4Subsea, a leading provider of digital technologies and services to the energy and shipping sectors, has successfully completed more than 300 measurement campaigns in the North Sea after the introduction of its digital twin technology, significantly increasing uptime and reducing risk during drilling operations.
The Subsea Wellhead Integrity Monitoring (SWIM) system uses retrofittable subsea sensors to monitor and measure the stability, load, fatigue and structural integrity of the wellhead system during drilling operations. It has an extended battery life of one to five years and can be operated in water depths of up to 3,000 meters.
Since initial testing in 2010, the technology has identified wellhead integrity issues, such as well below 150 meters, in nearly a third (30%) of the exploration and satellite wells monitored.
Peter Jenkins, CEO of 4Subsea, said, “Digital twin technology offers early warning and better accuracy in monitoring structural health than traditional analysis, and its use has grown exponentially over the past decade. In the first five years of operation, SWIM carried out around 80 measurement campaigns. This has tripled since 2015, with over 250 successfully completed campaigns on the British and Norwegian continental shelves.
“We assume that this steep escalation will continue as the industry places more trust in the digital twin technology and the associated financial, logistical and ecological advantages.”
Advanced algorithms, combined with in-depth expertise, are used to analyze fatigue damage accumulation, well support and structural integrity on ladders, wellheads, BOPs and Christmas trees through to the floating drill rig. This critical data can be used to evaluate performance, provide predictive analytics, and most importantly, make quick decisions to reduce risk and cost.
The data is exchanged in real time via a user-friendly web application that is easily accessible by the rig crew and onshore support team. The measured data are securely stored and can be reused for future model calibrations.
“By combining our expert engineering and operations experience, we can offer industry-leading digital service, including advanced autonomous, retrofittable sensor technology,” added Jenkins.
With SWIMTM, operators can reuse critical wells and maximize wellhead life by planning drilling operations based on wellhead criticality, historically accumulated wellhead loading, and predictive models. The predictive models estimate the expected load on the wells from future planned drilling and intervention operations.
4Subsea 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 enables real-time updates and the ability to optimize operations with immediate insight.