Digital operations support centres help boost production

January 7, 2019 12:06 CET | Last modified January 7, 2019 12:19 CET
Kjell-Børge Freiberg and Arne Sigve Nylund
Kjell Børge-Freiberg (left), petroleum and energy minister, and Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland /Equinor ASA)

In just a few months the support centres established to help create higher value, improve safety and reduce emissions from Equinor’s installations on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) have led to good results from the first onshore-supported fields.

Today, 7 January 2019, two centres will be formally opened at Sandsli in Bergen by the petroleum and energy minister, Kjell-Børge Freiberg.

Equinor has set an ambition of increasing the value creation from NCS fields by more than USD 2 billion from 2020 to 2025 through measures such as onshore operations support (Equinor share before tax).

New this year is that monitoring of the energy consumption to reduce CO2 emissions from NCS operations will be improved by support of the digital centres.

By 2021, all Equinor fields on the NCS will be supported by manned onshore centres in Bergen, Stavanger and Stjørdal.

“So far, we see higher production and earnings from the Grane, Gina Krog and Åsgard fields, which have been supported by the integrated operations support centre (IOC) since September. After that the Aasta Hansteen and Norne fields have also been connected to the centre. This marks that we have just started phasing in our 40 installations to the IOC, revealing a great potential,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.

“The good results are achieved by production optimisation, improved condition monitoring and operations support for safe offshore operation. IOC will also be relevant for our onshore installations and international activities,” says Nylund.

The IOC centre will be central in reducing CO2 emissions from the NCS. Equinor has implemented more than 300 energy efficiency measures on NCS installations from 2008 and up to the present, reducing annual CO2 emissions by almost 1.6 million tonnes so far. The company aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.2 million tonnes per year by 2030. Further energy efficiency measures and new energy solutions will help reach this goal.

Egil Hustvedt demonstrating the digital twin of Aasta Hansteen
Egil Hustvedt demonstrating the digital twin of the Aasta Hansteen field. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor ASA)

“We have set ambitious goals for changing and transforming the NCS to maintain high value creation and low emissions for the next decades. We have improved our operating efficiency, increased production, reduced our CO2 emissions and developed a highly profitable project portfolio. Digitalisation, innovation and use of new technology will allow us to recover resources that are not profitable now,” says Nylund.

The IOC will also improve our collaboration with suppliers and partners and increase the transfer of knowledge across the organisation.

“The IOC gives us new digital tools ensuring faster and better decisions through close interaction between offshore operations and onshore support centre. Our main goal is to operate our installations safely and optimally every single day while identifying challenges and preventing shut-downs before they occur,” says Kjetil Hove, head of operations technology on the NCS.

The other centre to be formally opened today, the Geo Operations Centre (GOC), will ensure more efficient and better geoscience control of drilling operations as well as higher cost saving and personnel safety. Monitoring and control of offshore well path drilling will be moved from offshore installations and the various onshore units to a joint geoscience operations centre. The GOC is expected to save NOK 270 million per year.

“This is a completely new way of working and represents one of the biggest changes we have made in petroleum technology and geology during the last 20 years. The GOC will utilise new technology and help form a digital future, where tasks are carried out and experience gained and shared in smart ways,” says Hove.

* You will find downloadable photos via the links in the text above

Related pages and downloads

This is IOC (Integrated Operations Centre):

  • IOC is a support centre based on digitalisation that aims to help improve production efficiency, production potential and energy efficiency on fields we operate on the NCS.
  • IOC will work proactively by gathering interdisciplinary resources who can use enhanced data integration, visualisation, analysis and new technology to support Equinor’s installations to an even larger extent than today.
  • The centre will make data available in a more user-friendly format offering the offshore and onshore operations organisations an even better basis for decision-making and support.
  • The Gina Krog and Grane fields in the North Sea and Åsgard in the Norwegian Sea were connected to the IOC in September.
  • In January, the Aasta Hansteen and Norne fields in the Norwegian Sea were also connected to the IOC. All Equinor-operated fields will eventually be supported by the centre.

This is GOC (Geo Operations Centre):

  • Geo-operations monitoring has traditionally been carried out on offshore installations and various office locations. All these monitoring tasks will now be gathered in a joint centre.
  • The GOC will lead to higher personnel safety and cost saving due to reduced need for transport and stay on the installations. Safety during drilling is maintained and strengthened by access to qualified personnel at the centre around the clock.
  • All NCS fields will be gradually phased in to the GOC, except from high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) fields.
  • During 2019 all production wells on the NCS will be monitored by the GOC.