Software innovations improving offshore efficiencies

April 24, 2023
A sampling of the latest system developments for the offshore energy sector

Editor's note: A condensed version of this Digitalization Trends section first appeared in the March-April 2023 issue of Offshore magazine's Energy Transformation Strategies Special Report.

Compiled by Ariana Hurtado, Editor and Director of Special Reports

Autonomous FPSO solutions reduce human error

Yinson Production and AVEVA signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year to develop new FPSO solutions. This involves applying AVEVA’s software to allow Yinson to initially operate an FPSO with minimal human involvement, later becoming fully autonomous. Yinson will implement a digital twin virtual model of the floating structure and deploy analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to sustain the digital twin throughout the asset’s life cycle. Autonomous technologies, Yinson said, can enhance the energy and resource efficiency of assets, help to lower emissions, and reduce human error and manual intervention.

Digital tools deliver more intelligent operations

Baker Hughes will collaborate with bp on further defining and developing Cordant, a new Baker Hughes integrated suite of solutions for asset performance management and process optimization. Cordant enables the standardization of asset health and strategy by integrating operational data within a probabilistic model, simultaneously optimizing the resource and cost structure without negatively impacting plant availability or production output, Baker Hughes said. As part of the collaboration, bp will deploy OnePM, a Cordant asset strategy tool in select locations across its Gulf of Mexico (GoM) production assets, where Baker Hughes has a large installed base of rotating equipment, controls and associated digital services. Cordant, released in January, combines existing digital offerings for hardware, software and services capabilities into one integrated and simplified user interface.

Edge computing module offers perception support for AUVs

Greensea Systems recently released OPENSEA Edge, which is designed to bring "true autonomy" to ocean robotics and deliver the technologies required to advance ocean robotics, the company said. While the OPENSEA open architecture platform provides the software capabilities of navigation, control, autonomy, perception and long-range communications, OPENSEA Edge provides a modular, hardware agnostic processing platform that converts a traditional ROV into one with autonomy, artificial intelligence, vehicle perception, and tetherless, over-the-horizon, communication and control. Essentially, it is a convenient add-on package to deliver integrated edge processing and perception system integration to a traditional ROV.

North Sea platforms awarded software support contract

Shell NAM awarded Surface Corrosion Consultants a 10-year contract in November 2022 to deploy Surface Asset Management (SAM) software at offshore and onshore gas production complexes in the UK and Dutch (southern) North Sea. Users will undergo training following initial penetration testing and a data cleaning process. The work scope will include integration of data into the SAM application to support asset management, allowing field inspectors to perform quality checks using the software to input/generate reports based on their findings. Data will then be relayed to the cloud to enable real-time reporting of activities in the field. Another project involves development of a Degradation Forecasting Module to support planning and cost efficiencies for asset upgrades.

Companies combine well software capabilities

Kongsberg Digital and Keystone formed a well application software partnership in October 2022. Their aim is to enable real-time wells and planning data to be combined and contextualized to help optimize drilling operations by using Keystone’s SmartHUB. Kongsberg Digital’s Industrial Work Surface service will provide a detailed picture of the real-time well operation through an interoperable platform. The companies said results should be increased accuracy and consistency of available data in a single open platform, with drilling teams gaining access to the most up to date and consistent information, with embedded analytics tools for well operations.

Software develops digital twin within 20 days

James Fisher subsidiary Asset Information Services (AIS) released a reengineered version of its R2S digital twin software in October 2022, following a field deployment for a long-term client. R2S is now a browser-based, modular platform providing regular, user-generated updates directly to project teams. It also combines all visual data layers in a single window, improving usability, AIS said. Energy asset owners and operators, offshore and onshore, can use R2S to develop a digital twin of their assets within 20 days, compared to what the company claimed is more typically months or years.

Surface and subsea robots service offshore wind region

Nauticus Robotics has initiated its operations in Norway and the UK, beginning the company’s international expansion strategy for 2023 and beyond. The operating bases are located in Stavanger, Norway, and Aberdeen, Scotland, to service the North Sea offshore market. The company will deploy assets and collaborate with local partners to service the region’s extensive offshore wind and oil and gas assets with its expanding Nauticus Fleet, a robotic navy of surface and subsea robots. Nauticus began production of its Nauticus Fleet, a robotic navy of Hydronaut and Aquanaut pairs, in April 2022. Initial delivery to its international bases is anticipated to begin in second-quarter 2023. These tandem pairs will be deployed to multiple locations around the world to service offshore industries ranging from subsea maintenance and intervention to data collection activities. The company says Nauticus Fleet uses 21st century ocean robotic technologies to combat climate change and the global impact on the world’s marine environment. The pairing of both surface and subsea robots is enabled by ToolKITT, Nauticus’ autonomous software platform that affords robust machine intelligence in addition to automation. 

North Sea Sofia wind farm gets software support

RWE’s Sofia offshore wind farm contracted Vissim in December 2022 to supply a marine management and communication package. This will comprise marine optimization and planning software and a communication, sensor and networking arrangement, including Software-as-a-Service certification and induction management, permit to work and daily progress reporting. All will be integrated with Vissim’s real-time decision support framework, covering vessel, aircraft and automated personnel tracking, working weather windows and warning-management options. In addition, the company will deploy onshore, vessel-based and fully autonomous foundation-based sensor and communication hubs, networked to both onshore and vessel-based control rooms. The contract relates to the offshore construction of the Sofia project in the UK North Sea, which will feature 100 SG 14-222 DD wind turbines and is due to be commissioned in 2026.

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