LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Akselos SA has deployed a structural digital twin for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co.’s (SNEPCo) Bonga Main FPSO, located 120 km (75 mi) southwest of the Niger Delta.
A digital twin is a physics-based model of the asset, which represents its entire physical counterpart in absolute detail and accuracy. The model is updated with loading conditions and inspection data on a regular basis, providing the ability to carry out structural assessments based on the ‘as is’ condition, from anywhere and at any time.
The structural digital twin, which is based on Akselos’ patented RB-FEA technology, is said to be able to realize a number of operational objectives. These include the identification of critical areas for prioritized inspection, maintenance and repair; a reduction in personnel on board the asset; reduced necessity for physical inspections in hard-to-reach areas such as cargo tanks; and to support scenario planning for extreme weather events and asset modification.
The deployment of the simulation technology, the company said, will also enable safe asset life extension by replacing the over-conservative estimates made with conventional simulation software, with accurate assessments that reflect actual remaining fatigue life.
Elohor Aiboni, Asset Manager for Bonga, said: “The Bonga Main FPSO heralded a number of innovative ‘firsts’ when it was built back in 2004, so it’s fitting that it’s the first asset of its kind to deploy something as advanced as a structural digital twin.
“We are very excited about the new capabilities that Akselos brings and believe it will create a positive impact on the way we manage structural integrity. It is also a great example of digitalization coming to life.”
The Bonga Main FPSO, which became operational in 2005, has a capacity of 225,000 b/d of oil and weighs more than 300,000 metric tons (330,693 tons), making it the largest asset in the world to be protected by a structural digital twin, Akselos claimed.