|Theme||Visible||Selectable||Appearance||Zoom Range (now: 0)|
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming increasingly popular in many industrial sectors but the uptake in oil and gas has, in comparison, been very modest. There is little doubt that these technologies will have a growing influence in our recreational lives over the next few years, as the hardware capability increases, costs decrease, and applications become more widely available. The real strength of these technologies is their capability to disseminate information to the user in a truly immersive experience. One area where this could be very valuable in our industry is in the support of drilling and production operations. Real-time Operations Centres (RTOCs) are now in widespread use but these suffer from high capital and operating costs, they are difficult and expensive to reconfigure and are often difficult to engage with from a remote location. Conversely, a Virtual Real-time Operations Centre (vROC) is low cost, can be configured quickly and decommissioned readily when no longer required. With modern networking configurations it is easy to connect from anywhere. This paper describes the first developments of a vROC.
A common understanding or shared situational awareness is essential for making the best operational decisions in the shortest possible time. This has been the main driver for the development of collaborative working and has resulted in the development of a wide range of work spaces ranging from smaller Collaborative Work Environments (CWEs) through to large scale RTOCs and interactive visualisation centres. The vROC replaces the need for the user to relocate to these physical areas. By deploying a 3D headset, they can enter the 3D virtual workspace and work with colleagues in true collaboration. This project has enabled data to be visualised within the workspace in the same way that it would be seen in a physical room with conventional display panels.
This project is in the early stages of development, but it has shown already how quickly a vROC may be configured and populated with live and historical data from different sources. Using 3D CAD models, photogrammetric representations and other spatial data, process plants, reservoirs and wells can be brought into the vROC, annotated with real time data and experienced by all users. We have developed live trends and have animated models to highlight alarm situations.
At a time when operators need to minimise their operating costs whilst maintaining top performance the use of virtual work environments is likely to become a major contributor to cost savings.
Technology has transformed the energy industry over the last 60 years. It has made processes more efficient, employees more productive and crucially, it has improved the safety of both workers and facilities. In a mature industry, such as oil and gas, operators and owners are faced with the challenge of safely and efficiently managing their ageing plant and assets. This challenge is compounded by poor historic records and information, and the potential loss of knowledge as the current workforce retires. Coupled with the increasing requirement for high levels of design assurance and confidence in solutions, and the constant pressure to deliver value, faster and cheaper; companies are constantly looking at the latest technological advances, and to other industry sectors, for possible solutions. This paper explores, through case studies, how the latest digital modelling and visualisation techniques are being innovatively deployed to enhance design, delivery and operations in the oil and gas sector. SNC-Lavalin have been uniquely deploying these technologies into the nuclear sector, where access time is highly-limited due to nuclear radiation. This learning has been brought to the oil and gas sector, and is an exemplar of cross-industry working and knowledge transfer.
Man has always been fascinated by a virtual world outside our reality. From prehistoric drawings to stories told around campfires. In 1838, Charles Wheatstone understood and described binocular vision which demonstrated that the human brain combines two separate images to infer vision. In 1935, seemingly completely separately, Stanley Weinbaum wrote a fictional story in which a person wears a pair of goggles to transport him to a fake world which stimulates the senses. Many of the technology leaders believe that humans will one day create a virtual world indistinguishable from our own reality eventually. Today we already recreate visuals, sounds, touch and even smell. Some companies are working on ways to merge 2-Dimentional(2D) interactions with 3-Dimentional(3D) experiences. Our industry is no different. Many planning and operational experiences have long been done in one way or another but with recent advances in digital technology, there is no reason not to recreate processes and procedures to ensure they are more efficient, bring more value and incorporate richer experiences. As technology advances, reduction in cost are finally making some of what we dreamed about a reality. From the way a geologist reads logs, the way we participate in morning calls while drilling or how we visualize field production and manage facilities in real time, collaborative platforms are evolving with fit for purpose technology.
