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Digital Twin Technologies are driving change across an energy sector in flux.

image with the title of the blog post

Rodrigo Ferraz

Head of Market Development in Latin America

Innovative software solutions are creating sustained value in an increasingly hybrid and complex project landscape. Our Head of Market Development in Latin America, Rodrigo Ferraz, explores the importance of harnessing digital technology to empower change…

Energy companies today are striving to meet the pressing demand for increased, cost-efficient production across a diverse portfolio while minimizing risks. They are racing against the clock to achieve net zero emissions with a talented, yet limited workforce. 

It’s the type of challenge that drives business transformation, and forward-thinking. Operators are rewriting the rulebook on capital project workflows by creating integrated digital design environments that enable fully visualized, full-context decision making. With data-driven confidence, projects can reach FID more quickly and the industry can accelerate the transition to a decarbonized future. 

FutureOn believes in the power of innovation to work across disciplines, across platforms and across stakeholders – enabling energy companies to evaluate efficiency, profitability and carbon footprint, all within a single real-team digital approach.

Why do we take this approach? Because the energy landscape is evolving at pace and it’s imperative that the industry keeps up to ensure net zero goals stay on track. One way to ensure we drive decarbonization forward at the speed required is to embrace data and tap into the full power it provides.

Breakthroughs such as our cloud-based FieldTwin visualization platform represent the shared, dynamic, focused and authoritative toolset required to translate valuable data into risk-reducing, effective and smarter decision-making processes. 

The challenges in the industry are growing in both volume and complexity, increasingly, overlapping. These challenges involve repurposing mature assets, extending tie-backs, achieving decarbonization goals, adopting new electrification methods, integrating emerging marine renewable technologies, establishing hybrid energy fields, and developing innovative asset decommissioning strategies. Crucially, all these initiatives must align with a wide range of demands, including ensuring a secure energy supply, addressing challenges related to the cost of living, reducing carbon emissions, and ensuring the safety of everyone involved in operations.

FutureOn understands the intricacies involved and is dedicated to assisting integrated energy companies in making decisions that are not only more intelligent but also quicker. We focus on streamlining the decision-making process across the entire lifecycle of projects. Put simply, we enable companies to meet the demands of the present and be better prepared for the complex future ahead, with efficiency and foresight.

Visual cues

The market needs a tool that is intuitive, intelligent, adaptive, responsive, collaborative and fast. And that’s what FieldTwin has become.

Being able to cohesively design ideas, to grasp in three dimensions the potentials and problems, the benefits and drawbacks, the opportunities and challenges, is imperative to optimum decision-making.

According to “The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Since we are visual by nature, we can use this skill to enhance data processing and organizational effectiveness.”

When information is presented visually, it engages multiple regions of the brain involved in pattern recognition, spatial understanding and memory. As a result, complex concepts and data can be communicated more intuitively and comprehensively. By leveraging our visual nature, we can transform complex data into understandable and actionable insights, ultimately driving innovation.

The time savings when using digital twin technologies bear this out. Customer studies show concept and pre-feed time saved of nearly 30% for subsea field layout, 50% for pipeline routing, 57% for both pre-feed report and scope of supply, and nearly 40% for equipment datasheets. The average total time saving hit 46.6%.

Efficiencies extend, crucially, beyond operators. FieldTwin also unlocks collaboration adding value to EPCIs, subcontractors, the supply chain and project partners. Engineers, designers, and experts can work together in a virtual space, sharing insights and making decisions collectively. All working from the same central continually updated project platform: contributing, understanding, innovating and executing.

Working smarter

Communication is a legacy challenge for any company and any project. According to Accenture: “The lack of cross-function collaboration costs organizations ROI and revenue growth. In the time of economic downturn, cross-function competition – especially on matters concerning digital transformation – could be disastrous.”

FutureOn understands those challenges, which is why we created a task management application, Workflow, within FieldTwin. The concept is not revolutionary – most enterprises can benefit from breaking through the silos and the repetition of traditional project approached that result in slow iterations and dependencies on revisions and approvals. Workflow enables teams to create a multi-threaded, dynamic collaborative environment that increases in value as the searchable database becomes richer through each project phase. 

In FieldTwin, various teams involved in development, review, refinement and approvals coexist within a unified digital environment alongside project owners, domain experts, contractors and supply chain partners.

FieldTwin’s digital workspace therefore provides a central, accessible project platform that updates in real time and allows for exchange of quality data between groups and applications.

