Digitalization is transforming the offshore oil and gas industry. Expanding networks of sensors and computing power, enhanced connectivity and the exponential growth in our ability to draw value from data will change the way we operate. Enhanced safety, improved competitiveness and a lower carbon future can all be part of the story – digitalization will drive the future development of our industry.
PRNL wants Canada to be the leader in safe, remote and autonomous operations in harsh and challenging offshore environments.
The Digital Offshore Canada Project will create a platform for the development, validation and commercialization of digital twins for a range of applications in Canada’s offshore as well as for other ocean industries. The DOC project is also building capabilities to support the future opportunities that the increasingly digital ocean economy presents.
DOC will accelerate the digitalization of Canada’s ocean industries where users will have access to real operational data, 3D assets, and analytical tools. The project has brought together local technology companies in partnership with large scale industry members to accelerate the use of digital twins in Canada’s ocean industries. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a real-world asset or process that can deliver enhanced safety, reduced operating costs, increased production, and reduced carbon emissions through production optimization. Partner SMEs will gain from faster product design and new market and growth opportunities as a result of their participation in the project.
PRNL is leading the Digital Offshore Canada Project together with project partners Hatch Ltd, MNP, Virtual Marine, GRI Simulations and in collaboration with Memorial University and support from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. Announced December 2020, DOC will follow a staged approach beginning with defining the project scope, followed by project development and execution.
Digitalization is being actively embraced by the offshore sector around the world for the wide range of benefits it offers. In Advance 2030: A Plan for Growth in the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador lists the development of a digitalization strategy as a critical priority to support the long-term growth and development of the province’s oil and gas industry. PRNL partnered with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to develop this strategy for the province’s offshore oil and gas sector.
The Digital Innovation Strategy examines opportunities to enable and accelerate digital transformation through collaboration on research and innovation, workforce and supply chain development, digital skills education and training, and the development, adoption and deployment of emerging technologies (e.g., communications, cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and simulation).
The “digital oilfield” collects enormous amounts of data from offshore operations from sensors, measuring devices, and other sources. That data is updated and grows over time, and must be stored, managed, and analyzed to improve operations. Data analysis is crucial for the success of digitalization and is required to support data mining and machine learning. Understanding and supporting the evolving role of people in operations is also critical to the successful introduction and sustainability of digital technology within a company.
The goal of the Integrated Approach to Digital Oilfield Education project, led by Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is to develop a suite of courses to educate the current oil and gas technical workforce in digital oilfield. Courses include Introduction to Digital Oilfield, Data Management for Digital Oilfield, High Performance Computing for Digital Oilfield, Artificial Intelligence for Digital Oilfield, Instrumentation and Controls for Digital Oilfield Computer Security and Communications for Digital Oilfield, and Software Design for Digital Oilfield. Each course can be delivered in a classroom setting or on-line in 35 instructional hours each. The courses are supported, discussed, and taught using a case study approach where oilfield operations’ case studies are chosen based on the target audience. Case studies include Drilling, Marine Operations, Production Optimization, Remote Monitoring, and Asset Integrity. The courses are subdivided into modules where the content can be customized for the audience and their needs.