What Does the Future of Offshore Asset Monitoring Look Like?

Advances in data collection technology and cloud computing will continue to build stronger models that help to extend the lifespan of assets and shape design improvements.

10 May 2021

Energy and Resources

BMT have been providing monitoring solutions to our customers in the Gulf of Mexico since 2005. Over that period, we have continued to invest in our technology, deliver innovation and improve the quality of our offering to the market.

In the last 10 years we have made improvements to the underlying hardware, as we integrate more advanced components in our data collection products, and we have introduced digital solutions. The introduction in 2015 of our cloud-based data analytics platform, BMT Deep, capitalizes on the culmination of advances in global connectivity and cloud computing which has brought benefits to many industries.

It is enabling asset managers to have confidence in the data, as the powerful cloud computing can run sophisticated algorithms to validate raw data, and it is enabling them to identify real insights from the trillions of data points that are collected and processed. It is fair to say, asset monitoring has made many advances over the last few years, but what is next?

Affordable monitoring for all

Andy Brown, Business Development Manager at BMT, has been working with offshore operators for over thirty years and has seen the tremendous change in the industry, the challenges clients face, and the opportunities technology has in meeting those challenges. He explains how component level improvement are opening access to more companies.

“When we first launched our monitoring systems, they delivered incredible value to operators who had highly valuable assets operating in deep water. However, they were not always an affordable option for smaller nearshore facilities. We have continued to innovate, looking at the data we have collected from various assets, we have been able to reconfigure our monitoring systems to hit a lower price point for those nearshore operators."

He continues, "At the same time, the offshore energy production industry has faced increased competition with a fall in energy prices. Oil prices in real terms are 60% less than 10 years ago and that is with the recovery in demand to pre-COVID levels. Also, the cost of wind production has decreased by 30%¹ in the same period. It has become more important than ever before to maximize the value from assets, extending the lifespan of facilities, and the only way to do that safely is through collecting data. This pressure is only set to continue over the next 10 years as the cost of ownership increases and margins are eroded through innovation.

With more affordable solutions and a greater need to collect data, I see remote monitoring and analysis become embedded and the real norm over the next 10 years. Not just in the energy sector, but across all sorts of industries that have critical assets or facilities that customers want to protect and sustain.”

The bigger picture

Soma Maroju, Head of Data Services at BMT explains how technological advances are joining the dots and closing the loop in helping asset managers better manage their assets.

“We’re very much moving to that space of creating a digital twin, where the data we are collecting will create a virtual representation of an offshore asset. However, with so much hype around the term ‘digital twin’, it is important to note, no one solution can create an end-to-end digital twin of an asset. The concept of a digital twin should be thought of as an ecosystem - where different solutions come together to collect real-time data, update a digital version of the asset, and continually model how it will perform with the new data set in the real world."

Soma continues, "Historically, there has been a disconnect between the design, manufacture and use of an asset. There has not been a clear feedback mechanism between lessons learned and implementing changes to improve asset performance, at least not at that whole system level. These historical challenges are the result of not enough data being collected or data that is being collected being unorganized which restricts the ability to uncover insight through analysis. 

Data collection will become the norm for all industries because of lower costs and greater need. This is exciting, as we will have the data to match the advances in cloud computing and models which extract the insight to help inform better asset management and improvements in design.”

BMT Deep and our remote monitoring system can play a central part in collecting data and the integration process from multiple sources. We are currently working with several clients on implementing digital twins of their offshore facilities.

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