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Digital Twin

Gas and oil rigs are getting digital safety support

Diamond Offshore Drilling has introduced the first digitally monitored blowout preventer. A digital twin mirrors seabed status in real time.

01 May. 2018
Gas and oil rigs are getting digital safety support (Photo: DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING, INC.)

A blowout preventer (BOP) is a system of several valves that are mounted directly above a petroleum or natural gas bore with the purpose of preventing a blowout, an uncontrolled leakage of oil or gas. In case of deep-sea drilling, the system is located directly above the hole on the seabed. For example, in 2010, a defective BOP was the cause of the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which caused the worst environmental catastrophe in history.

Texas offshore drilling company Diamond Offshore has now developed a digital twin for its BOPs with Sim-Stack and is already using it on its four drilling ships in the Gulf of Mexico. The system continuously replicates the hydraulic and electrical status of the BOP. As soon as it detects deviations from the standard, it informs the operator of the platform as well as the responsible federal authorities. Diamond Offshore also uses Sim-Stack, similar to a flight simulator, to train its BOP technicians.