The use of Digital Twins – in which a digital model of an oil and gas asset is used to monitor and address issues such as structural integrity, analytics on oil and gas consumption, and corrosion – is a trend that is being talked about more in the oil and gas industry.
Phil Christensen, vice president of analytical modelling with software firm Bentley Systems Inc., said adoption of this practice was initially slow for several reasons. Lack of understanding of what using a Digital Twin can do is one; another is the contractual issue of who owns digital data. Data is added throughout a project process by construction and by commissioning. But Christensen told Rigzone that Bentley is seeing interest in the Digital Twin concept taking off.
Using a digital model to review construction and operations can help provide information to workers in the field. The digital model is particularly useful for assets that are located far from operational centers. In Western Australia, oil and gas operational centers are located in Perth, far from oil and gas operations offshore Australia.
In the North Sea alone, it’s been estimated that offshore workers only actually do work 40 percent of the time, Dr. Neil Rothwell, director of business development for Bentley’s AssetWise Analytics, said to Rigzone. The rest of the time, workers are looking for the data they need to do their job. The drop in oil prices means that oil and gas companies are now focused on boosting actual work time.
Founded in 1984 and based in Exton, Penn., Bentley is involved in advancing infrastructure in a number of industries, but is particularly active in onshore and offshore upstream oil and gas. The company’s software tools bring together data from the project management design side and the operational side of assets.
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