Digital Twins for Oil and Gas Assets Integrity Management
For oil and gas companies to operate profitably, it is essential that their assets both onshore and offshore operate safely, reliably, and efficiently. One major parameter that oil and gas operators are concerned with is the reliability of their assets, which is the ability of the asset and its components, such as its operating equipment, pipelines etc, to perform its required functions, within stated conditions in a specified time.
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Digital Twins for Oil and Gas Assets Integrity Management

Digital Twins for Oil and Gas Assets Integrity Management

Introduction

For oil and gas companies to operate profitably, it is essential that their assets both onshore and offshore operate safely, reliably, and efficiently. One major parameter that oil and gas operators are concerned with is the reliability of their assets, which is the ability of the asset and its components, such as its operating equipment, pipelines etc, to perform its required functions, within stated conditions in a specified time.

The reliability of an oil and gas assets is dependent on its integrity, and it is therefore necessary that the integrity of such assets is monitored and managed effectively, to help reduce downtime, improve reliability and to enhance the profitability of the assets.

The failure of any critical component in such an asset could lead to unplanned downtime and huge losses, by such operating companies. Just one of such unscheduled downtime could lead to losses amounting from $2 million to $5 million daily. [1]

Hence the need to develop an integrity management program or strategy to ensure that unscheduled downtimes are eliminated or reduced to its barest minimum.

The objective of any Integrity management program is to ensure that the asset is fit-for-service, and that the remnant life of the assets is beyond the expected service life of the asset.

Today, various innovative digital technologies are being adopted by operators to help improve, manage, and monitor the integrity of their assets, one of which is the digital twin technology.

Digital Twins

Digital twin is the digital or virtual representation of a potential or actual physical asset, which integrates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and software analytics to create real-time/dynamic living digital models from their physical models

The benefits of Digital twins with regards to the integrity management of oil and gas assets include;

  • Improved production efficiency.
  • Reduced downtime by predicting system failure
  • Enhances Risk Based Inspection and Condition Based Management strategies development
  • Asset lifecycle optimization
  • Enable Assets Life Extension

The integrity of an asset is determined over the lifetime of the assets from the design phase to the decommissioning phase, and this typically requires the accumulation of various types of data from design specifications to construction data, and from inspection data to P&ID drawings. However, one major challenge, hindering the appropriate assessment of the integrity of an asset, is lost data, as a result of poor information management. [1]

To prevent loss of data, a digital twin could provide a platform to accumulate these data generated, from historical data to current data generated in real-time. The digital twins could allow for continuous fitness-for-service assessment on the assets to determine the reliability of the assets in real-time, enhance predictive maintenance, carry out continuous risk identification, and condition monitoring.

For offshore structures, the digital twin could adopt hydrodynamic and finite element analysis, through the application of physics-based models, for continuous structural health monitoring of the assets. [2]

Bruce Digital Twin Operating System

The Bruce Digital Twin Operating System is an advanced digital twin system that has the capacity to inter-operate with all and any data required for the integrity management strategy goals, set by any oil and gas operator, and desired by the regulators. This enables sophisticated data integration, visualisation, analytics and machine learning for the oil and gas industry. [2]

The Bruce Digital Twin platform is a system that creates a common framework for the rapid development and interaction between multiple Digital Twin data environments.

The Bruce Operating System could function as a means;

  • To represent oil and gas assets as it existed, or exists, or may exist.
  • To visualise the assets through virtual 3D models
  • For simulation and optimisation analysis, for real-time structural health monitoring of the assets, enhance predictive maintenance of the assets, as well as assess the dynamic behaviour of the processes within the assets.

 


References
[1]        DNV, “Making your Asset Smarter with the Digital Twin,” [Online]. Available: https://www.dnv.com/article/making-your-asset-smarter-with-the-digital-twin-63328. [Accessed 11 08 2021].
[2]        Ashtead Technology, “Digital Twinning in Support of Asset Integrity Management,” 29 01 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.ashtead-technology.com/news/digital-twinning-in-support-of-asset-integrity-management/. [Accessed 11 08 2021].
[3]        M. Thomas, “Digital Twins or “Asset Management: Industry 4.0″,” A Nextspace Whitepaper, 2021.