The concept of a "virtual twin" presumes real-time software—a 2D, 3D, or virtual reality environment where the physical location is being dynamically copied to a necessary degree of details to create a synchronized wellsite representation. Virtual twin is a new concept for the industry. The authors demonstrate the power of visualization, cloud, and virtual reality technology to achieve operational efficiency. Examples demonstrated in the paper are unique and belong to rapidly growing and hugely hyped digital workflows to enable the rethinking of operations and change the status quo for the way of working in the industry. The authors describe three tiers of the virtual twin concept: tier one—planning virtual twin, tier two — dynamic virtual twin, and tier three—prognostic virtual twin. Several examples of concept implementation are demonstrated within oil and gas domains of field development, unconventional completions, drilling, and production gas processing.
Effective management of process safety risks while delivering flawless operational execution in an evolving oil and gas industry requires innovative applications of digital technology. Augmented Reality (AR) or Mixed Reality (MR) technologies have tremendous potential to meet these challenges by providing realworld digital landscape to intuitively interact with data, train personnel, and mitigate process safety risks.
However, a major challenge with AR and MR technologies is the limited processing power and capability of available hardware. A cloud-based software platform can overcome these computational limitations of AR and MR devices, enabling interaction with significantly more complex 3D content. Additionally, enabling real-time connectivity across different hardware architectures – such as smartphones and Microsoft HoloLens devices – creating powerful new capability for remote collaboration. This unique software platform transforms consumer-grade AR and MR devices into powerful industrial tools for oil and gas applications.
This paper will illustrate the application of AR/MR technology in critical risk management including the adoption of AR/MR technology for process safety operational readiness and response capability to critical risk associated with major accident hazards. Enhanced AR/MR provides full-scale virtual digital landscapes that enable practical demonstration of crew resource management including the evaluation of collaborative human performance in teamwork activities. Using gamified AR/MR techniques, allows for multiple outcomes based on user inputs to test decision-making and eliminate human errors. These enabling technologies can drive significant improvements in process safety risk management while increasing operational efficiencies across the oil and gas industry.
Greater complexity in offshore assets has introduced operational changes that impact the ways in which services are provided. Keeping pace with this evolution has led to an increased interest in emerging technologies that can be used in inspection tasks. Implementation of wearable technologies provides a way to capture and visualize information more efficiently, streamline inspection services, and integrate on-site, real-time information capture, thus allowing for more informed and rapid decision-making as well as alternative approaches to planning, execution, and reporting.
Wearable devices can both collect and deliver data in the field, creating a synergy that enables the focus to remain on the task at hand while being able to automatically obtain access to relevant resources. Wearable technology allows field personnel to immediately and effectively capture, share, and collaborate with real time information, hands free. Wearables can also bridge time and distance constraints imposed by having a worldwide enterprise, and enable more informed, real-time decision making. With advanced visualization and augmentation, contextual data can be super-imposed on reality providing interactive job aids, ease of access to asset history, and current state asset health with digital capture of records/narratives. This technology can provide faster, more dynamic intelligence and direction to help quickly identify specific areas of interest for targeted inspection applications.
Incorporation of wearable technologies follows a phased approach. The first step is to look at ways of improving current systems and identifying what processes can be adjusted for increased efficiency and safety. The second phase leverages the use of sensor technology in collecting and analyzing data to improve processes by enhancing data capture and providing additional connectivity. The third phase focuses on creating new processes and developing broader capabilities by building a knowledge base from collected and analyzed data. This phase requires data to be collected, categorized and indexed to identify patterns. The end result of following a structured implementation process is the ability to incorporate ambient intelligence and augmented reality to enable risk-informed decision-making and support efficient execution of inspection tasks.
This paper will primarily address phase 1 activities as well as discuss the driving factors for the use of wearable technology in the offshore industry, the current and future capabilities and use cases for wearable technology, as well as experience, lessons learned, and next steps in the implementation process.