The Role of Digital Twins in De-risking Ofshore Operations: The Search for ‘Zero Dive’

Manned diving operations are a necessary part of maintaining offshore oil and gas assets, but also a very costly and dangerous process. With new technological developments such as Digital Twins, could a future where divers no longer have to work on offshore rigs be in sight? Umar Ali explores the potential of ‘zero dive.’

Digital twins
Another technology with the potential to reduce the number of offshore diving operations is digital twins, which allow problems to be identified before divers are needed.

Offshore software provider Akselos has developed the Digital Guardian simulation software to increase the efficiency of offshore maintenance.

“A robust inspection regime is of critical importance to the operational safety of offshore oil and gas assets,” said Akselos vice president of projects Andrew Young. “But in many cases, the inspection areas are subsea, hard to reach and subject to harsh environmental conditions.

“Traditionally, a diver or ROV would be used to carry out inspections on such areas, but many offshore operators are now using Digital Guardian technology to enable real-time, condition-based monitoring of entire assets.”

The Digital Guardian simulates fully detailed models of large-scale assets. This model can then be coupled with sensors to capture the true condition of the asset and create a real-time digital twin of the asset.

The software is cloud-based, and the digital twin can be accessed at anywhere and at any time. If there are any defects or structural anomalies the software’s Decision Support System alerts asset operators, which allows structural engineers to make informed decisions about maintenance or recovery plans.

“With this new, more focused approach to risk-based Inspection, the result is that if divers are required, they can focus their attention on a pinpointed area, reducing the number and duration of dives required,” said Young.

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