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Watch: How To Visualize Your Digital Twin Journey

By FutureOn Today

How To Visualize Your Digital Twin Journey

FutureOn’s VP of EMEA, Andreas Gaarder recently spoke at INFRAWEEK Middle East & Turkey. His talk ‘From concept to operation: How to visualize your Digital Twin journey’ addressed:

  • How FutureOn can drive collaboration by providing an open visual collaboration platform; and
  • How digital field development projects can lead to large gains in project NPV.

Watch the talk here. (Registration required).

Brent Decommissioning Project

Sweating Oil and Gas Assets vs Decommissioning

By FutureOn Today

Advanced visualization software is a powerful tool that can help operators decide whether or not it’s cost effective to continue operating offshore assets or if it’s time to pull the plug.

Decommissioning is an inevitable part of every oil and gas asset’s life. Operators will start thinking about this end-of-life phase as production plateaus, reservoir pressure drops, operational running costs rise and facilities start to degrade. Other issues such as oil demand, the volume of recoverable oil resources, geo-political tensions and energy market outlook will also impact this decision.

Offshore exploration and production investments have been on the decline year by year since the oil price crash in 2014, as operators both scaled down activity and focused on cutting costs in an effort to make projects more robust and commercial following the crash.

According to Rystad Energy, the recent collapse in crude oil demand and prices due to the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation further and led to an increased focus on capital discipline and investment cuts. This marked decline combined with the failure of new discoveries to replace production is pushing many operators to consider “sweating” their existing assists rather than writing them off.

Decommissioning eats into profits and spending on innovation 

Oil and gas facilities are expensive and complex structures, they represent a huge investment for the operator. Naturally, the longer they run and more productive they are, the better the ROI for the operator. Decommissioning is a lengthy and capital intense project that diverts cash and human resources away from revenue growth areas of the business.

Increased spending on decommissioning may limit the room for operators to invest in other segments such as exploration, development and enhanced oil recovery projects. Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway at Equinor said: “Field life extension is an excellent way of managing resources as it creates high value from established fields, where we co-operate with our suppliers on safe operation and lower emissions every single day.”

Oil and gas operators are also under additional pressure to reduce their emissions. Prematurely retiring assets and tearing up the seabed for new projects will only increase their carbon footprint and damage their reputation in the eyes of both the public and investors who are increasingly anxious about climate change.

Existing oil and gas facilities are also ripe for repurposing for renewable energy e.g. carbon capture, electrification, hydrogen transportation and storage, if operators remove infrastructures from the ocean they will miss out on this opportunity to capture green revenue.

Converting assets for green energy will not only support the energy transition and decarbonization goals, it will also free up a significant amount of capital that can be redirected more efficiently and help operators get the most value out of their on-going projects.

Operators need to shift their mind-set towards intervention

Traditionally, intervention has been viewed as a costly measure that typically only occurs when problems arise that are severe enough to significantly impact production. By only addressing issues post-failure or after production has massively declined, operators do not get much value from their intervention – deferred production and unplanned costs for remediation can quickly add up. As a result, many operators are slightly jaded when it comes to the concept of intervention.

Oil and gas operators should view life extension intervention as a means to securing optimally consistent performance. To get the most value from life extension and optimization measures, operators should adopt a more proactive approach to asset operation and maintenance.

Proactive intervention should be viewed as a means to securing increased operational excellence, optimal consistent performance and greater predictability. On-going incremental improvements are cheaper than a reactionary response to a disaster. Oil and gas assets are expensive and complicated installations that exist in harsh offshore conditions, so for the sake of health and safety it’s better to nip problems in the bud before they evolve into something much more serious.

Leveraging digital innovation to extend field and asset life

Rystad Energy estimates that of the 3,000 oil and gas fields producing today, 50% could still be producing in 2030 due to improved depletion rates through the use of advanced technology. Innovative technologies, such as IoT sensors and digital twins, can be applied to workflows, data and operations across the value chain to maximize efficiency, which will help drive down overall costs without compromising outcome.

The digital maturation of the oil and gas industry is enabling operators to amplify the results of interventions through the application of advanced technologies. A minor increase in production performance or recovery can yield a significant increase in value generation.

Laser scanning and sophisticated tagging systems enable project engineers to create a clear 3D visualization of a field or asset, accurate-to-the-millimetre as it’s built, no matter how different from the original design. With these models, engineers are then better able to design and test new infrastructure or planned modifications to determine the best course of action whilst onshore.

These detailed and interactive visuals can also help teams to understand the context for their operations and the limits of their equipment e.g. the amount of weight a structure can carry, the support needed to make a structure stable or space restrictions. This will also help determine how suitable assets are for green energy modifications. The digital twin can also be used to test alternative what-if scenarios and support teams in making decisions that will ensure the site works better for longer.

