Report Shows Digital Twins Gaining Rapid Acceptance in Oil and Gas Operations

A report from analytics and consulting company GlobalData presents an overview of digital twin technology and its implications in oil and gas operations. “Digital Twins in Oil and Gas” highlights the role of major oil and gas companies in the development and adoption of digital twins to meet their business objectives.

“Digital twins are rapidly becoming a mainstay in oil and gas operations as companies strive to optimize asset performance and minimize unplanned outages,” said Ravindra Puranik, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData. “This aims to make oil and gas operations relatively safer while lowering the carbon footprint and improving profitability. Besides, companies are also deploying these tools for remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, among other benefits.”

While digital twins can simulate the management of an oil and gas asset and forecast potential scenarios, they also have the capability to model the performance of assets dynamically in real-time.

“By harnessing real-time data, simulation, and analytics, digital twins can offer profound insights about operational assets,” Puranik said. “They can enable oil and gas companies to streamline processes, preempt breakdowns, bolster safety measures, and, thus, enhance overall profitability. With their ability to provide a comprehensive view of operations, digital twins assist in formulating more informed and precise decisions, rendering them indispensable tools in oil and gas operations. The eventual goal is to achieve autonomous operations at production units to boost safety and productivity.”

Digital twins initially were deployed in capital-intensive oil and gas production facilities to streamline processes, mitigate emission footprints, and generate cost savings. Since then, companies have created twins of their pipeline systems, gas plants, and liquefied natural gas terminals, as well as refineries and petrochemical complexes. The report estimates that the global digital twins market will be worth $154 billion by 2030 (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1—GlobalData estimates that the global digital twins market will be worth $154 billion by 2030.

Source: GlobalData

“Oil and gas companies are also keen on using this technology for their newer ventures beyond oil and gas, including in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and renewable power projects,” Puranik said. “There is considerable potential for digital twins in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of CCS projects and to predict the power output from wind or solar farms. Another emerging use case is in supply chain and inventory management, where products can be tracked in real time to ensure their timely availability for end use applications. This would help in streamlining logistics costs and maintain product quality for end consumers.”

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