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A digital twin raises asset visibility and provides oil and gas offshore operators with the in-depth data insights needed to make evidence-based decisions that will lead to increased efficiency, reduced emissions and accelerate the energy transition.

With the energy transition towards clean energy starting to gain momentum due to mounting global concern over climate change, oil and gas companies are increasingly looking for ways to sustain their revenues whilst getting ahead in the new green energy market.

Poor market performance coupled with much more stringent environmental regulations mean the next few decades aren’t going to be easy for the oil and gas industry unless it starts to rapidly embrace renewable energies and the technologies that will facilitate their decarbonization goals.

Leading oil and gas companies are already demonstrating a strong commitment to moving beyond petroleum, with major oil and gas companies BP, Shell and Total all pledging to meet net zero emissions by 2050. Digitalization will be key for delivering net zero while supporting revenue growth. Digital solutions can vastly improve asset management, data usage, the planning and execution of projects and significantly boost the efficiency of both operations and production.

Digital technologies will be indispensable to delivering cleaner energy

Digital solutions have been around for a while, but they weren’t widely adopted until the oil and gas market started to decline after 2014. This downturn provided the impetus for operators to seek alternative support mechanisms to help keep them afloat. Digital twins have been deployed by oil and gas companies to provide owners/operators with a full picture of their facilities, to help them better understand how each unit is operating.

Now, more advanced digital twin platforms, which are typically cloud-based tools, can offer solutions to digitalize and visualize complex data to create and manage the entire lifecycle of facilities and structures of all complexities for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) businesses and owners/operators all over the globe.

Digital twin software lets operators see how their facilities are operating in real-time within the context the field and can highlight opportunities for optimization to really get the most value from those assets. Through the use of digital twins, operators can also monitor resource consumption, gauge production efficiency, plan future upgrades or modifications for green energy production, and identify opportunities to lower costs.

Digital twins are destined to become a mainstay of the oil and gas industry, enabling everything from early-stage concept selection through simulation to production optimization and predictive maintenance.

Digitalization will support quicker transitions

 Majors like BP have even shortened their emissions goals to 2030, which means that the investment in and construction of renewable energy assets cannot be delayed. Putting the right digital technologies in place now will not only support today’s existing assets in running cheaper and cleaner but will also support the delivery of future green projects more quickly and efficiently.

Digital twin platforms are a flexible and versatile tool that can be used to deliver a variety of projects. From field planning to asset management, the same digital solution allows users to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from concept through to abandonment and removal.

Whether planning a floating offshore windfarm, deciding well placement or repurposing pipelines for hydrogen gas transportation, digital twins can be applied to number of different scenarios. Companies that are early adopters of digital twins have a competitive advantage over those who are dragging their feet as they will already have the tools and expertise in place to get ahead of their competitors.

Once these new or repurposed assets come online, the digital twin will help drive their operational excellence and support the long-term health of the asset. Greater operational excellence will lead to improved predictive maintenance and scheduling, less downtime, and will enhance the economics and viability of these assets in a low margin environment. Digital twins are no longer a tool for incremental improvement but a transformative technology with huge potential.

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