Cosmo Tech

Digital Twins Bring a Competitive Edge to Oil & Gas Companies

Digital Twins Bring a Competitive Edge to Oil & Gas Companies

One of the key challenges in the Oil & Gas Sector is the constant fluctuation of oil prices. The leaders in this industry have mastered this situation and even co-exist with the volatility, but the pandemic has changed the rules. Oil & Gas industry is facing 3 major challenges:

  • The need to reduce costs to remain competitive
  • The need for improved performance to ensure asset Value
  • The need to improve the environmental footprint to meet increasingly high regulatory emissions standards

Today, remaining competitive in this sector consists of reducing budget, labour, and operating costs while increasing production levels. Effective Asset Management is the key way forward in achieving this, whilst still ensuring high asset reliability, integrity and availability. “Asset Management is about giving asset owners the information, tools and systems they need to maximize the reliability and availability of their assets. ” according to Rod Mackenzie, Technical Manager (Asset Reliability & Predictive Analytics) at Optimal. All the aforementioned challenges have initiated massive changes and accelerated the inevitable digital transformation of this sector. Oil and Gas companies must leverage their asset management strategies by using technology. In fact, technology is a great differentiator, a competitive advantage.

How Oil & Gas companies can overcome their challenges by using Digital Twins?


#1: Reducing Cost

With simulation digital twin software, the asset manager (or maintenance team and engineers) can simulate their business-as-usual to set a baseline to define the right maintenance strategy for their assets. By automatically running thousands of different scenarios, they are able to reduce the budget portfolio and find the associated maintenance plan to maintain operational efficiency. Based on the results generated, the software creates an operational planning of the day-to-day operations within the new budgetary, regulatory and environmental constraints. This approach enables companies to be resilient in light of an uncertain future. In fact, simulation helps find alternative strategies to the business-as-usual scenario when facing plant issues. This is an effective way to manage plant performance at reduced cost while mastering risks in the demanding Oil & Gas industry.  

#2: Improve performance

Improving plant performance consists in deploying one asset management strategy for aging installation, whilst a completely different strategy and approach will be required for new installations. The aging part of the plant is more often than not poorly designed for remote monitoring. The Simulation Digital Twin software allows the operator to define the investment strategy and the associated operational plan. Indeed, the asset manager knows how to gradually renew his plant. This in turn leads to failure reduction and subsequent downtime cost reduction, and decrease in safety and environmental issues. The newer parts of the plant should be connected to have a full view of the associated asset landscape. By using Simulation Digital Twin software you can move from purely reactive break-fix (curative maintenance) or time/cycled-based (preventive maintenance) approaches to modern predictive maintenance approaches. A Simulation Digital Twin integrates all your data (including asset age and condition) coming from your smart connected assets, condition monitoring sensors. It is a modern data analytics platform. With this software you can anticipate, tune and optimize resource allocation for a variety of asset management scenarios considering the future digitization of your activity. The software also helps you to prepare for digitalization, which will allow operators to reach better performance by improving asset reliability and availability.

#3: Improve the environmental footprint

Organizations are undergoing an increasing pressure towards carbon footprint control and CO2 emission objectives. To cope with this pressure and to avoid losing their licence to operate (due to stringent environmental standards), Oil & Gas companies need to rethink extraction, production and distribution methods. According to Verdantix ‘66% of organizations view environmental risk mitigation as a high priority for their firm to improve over the next two years’. In this case, asset managers have different ways to meet the requirements:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by integrating new, cleaner technologies on the plant;
  • Improve the production waste recycling and recovery process;
  • Extend equipment effective life through retrofitting strategies;
  • Optimization of global logistics by using multi-modal transport and shorter delivery routes;

Simulation Digital Twin software supports the development, the assessment and implementation of these risk mitigation solutions. Thanks to simulation you can evaluate and optimize your strategy leading to a significant impact on reducing your carbon footprint. You can evaluate the environmental impact with regards to environmental KPIs such as oil spill, chemicals spill, GHG emissions, etc.