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Making light work of brownfield extensions

Making light work of brownfield extensions blog post image

Jostein Lien

SVP Product

Existing infrastructure can represent a challenge for project teams in new field development, but Jostein Lien, Senior Vice President of Products at FutureOn, discusses in his latest blog, digital tools remove potential barriers to successful outcomes.

Brownfield oil and gas projects pose a particular challenge to traditional field design due to the complexities of working around, and integrating with, existing infrastructure. A diversified national energy company seeking to establish a forward-focused position for developing such projects adopted a digital twin strategy using FieldTwin

The goal was to create a digital replica of the existing environment with all data stored in a single location: an ‘as built’ data sheet including the correct location, coordinates and equipment as well as associated metadata. New tiebacks would then be roped into the model. 

This provides an overview of the entire subsea development area and creates a window into geohazards, specific distances, routing of pipelines and – for planned installations – how congested the field could be, the corridor between pipelines and any spare connections. 

A three stage process is required. First, proprietary inhouse materials including the native field layout CAD, subsequent revisions, bathymetry, equipment data sheets, approach drawings etc are gathered, with any gaps in the knowledge base potentially filled from other sources. 

A mix of generic and specific equipment specifications are used, depending on links with contractors and/or future supply options. 

All of this is then input into FieldTwin to establish the 3D digital model, with associated data behind, including routing of umbilicals and flowlines, hydraulic/electrical flying leads etc. Finally, the architecture and geography is populated with company metadata to complete the digital twin. 

After the digital brownfield model is created, a series of data checks are undertaken to ensure accuracy. These cover everything from well coordinates, headings and tags, to the precision of 2D/3D views, details of connections and the reliability of metadata. 

The energy company is extending the digital twin concept to all of its assets, both brownfield and greenfield. Depending on the size of the project, it can take. afew hours to create a digital twin for a small layout – for instance four wells and two manifolds – while something larger will require two or three people in different areas collaborating around the single model. 

Smart solutions for the digital oilfield of the future.


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