To find out more about how FutureOn can help your company digitalize your operation or for enquiries and partnership opportunities please  contact us or book a demo.

oil and gas rig

The Game Changing Power of Digital Twins in Oil and Gas

By FutureOn Today

Digital twins are rapidly gaining industry recognition for their game-changing capacity to elevate operational excellence to the next level.

Digital twin technology has come a long way over the past decade. The advent of cloud platforms, cutting-edge analytics and increased computing power combined with greater clarity on how to utilize these innovations has accelerated the adoption of digital twin technology in the oil and gas industry. As the technology continues to advance, so too does the potential for digital twin technology to generate millions in additional revenue for operators through improved field design, more streamlined processes and greater operating efficiency.

Information management is one of the biggest challenges oil and gas operators face in achieving operational excellence. Poor asset information management during operations can result in increased waste in maintenance and operation budgets, increased consumption of resources to keep assets operational, and missed opportunities for incremental improvements.

Having a cloud-based digital twin is the easiest and most efficient way to gather, secure and centralize information in a way that allows asset teams to access project information at any time and from any location. The twin essentially acts as a real-time information management system and gateway that is up to date with key critical operational and asset data throughout its entire lifecycle.

Twinning supports collaboration and decision making all the way up the ladder

With a centralized platform data from disparate resources, including third party sources, can be pulled, validated for accuracy and housed within the twin. Not only will this create a single thread of digital truth it will also ensure asset teams have the most comprehensive and detailed understanding of the field environment, state of existing assets, and the asset’s potential operational capacity.

This level of detail and accuracy provided by a digital twin allows for better planning during the FEED stage (front-end engineering and design), thereby reducing unexpected costs, better allocation of budget, and fewer revisions.

The accessible nature of cloud-based digital twin platforms enables data to be shared and updated in real-time across multiple departments. From engineering, procurement, contraction, commission through to operations, the twin helps to break down data silos, supports better planning, collaboration and communication, and ensures everyone is working from a common dataset.

This more holistic and collaborative approach ensures that projects are more streamlined, work gets done more quickly, better quality decisions are made, and that no information is lost along the way. Inclusive data sharing will help ease information bottlenecks and ensure that key executives have the information they need to make evidence-based operating decisions that impact the bottom line.

Keep assets working better for longer with real-time monitoring

Whether a brownfield or new asset, the digital twin continuously consumes, analyzes and updates information automatically, providing operators with a real-time view of the health of their facilities.

Users can use the tagged meta-data stored in the digital twin to search and easily find a particular asset and see how it’s functioning; a traditionally time-consuming process that would often lead to critical issues being missed, potentially causing failure or production outages.

The twin enables operators to be more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to identifying pain points and troubleshooting issues. Being proactive towards asset operation and maintenance reduces downtime, minimizes impact on production, and reduces the risk of a catastrophic failure that could result in billions of lost revenues. In addition, this approach will enhance production and extend asset lifecycle by identifying opportunities for ongoing incremental improvements.

FutureOn provides a single real-time data interface

FutureOn’s software provides users with a single integrated interface to access all asset data, negating the need for multiple platforms and consolidating all project information into one easy to access online space. Our digital twin technology provides our users with a framework that supports operational excellence through a model-focused approach that can transform vast amounts of data into actionable insights that drive value to the business.

With its intuitive design and powerful 3D visualization tools, our platforms make it easier for businesses to identify hidden revenue opportunities, predict pitfalls, and continuously improve in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace. If anything, the past year has demonstrated just how important cloud-based tools, like digital twin technology, is to business continuity and resilience.

Oil and gas companies cannot afford to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to managing and improving their assets. Instead they need to be always looking for ways to do things better with less capital, which is why a real-time digital twin is rapidly becoming an essential tool all operators should be investing in.

To find out more about how FutureOn’s cloud-based digital twin solutions can support your company in achieving its performance and production goals or for enquiries about partnership opportunities please contact us or book a demo.


FieldTwin Design: Digitizing the Entire “Life of Field”

By FutureOn Today

We’re excited to share with you our new feature development that includes a suite of dedicated online applications designed to support the Entire Life of Field concept from design, installation, operation, maintenance and ultimately abandonment through digitalization.

Our new FieldTwin Design 6.1 release brings two new major features and some minor features to the application in addition to bug fixes and optimization. The major features are Shape Support in the new vector layer and Project Linking capabilities.

Shape Support

The new vector layer will be the layer that naturally includes our support for all kinds of vector elements and entities. The initial release enables you to create various shapes, but over time we expect to add other functionality such as markup, redline etc.