The result is the formation of intelligent decisions rooted in timely and well-informed input, thereby reducing risks and simultaneously expediting the path to first energy and beyond.

Empowering data

REST API, which allows different in-house, third-party and industry-standard applications and programmes to integrate with FieldTwin and share data and results, is at the heart of this turbo-charged collaborative platform.

The platform allows full programmatic control of data – all subsea assets, subsea surfaces and all and any associated metadata.

For instance, on the latter, REST API creates the ability to update private or generic asset libraries with costing data from backend systems, to programmatically change asset locations using georeference coordinates, or to update vessels and platforms locations in near to real time.

And the approach dovetails with leading industry innovations. The topology of network connections whether piping or cabling will inform external simulators such as Flow Assurance applications and open the door to evaluating new pipeline routing and new well locations based on existing data.

Recognizing that data is the new oil, it becomes apparent that information is a valuable currency. Yet, all too often, it is wasted within traditional methodologies. Forrester Research, in fact, estimates that between 60% and 70% of data that enterprises have access to goes unused for business intelligence and analytics.

FutureOn and its customers are collaboratively striving to transform these figures by connecting and organizing data in context as well as attaching data to the respective digital asset.

Shifting horizons

The rewards of organized and analysed data are immense, and these benefits are applicable to the ongoing challenges of repurposing and decarbonizing assets.

In the context of repurposing asset portfolios, digital twins play a pivotal role in facilitating comprehensive scenario analysis and decision-making processes. FieldTwin advanced digital replicas provides a detailed and real-time representation of physical assets and multiple layouts, allowing engineers and decision-makers to explore and compare various scenarios effectively.

For example, by simulating different tie-back options, including distances, depths, and flow rates, decision-makers can optimize the design for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. FieldTwin creates a virtual testing ground where the implications of various tie-back scenarios can be thoroughly evaluated before investment decision.

Incorporating a renewable electrification matrix into offshore facilities is a sustainable approach that potentially reduces greenhouse gas emissions. FieldTwin facilitates the analysis of electrification options, such as connecting platforms to the mainland power grid or utilizing renewable energy sources alongside conventional power generation. By visualizing the integration of electrification technologies within the digital twin environment, stakeholders can make informed decisions about the most economically viable and eco-friendly power supply solutions.

FieldTwin can also assist in planning the phased decommissioning and abandonment of assets. Project teams can simulate the dismantling process, considering factors such as the time spent for equipment removal, environmental impact and safety protocols. By visualizing the decommissioning phases within the digital twin, teams can optimize the sequence of activities, ensuring a smooth transition and minimizing environmental impact. Additionally, it allows potential reuse or repurposing opportunities for decommissioned assets to be explored.

The comprehensive understanding of the contextualized data provided by FieldTwin, backed up by real-time data and simulations, empowers organizations to make better decisions, optimizing their asset portfolios for efficiency, sustainability and long-term viability.

In the realm of offshore wind energy, FieldTwin’s Wind Farm Designer paves the way for integrated hybrid energy systems. It seamlessly integrates Pywake analysis, AEP calculations, rapid layout automations and optimizations, covering subsea infrastructure. Furthermore, it unlocks vast possibilities for new integrations through REST API, enhancing its capabilities significantly.

Harnessing the future

The future of the energy sector is hybrid and complex. Digital twin technologies provide a unique opportunity to create, operate, maintain and ultimately repurpose or decommission assets within that evolving landscape.

FieldTwin provides an incomparable interface and experience to equip users with the necessary competences to tackle these challenges. This includes intuitive data organization, a collaborative environment, and access to open platforms. This leads to higher-quality, well-informed, and de-risked decision-making process.

That extends to portfolio management – evaluate every scenario using multiple, benchmarked options, whether for an asset with a variety of end-of-life possibilities, to energy transition technologies including offshore wind and carbon capture, to electrification via marine or onshore renewables.

Because the energy culture is changing, energy companies are driving evolution of oil and gas in the transition era, universities are embracing next-generation ideas that are already shaping the disruption necessary to meet the challenges of the decades ahead, and the value created by digital technologies are driving this transformation.

FutureOn, hand in hand with industry, is delivering these solutions: the smart, live, dynamic and versatile tools required to meet the economic, efficiency and decarbonization challenges of our shared journey into what comes next.

Smart solutions for the digital oilfield of the future.

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