Interview with Kenneth Nakken, Head of Digital Twin, Kongsberg Digital
Kongsberg Digital have implemented a digital twin, connecting the digital and physical worlds to enable efficiency throughout the production lifecycle. As more companies recognise the value of this technology for the Oil and Gas industry, Kenneth Nakken, Kongsberg’s Head of Digital Twin highlights why it’s so important.
What are the benefits of using Kongsberg’s digital twin for the Oil and Gas industry?
One of the key features of digital twin is to get an insight of what is going on inside, for example inside the production facility. Building on that, you can do analytics on the real time data to guide the operator to make better decisions. I think that is one of the big benefits for the industry. As well as making data available across disciplines.
Are there any challenges you could face with the digital twin?
The major challenge is the availability today. For example, in the Norwegian continental shelf, most of the assets are well connected to shore. They have a data link that can support all the data from the facility to the cloud. In other regions, the connectivity is not well established and you will stimulate the twin with less amount of data, which is reducing your ability to help put the data in context and do the analytics.
What impact is digitalisation having for Kongsberg?
For Kongsberg it opens up future opportunities where we can combine deliveries of control systems. Kongsberg has a long history of delivering control systems to the oil and gas industry, both ships and oil rigs. To make these control solutions more autonomous or to have greater level of remote control of the assets is an opportunity for the industry and for Kongsberg. It reduces the level of manning required on the facility itself, moving the control and deficiencies from the asset, onshore to the control rooms.
Are there any other ways in which Kongsberg is using digitalisation or technology to help improve efficiencies?
We see a lot of opportunities in this space. We have had traditional deliveries of control systems, sensors and machinery over decades but the level of digitalisation is opening up new and different business opportunities where we can provide more automation, support and remote control autonomy in the future. Also, to provide more analytics and decision support for the operators. This utilises machine learning and predicted algorithms to predict a better future where you can see what methods are failing and how to optimise your facility in a more efficient way.
What role does collaboration play when using the digital twin and other digital technologies?
I think collaboration is key to making this happen because it’s all about exchanging the data. If you don’t exchange data in an understandable way, then you can’t provide the value that the analytics of the data can give you. So, it’s about collaboration between the operators and the EPC’s and the service providers that are all involved in the operation or the field development. Sharing data is key to capitalise on the value of digital twin technology.
Will factors such as machine learning be the future and create concern for manual jobs?
We hear that a lot, that in the future we don’t need people in the oil business, they will all be replaced by robots and algorithms, but I’m not that sure about that. I think it will be different jobs, some labour will be more obsolete but there will be new opportunities. People that can provide better decisions or better analytics of the data and help you optimise the operations to reduce costs. It is absolutely necessary to reduce the cost in this industry, so I think there will be new opportunities for people who are involved in this business.