At present the following vector shape primitives are available in 2D and 3D: Box, Sphere, Triangle, Circle, Rectangle, Cone, Cylinder, Ring, and Torus. This ability to create new shapes allows project teams to easily create safety-drilling and drop zones, or mark areas for safe sailing access. Users can add various shape input values into their newly created shapes.

Parent Sub Projects

Parent Sub Projects allows project teams to link different sub projects together into a child project. This feature allows for the creation of a sub-project that only includes as an example bathymetry and reservoir data, while another sub-project may contain wellbore trajectories.

By linking these projects to the child project, engineers can focus on field design and layout whilst having the bathymetry and well data as a project backdrop. If the sub-project with bathymetry/reservoir data gets updated with more or better bathymetry then your project is updated automatically.

Furthermore, by using FieldTwin User Roles and Project Permissions you can easily control who can upload, modify and/or remove 3D Surfaces, and only allow the projects to be linked into other projects.

To find out more about this feature please see our online documentation.

Users have greater control over metadata

We’ve added back in Sample Frequency and Elevation Change threshold settings to the Connection Profile module. Now users can also export selected profiles directly from the module; this will now append the multiple selected connections into a single continuous profile. Users can now also control which metadata items that are displayed in the metadata infobox that is shown in the Viewport.

New ‘Asset Statuses’ feature added

We have added a new setting entry to the Account Settings option, Asset Statuses. This section allows users to create visual status conditions that can be applied to an asset to indicate an asset state that can be defined by the user e.g. obsolete, to be installed etc. The Asset Status can also be set and modified using the API. Click here for more information.

To find out more about how to navigate and make the most of FutureOn’s new features please get in touch or contact us or for enquiries and partnership opportunities please contact us or book a demo.


Digitalization and Addressing the Great Crew Change

By FutureOn Today

Hundreds of thousands of mature, highly experienced and knowledgeable oil and gas workers are expected to retire within the next five to seven years and take with them valuable project and asset information, creating a significant knowledge and skills gap.

‘The Great Crew Change’ is a term commonly used to describe the oil and gas industry’s ageing workforce. It’s estimated that 50% of the industry’s personnel are part of the ‘older crew’ category, who will be eligible to retire within the next ten years. With such a large portion of the industry’s personnel set to exit, there is an impending age and skills gap on the horizon.

Organizations should have in place or be developing a succession plan to ensure they are able to meet the challenges and opportunities that will accompany the exodus of their most experienced employees. Mentoring programs, workforce training initiatives and new employee engagement strategies will go a long way to addressing the skills gap. However, this does not address the loss of valuable asset and project knowledge when retirees depart.

Digitalization helps preserve asset data

Forward thinking companies are investing in smart cloud-based technologies such as digital twins that can help them capture and securely store data. Real-time online platforms, such as FutureOn’s FieldTwin and FieldTwin Design, gather and maintain data within one single central digital space. Centralizing data this way helps to break up traditionally siloed data streams whilst making them more accessible.

Advanced digital twin technologies provide users with real-time data from design concept through to decommissioning and ultimately abandonment. Teams from across different disciplines and at various stages in the project’s lifecycle can access the same up-to-date information no matter where they are in the world.

Digitalization not only helps secure and preserve asset knowledge, it also supports the next generation of engineering talent in designing smarter and cleaner assets. Digitalization strategies are already, or are soon to be, a top priority for organizations across the industry where there is mounting pressure to increase the value of assets and deliver higher revenues.

Boost engineer satisfaction and develop your talent

 Losing talent to retirement is not the only challenge facing oil and gas employers. There is also a major skills shortage looming and there simply isn’t enough top talent to go around. Attracting, securing and retaining skilled and experienced workers has never been harder, which is why employers should be focusing on creating a modern forward-thinking work environment where people feel able to thrive and expand their skill-set.

Digitalization has an important role in helping build this type of workplace. According to research by Accenture, digitalization can help boost engineer satisfaction and improve retention rates because workers are eager to upskill into the new roles created through digitalization. Stephanie Rogers, managing director at Accenture, said that employers who do not embrace the digital-era or provide training opportunities risk losing their best people to companies that do.

FutureOn’s E-learning portal provides users with the opportunity to continue their education by providing users with a comprehensive learning and development path to become an expert in the use of FieldTwin Design. On successful completion of the course, users are offered the option to become certified in the software. Having opportunities for career growth and development are often identified by HR managers as a key factor when it comes to determining employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Similarly, workers are more likely to favour a role where they have the digital tools they need to excel at their job rather than one that is significantly more laborious due to management’s resistance to digital progress. Digitally mature workplaces with a focus on the future of work will scoop up the very best workers the oil and gas’s shrinking talent pool has to offer.

Contact FutureOn today to find out how our cloud-based platforms can help your company preserve asset knowledge, speed up your path to digital maturity and offer your employees the opportunity to develop their skill-set.