Digital Worker: Empowering Offshore Operators with Easily Accessible Data to Improve Efficiency and Safety

Aadland, Aadne (Cognite) | Straumsheim, Carl Fredrik (Cognite) | Giset, Aksel (Aker BP)



Digitalization is the transformation of business models and activities through the strategic use of digital technologies. Despite technological advancements in machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual reality (VR), there remains a low maturity of digitalization across the oil and gas industry, especially in offshore operations. There are many roadblocks on the way to digitalization, from data silos to legacy systems. Operational inefficiency is one of the most painful byproducts of these problems.

To complete a single maintenance task, for example, on-site workers may need to access several separate systems to get the required data. They rely on printing out the information they need in order to complete the maintenance activities, and after taking notes on pieces of paper, they have to return to their desktop computer to log the performed tasks.

Not having the data readily accessible contributes to overall inefficiency, and offshore workers often run back and forth while performing maintenance tasks, increasing the hours they spend in challenging conditions.

This paper will outline an application design philosophy for oil and gas companies that combines academic and practical insights, an emphasis on continually testing products in development, and an overall goal of creating value.

This paper will describe how a Nordic software company is using the design philosophy to help an oil and gas operator in Northern Europe optimize on-site operations -- including increasing efficiency and safety -- on its offshore installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Specifically, the paper will show the software company ingested and contextualized operational data from the operator's assets and made historical data available for field workers via an application for computers and smart devices. This included access to sensor data and historic equipment performance data; all documentation related to maintenance, including procedures, drawings, piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), and maintenance logs; and interactive 3D models of installations and equipment.

After only three months, the crew at one of the operator's oil installations saw significant increases in the number of monthly maintenance jobs (up to 10% for certain tasks) and reduction of the time spent on certain routine inspections (in some cases up to 50%).