Digital Twins Transforming Oil and Gas

By Ben Watts

Mon, 29 Oct 2018

The oil and gas industry is behind the times when it comes to modern technological advancements. In order for the industry to transform and thrive again its essential they implement digital twins to provide the best solutions for performance optimisation and hazard prevention.

Digital twins can provide new ways to improve efficiency, productivity, monitor equipment, and deliver the latest knowledge in the industry. They can be utilised on all stages, from design to the monitoring of safety equipment on rigs such as drills. By maintaining a constant connection to equipment, predicting potential failures or safety risks can be used to aid human intelligence. The ability of role-playing technology and structural failures before they occur is vital in what can be a dangerous profession.

A digital twin allows users to identify numerous plausible features for an asset and consider their potential impact. The true benefit of digital twins can be seen when all aspects of an asset such as design, real-time processes, and data are materialised and optimised together over its lifetime.

Engineers can create virtual models to monitor assets such as pipelines in order to optimise time efficiency. When monitoring rust on a pipe, for example, a maintenance worker can make periodical checks and take note of when the pipe will reach the point of replacement.  When the rust spot reaches a certain size a new piece of pipe will be ordered subject to the original engineering diagrams.

The benefits the technology has on the oil and gas sector also include real-time data tracking and enhanced employee training programs. Digital Twins also allow companies to optimise the skills of the workforce by providing enhanced engineering ecosystems to attract new talent. Improving the age demographic of the current workforce in this sector is vital as 50% are expected to retire within the next 10 years. Using digital twins will provide more efficient environmental training and knowledge, which is essential in reducing the major concerns over work-related injuries and deaths surrounding the oil and gas industry.

Technology has an enormous influence on how companies in the oil and gas industry utilise and manage their vast volumes of data. Digital twin technology can have a big impact on a range of business metrics for oil and gas companies. In terms of key performance indicators, digital twins are improving and saving capital in unplanned maintenance work, as well as increasing production by 5%, and providing a 5% increase in revenue from assets.

The oil and gas industry is largely being left behind when it comes to implementing modern technology. For companies in the sector to flourish again they require a digital transformation, with an innovative solution being the digital twin. It’s up to oil and gas companies to become a front-runner in this digital revolution or be left behind.



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Ben Watts

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