Equinor's digital operations support centers help boost production

Kjell Børge-Freiberg (left), petroleum and energy minister, and Arne Sigve Nylund, executive V.P. for development and production Norway. Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland /Equinor ASA).

STAVANGER -- Two centers have been 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 $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 centers.

By 2021, all Equinor fields on the NCS will be supported by manned onshore centers 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 center (IOC) since September. After that the Aasta Hansteen and Norne fields have also been connected to the center. This marks that we have just started phasing in our 40 installations to the IOC, revealing a great potential,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive V.P. for development and Production Norway.

“The good results are achieved by production optimization, 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 center 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 MMt so far. The company aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.2 MMtpa by 2030. Further energy efficiency measures and new energy solutions will help reach this goal.

“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. Digitalization, 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 organization.

“The IOC gives us new digital tools ensuring faster and better decisions through close interaction between offshore operations and onshore support center. 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 center to be formally opened today, the Geo Operations Center (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.

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