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Shaping the future of energy—digitally

0 Devices will be connected online by 2020
0 Increase in global data volume expected by 2025
0 Global investments in artificial intelligence

Digitalisation is on everyone’s lips these days—but at Equinor, it’s already part of our DNA. Our story is one of innovation and technological development. Now we’re putting our industrial strength behind digitalisation, investing 1–2 billion NOK by 2020—on top of existing investments in IT. 

At Equinor, we’re investing to secure a global leadership position within digitalisation. Not because digitalisation and innovation are goals in themselves, but because digitalisation is a key enabler for our strategy. We will produce oil and gas more effectively with lower greenhouse gas emissions, be a leader within carbon capture and storage, and invest substantially in renewable energy.

For almost 50 years we’ve been developing technology to extract resources from some of the most challenging environments in the world—and it has given us the mind-set, experience and enthusiasm for implementing innovative technologies. 

Equinor has already embarked on our digital journey. Our digital roadmap and our Digital Centre of Excellence will continue helping us exploit the opportunities of the future. 

Digitalisation is changing
our lives

Self-driving cars, robots and more accessible technology. Digitalisation is no longer a thing of the “future.” Many of your work tasks will probably be automated and taken over by robots. Is that a good or a bad thing? We had a chat with head of digitalisation on the Johan Sverdrup field, Trine Svalestad, and digitalisation director, Torbjørn Folgerø.

Volve field data village—free download

We wish to support the energy innovators of the future. That’s why we’re sharing a complete set of data from the Norwegian continental shelf, approximately 40,000 files from the Volve field, which was in production from 2008 to 2016.

 

The data has been released to give students and scientists a realistic case to study. Our aim is to support learning, innovation and new solutions for the energy future. Please note that this is a beta version only, and some files are in the range 1TB—3TB. We apologize for any inconvenience. An improved version is under development, for release in Q3.

Files are stored on Azure, and may be downloaded using AzCopy for Windows or Linux. You may also wish to try a VM in an Azure Cloud near you or in Northern Europe. 30-day trial accounts are available here.  If you experience difficulties with downloading the data files, please contact us, specifying Volve Data Village in your enquiry.

What is digitalisation in practice? And what opportunities does it provide for Equinor?
 

We’re embracing digitalisation first and foremost because it enables us to work smarter and more efficiently. It will make it possible to provide a safer workplace for our employees, continue to create value for society, and find new solutions to address climate change.

 

We will do this by:

  • Utilising sensor technologies, cloud solutions and large volumes of data
  • Using digital technologies to improve the efficiency of our work processes
  • Analysing our data using machine learning to make better exploration decisions

Digitalisation will enable improvements in safety, security, sustainability, productivity and cost efficiency.
 

Real-life examples of innovations taking place in Equinor today are:

  • Automated drilling control
  • Batwind, our innovative battery storage solution for Hywind Scotland
  • Data analytics to optimise our drilling operations
  • The remotely-operated Valemon platform controlled from Bergen
  • Our integrated operations centres for onshore and offshore operations, in the US and on the NCS

This digital shift will change our industry forever—and we are positioned to seize the opportunities it presents.
 

Integrated operations

New fields will integrated gradually over time, to allow us to learn and adapt to new work processes. We will gain superior situational awareness, thanks to data from all our installations. And with predictive analytics, we can make sure that we run our assets and wells in an optimal way.

It all sounds quite technical, but it can improve safety, increase production, reduce costs, and reduce CO2-emissions. Our ambition is that our integrated operations centre for the NCS alone will be able to deliver increased production and production efficiency worth in the order of 10 billion kroner before tax every year in a decade’s time. 

That is real money, real value creation. For Equinor, for our partners, and for society as a whole.

 

Related news

We have established a Digital Centre of Excellence that will coordinate and manage our digitalisation efforts across the company.
 

Digitalisation is not just about new technologies, but also about radically changing the way we work.

