Norway Takes Reigns to Provide Next Generation Integrated Operations

To be able to operate safely and sustainably in remote, vulnerable and hazardous areas, major Norwegian stakeholders are now joining forces to develop a digital platform which manages the risks and optimization of next generation integrated operations. The project is a unique collaboration between the IT, defence, oil and gas industries.

It is widely acknowledged that human and organizational aspects pose great challenges to operators which are implementing integrated operations (IO), but there are also massive technological challenges to be solved. Some are related to information quality and to the poor integration capabilities of both software and business processes.

Based on this reality, a new joint industry project, 'IO in the High North' with DNV as project manager, aims to facilitate the implementation of next generation integrated operations, by developing a common digital platform.

"Integrated operations are a key element in the future of the oil and gas industry. New technology and new work processes will lead to safer, faster and better decisions. The result is a potential for considerable value creation and the opportunity to enter new, prospective areas," said Thore Langeland, Manager of Integrated Operations at the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).

Complexity in Remote and Harsh Areas

Oil and gas operations in the high north are likely to entail the remote and distributed control of assets -- leading to heavy demands on the communication links and information flow. Connecting and integrating business processes and information sources across organizational boundaries add to the complexity. Further, operations in the high north require a lot of attention to be paid to environmental aspects, as the tolerance for environmental hazards in such vulnerable areas must be as close to zero as possible.

In order to meet all the requirements and at the same time maintain profitable operations, the industry has to create new field development and operation concepts that include heavily instrumented facilities. There must also be put a significant focus on the transfer of real time data between fields and operation centres located elsewhere, and on automated key work processes. Hence, a prerequisite for this development is a robust digital infrastructure and a platform for effective and efficient information exchange, which is the project's main task.

A Four-Year Horizon for Major Stakeholders

During the coming four years, the participants in the 'IO in the High North' project plan to go from conceptualization to industrial implementation. During this period the project will both benefit from and contribute to the extensive integrated operations development on the Norwegian continental shelf. The 'IO in the High North' project consortium includes operators, service providers and software vendors. In addition, the Norwegian Defence is working with the project to resolve common infrastructure and communication challenges.

The project is supported by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF), the Business Association of Norwegian knowledge-and technology-based enterprises (Abelia), and the Norwegian Defence and Security Industries Association (FSi). The total budget of MNOK 90 will be financed by the partners and the Research Council of Norway.

"Collaboration between different industries is important to meet the challenges of the future. 'IO in the High North' shows how the Norwegian knowledge industry is taking a leading role in the global oil and gas industry," said Heidi Brovold, who is responsible for IO at DNV.