Oil and Gas: How to make a Digital Twin that Works for your Entire Enterprise

Oil and Gas: How to make a Digital Twin that Works for your Entire Energy Enterprise – written by ZynQ 360 Limited Marketing Coordinator and Photographer – Beth Alexander

Some Digital Twin solutions can be complex to deploy, understand and utilise. Specialists need to be hired and/or trained to build, analyse and understand the data, and that data needs to be transcribed in a way that stakeholders can understand, digest, and utilise to bring true value.

A challenging task, especially when you read some of the typical descriptions of what Digital Twins are.

An example from NetworkWorld is – ‘Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical devices that data scientists and IT pros can use to run simulations before actual devices are built and deployed’.

Sounds complicated, right?

It doesn’t have to be.

In the Energy Industry, Digital Twins are often deployed for single use cases, or small specific sections of teams.

This article explores how to make a Digital Twin that works for the entire enterprise in the oil and gas industry.

And it starts with a Digital Replica.

What is Digital Replica

Digital Twins start with a Digital Replica of the very thing you want to ‘twin’.

The Digital Replica could be as small as a custom valve to bring value to your manufacturing process or it could be every Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream asset in your portfolio and everything in between.

Digital replicas are typically created through reality capture processes such as Photogrammetry/Photography, Laser Scanning, 3D Mapping such as Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) or an existing 3D Model.

If this content is feeling unfamiliar – see our previous article to find out what a Digital Twin is, what a Geospatial Digital Twin is, and how they are created with Digital Replicas. This is written with mechanical-minded people in mind, as it’s those people who make up the bulk of the industry and can benefit hugely from these digital technologies.

The Right Tools for the Job

Recently, our team created a Digital Replica of two Midstream sites for a client who needed a Geospatial Digital Twin on a tighter budget. We opted to use our custom SLAM solution, delivering a point cloud and a basic 360 walkthrough. Every time we create a Digital Replica this way, I can’t believe how quick the method is, compared to some of the other methods.

SLAM is ‘Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping’ and allows us to capture large areas quickly, but with lower fidelity and quality.

A Digital Replica created with SLAM forms the foundation of a Digital Twin solution that can grow with the addition of the higher quality Digital Replica in the key areas of an asset, such as units with planned turnaround events.

Digital Reality Data Capture Survey Control for Geospatial Digital Twin Delivery referencing 3d models, meshes, 360 images, photographs, video, lidar and mapping for Digital Twin

Another example is when our team created Digital Replicas of eight Christmas Trees for a client. Not the Christmas Trees you may be thinking of – these Christmas Trees are an assembly of valves, spools, and fittings that sit on oil or gas wells and control the flow. With a bit of imagination, they do look like Christmas trees.

The client required a high-quality digital replica – something we are known for delivering with Photogrammetry from 360 Photography.

When a Digital Replica is created with Photogrammetry from 360 Photography, a point cloud is generated alongside a high quality, high dynamic range 360 Digital Replica, allowing the client and their teams to navigate around the asset as if they were there looking at it with their own eyes. This Digital Replica gives the clearest visual context of the whole asset, even the smallest pieces of machinery or equipment tags.

Maximising the Value of a Digital Twin for the Entire Enterprise

Once a Digital Replica is created as the foundation, it is imperative to house it on an agile, cloud-based platform capable of ingesting not only the Digital Replica but integrating with any existing data and systems to forge a Digital Twin.

When you have a Digital Twin that integrates with existing data and systems, you’re enhancing what you already have, rather than replacing it.

Your team already know how to use your existing systems, keeping it simple.

What’s different, is your team now has visual context of the entire asset that links to those systems and provides a variety of useful tools. They have an agile central hub to work from that houses the Digital Twin of the asset, existing systems, existing data, digitalised registers for equipment, documents, management of change, work packs, and risk management – these are just examples but really, there is no limit.

Just from the examples listed above, already there are use cases for various stakeholders working both on and off the asset: Turnaround, Maintenance, Reliability, Engineering, Safety, Inspection, Drilling, Construction, Decommissioning, Training, IT, HR, and Planners.

Proof of Value

We spoke about ‘Proof of concept’ with prospects for the longest time. The concept was always easy to prove, but when concepts can vary from client to client, we realised it was essential for us to talk with clients about proof of value.

We had a client that wanted to look at ROI after deploying the solution we designed for them.

They did the maths and worked out that their yearly savings on Turnaround projects alone are $1.6 million. When broken down further amongst the enterprise, the yearly savings are even more.

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A key part of this project was a successful implementation and adoption across all business units.

When you have a Digital Twin that is simple, agile, accessible, sustainable and working for your entire enterprise, you maximise the value.

Follow Beth on LinkedIn to keep up with her life journey and all things Digital Twin.

About ZynQ 360 and our Digital Twin Solutions

At ZynQ 360, we capture and create a comprehensive digital twin of your asset, delivered within our secure visualisation software which integrates with your existing data and systems. Providing you and your enterprise with the innovative tools to centralise and streamline your planning and operations. Reducing risk, costs, and environmental impact.

To find out more about ZynQ 360, visit our website here.

To watch a short video introducing ZynQ, our Digital Twin software – click here.

Want to talk to us? Get in touch here.


Point Clouds Defined

Point clouds are 3D representations of physical space. Think about a starry night sky and the patterns that can be seen composing the constellations. Like

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