And that’s because our most important resource isn’t oil, gas, or even renewables—it’s people. And in Equinor, we’re already well prepared with competent employees. No matter how advanced artificial intelligence gets, it will always be the people who define our success. To succeed, we must attract world-class talent, invest in competence building internally, and be open to collaboration and learning from others.

The Centre of Excellence will collaborate with external specialist communities, have dedicated units for data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and leaders for digital programmes.

Equinor will recruit candidates for the centre of excellence internally and externally, and the leader of the Centre reports to  Equinor’s chief operating officer (COO). 

 

Excited about digitalisation and innovation? See job opportunities in Equinor here.

 Digitalisation is the use of digital technologies to change a business model
and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities.

Our digital roadmap includes six specific programmes:

We will focus on:

  • Digital safety, security and sustainability
    Using data to reduce safety risks, improve learning from historical incidents, strengthen security, and reduce the carbon footprint of our operations.
  • Subsurface analytics
    Improving data accessibility and analytical tools for subsurface data, enabling better decision-making.
  • Next generation well delivery
    Enhancing utilisation of well and subsurface data for planning, real-time analytics and increased automation.
  • Field of the future
    Smart design and concept selection by maximising the use of available data, and integrating digital technologies in future fields.
  • Data-driven operations
    Using data to maximise asset value through production optimisation and maintenance improvements.
  • Process digitalisation and insight
    Streamlining of work processes and reduction of manual input across the value chain. Improving analytical tools and data accessibility within our commercial areas to enable better decision-making.
Foto fra Valemon kontrollrommet
Control room operator Joakim Tesdal in conversation with Norwegian minister of petroleum and energy, Terje Søviknes. Tesdal is one of 14 operators who, divided on seven shifts, will man Valemon’s onshore control room.
Photo: Christian Djupvik Brandt-Hansen

Since launching our digital roadmap, we have used software robots — hired our first digital employees, if you like — and automated more than 30 processes, making our workday more efficient.

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Process digitalisation
Reduced process lead time and manual human input for non-physical processes

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Advanced analytics
Improved understanding of large, complex and diverse data to enable more informed decision-making 

equinor-icon-robot-arm-red.svg

Robotics and remote control
Improved reliability, reduced cost and increased safety by limiting human intervention in physically intensive activities

To fully exploit the opportunities latent in this digital future, there are three technological enablers we see as key to Equinor’s development:

  • Digitalisation of work processes
    Within many of our areas there are manually repetitive tasks. Digital solutions enable us to reduce time spent on non-value creating tasks such as looking for data or moving information from one system to another.
  • Advanced analytics
    The oil and gas industry generates large volumes of data. And in August 2017, our data centres were storing 28 PB—50 times the volume of the American DNA database. By utilising data analytics and machine learning, we can improve our insights from complex data sets.
  • Robotics and remote control
    We apply robotics and remotely-controlled solutions to our physical and mechanical processes. Automated drilling, use of drones for inspection, and unmanned fields are just some of the examples of how we apply digital solutions that help keep our employees safe, creates value, and reduces our carbon footprint. 
statoil_drone_05.jpg
Drone technology is already well established in Equinor, seen here carrying out inspections of turbine blades at Sheringham Shoal wind farm in the UK
Photo: Jose Vega-Lozano

How will Equinor utilise all this data?

  • Of course, digital technology is nothing new to Equinor. Technology has been used for several decades in our industry, automating and simplifying processes.  Sophisticated sensors on drilling equipment and fibre optic cables for information sharing are already standard tools.
  • Sensor technology has developed quickly at the same time as costs have declined. This enables us to collect more data, which in turn can be used for new purposes, for example helping to predict the need for maintenance on our equipment.
  •  Data can be made much more accessible through cloud solutions, allowing us to share data more efficiently internally in Equinor and externally with our partners.
  •  There is an exponential increase in processing capacity and artificial intelligence development. This is driving accelerated development within machine learning and artificial intelligence area.