4Subsea delivers decade of digital twin technology

9/22/2021
A representation of a digital twin (courtesy 4Subsea)
A representation of a digital twin (courtesy 4Subsea)

4Subsea, a leading provider of digital technology and services to the energy and maritime sector, has successfully completed more than 300 measurement campaigns across the North Sea following the launch of its digital twin technology, significantly increasing uptime and mitigating risk during well operations.

The SWIM (Subsea Wellhead Integrity Monitoring) system employs retrofittable subsea sensors to monitor and measure stability, load, fatigue, and structural integrity of the wellhead system during drilling operations. It has an extended battery life from one to five years and can operate in water depths down to 3,000 metres.

Since it was first tested in 2010, the technology has identified wellhead integrity issues, such as shallow gas and water, conductor stability issues related to wash-out or fatigue challenges, on nearly a third (30%) of exploration and satellite wells monitored in depths below 150 metres.

Peter Jenkins, CEO of 4Subsea, said: “Digital twin technology provides early warning and improved accuracy in structural health monitoring than traditional analyses and its use has grown exponentially over the last decade. In its first five years of operation, SWIM performed around 80 measurement campaigns. This has grown three-fold since 2015, with over 250 campaigns successfully completed across the UK and Norwegian continental shelves.

“We expect that steep escalation to continue as the industry puts more trust in digital twin technology and the financial, logistical and environmental benefits it brings.”

Advanced algorithms, combined with deep domain expertise, are used to analyse fatigue damage accumulation, well support and structural integrity on conductors, wellheads, BOPs and Christmas trees up to the floating drill rig. This critical data can be used to assess performance, provide prediction analysis and, importantly, rapidly inform decision-making to reduce risk and cost.

Data is shared in real-time via a user-friendly web application that is easily accessible to the rig crew and the onshore support team. Measured data is securely stored and can be re-used for future model calibration.

“Combining our expert engineering and operational experience, we can offer an industry-leading digital service, including advanced autonomous, retrofit sensor technology,” added Jenkins.

With SWIMTM, operators can re-use critical wells and maximize the lifetime of wellheads by scheduling drilling operations based on well criticality, historically accumulated load on wellheads, and predictive models. The predictive models estimate the expected load on the wellheads from future planned drilling and intervention operations.

4Subsea has recently launched the SWIM Live app, which provides live data streaming from sensors installed on the BOP and lower flex joint through integration with the BOP MUX umbilical Microsoft Azure. This allows real-time updates and the ability to optimize operations with instant insight.

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