.
The starting point, for companies like FutureOn, is to create an information-rich geospatial environment through 3D modelling that provide a real-life, immersive subsea experience displayed on browsers on any device.
Users can work in a single project with varying degrees of visibility of their colleagues’ work output, depending on permission and deployment settings. This is possible through FieldTwin’s collaborative workflow tools, creating a holistic operational platform for users across the project scope.
Digital twin platform FieldTwin enables operators and partners to maximise collaboration, streamline operations and achieve cost and time efficiencies.
Whether planning modifications, extensions or greenfield developments, digital twins and visualisation technologies offer certainty, early visibility and accelerated timelines.
It is all here: GIS mapping data, bathymetry, topography, existing infrastructure and other physical constraints, combined with proprietary information such as reservoir data and well data and drilling to create the visualisation of any potential project location.
Metadata can also be introduced based on cross-industry standards. The result is a virtual twin of projects that can be utilised in planning and also allows for the creation of meaningful production and operational forecasts over time.
The digital nature of the process opens the door to meaningful dialogue from a range of experts and expertise, whether across different departments of the same company or from suppliers on the other side of the world.
What is more, the learning never stops. User experiences are continually being described, categorised, revised, evolved and shared across an industry community committed to maximising what can be achieved using digital twins.
FieldTwin’s open API technology allows integration with any other API native or enabled software, facilitating continual progress.
The impacts of digital extend to the contracting landscape, replacing more traditional top-down dialogues with collaboration and partnership. Twin technologies can in particular streamline the tendering process while increasing security over sensitive and proprietary data.
Using a digital approach, it is possible to create a central cloud-based platform and 3D visualisation containing all relevant information and allows access to be controlled by the operator over time.
This not only governs when and what potential contractors can see, but restricts future use by unsuccessful or non-bidders and guards against misuse, unauthorised access and even theft.
Updates to project materials can be incorporated into bid preparation on a rolling basis, collaboration between partners and consortia can be both facilitated and optimised, and overall time from invitation to tender through to award can be minimised.
And crucially, the approach includes creation of a single common data environment, accessible across project teams, tracking changes in real time and even catering via open REST APIs to both inhouse and third party commercial tools.
The result of the digitalisation of these processes is a positive step-change in how operators communicate with their supply chain.
Project sharing forums are an essential tool for providing the ideal environment to facilitate the open communication and engagement so important in today’s market.
The ideal platform combines visualisation, integrity and real-time updates in a shared digital space that enables quick adaptability, accountability, troubleshooting and forecasting. FutureOn’s FieldTwin is an editable, turnkey and configurable platform – enabling users and teams to edit, update and view models and projects in real-time.
Using shared spaces, operators, engineers, procurement teams and contractors can problem solve as issues arrive – leveraging data analysis, multiple perspectives, and meaningful shareability.
FieldTwin offers a functional shared data model that ensures secure granular access and control of users and data for all.
And emissions reductions are built into the front-end – more efficient use of resources, fewer personnel on site, travel-related carbon slashed, accelerated development timelines.
Combined with advances such as next-level admin tools, workflow management, third-party software integration via API and next-level metadata, the impact of collaboration goes beyond significant.
The energy transition demands new ways of working across existing assets and newbuild infrastructure: improved economics, reduced carbon emissions, accelerated development timelines and minimal risk.
Digital twins and visualisation technologies provide the tools necessary to achieve all of those ends. And the benefits are multiplied by the next-level collaboration and teamwork made possible by shared spaces, open communication and data integration on an industry-wide scale.
The horizons are limitless. Oil and gas will benefit but so too will offshore wind and other marine renewables, large-scale electrification, carbon capture and storage, green and blue hydrogen production.
The impacts are also enduring. Digital twins adopted in the earliest stages of a development, with all that means in terms of the communication networks that fosters, will grow and evolve with a project – from construction into operations, late-life modifications and ultimately decommissioning.
Companies including FutureOn understand the challenges of the energy transition and believe in the positive impacts digital technologies can make: new tools, enhanced collaboration, better results.