Oil and gas companies are no stranger to big data, technology and digital innovation, but Canada based marine technology company Kraken Robotics Inc. believes the industry has yet to take full advantage of the opportunities that derive from using big data and robotic technology in a meaningful way. A single drilling rig can generate terabytes of data every day, yet only a small fraction of it is used for decision-making, it said.
Now, under a contract recently awarded to Kraken subsidiary, Kraken Robotic Systems Inc., the company will develop underwater sensors and robotics in order to advance digitalization of integrated operations within Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas sector.
“The rapid progression of technology such as sensors, robotics, big data and predictive analytics offer oil and gas operators the ability to digitize and automate high-cost, dangerous and error-prone tasks,” said Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO. “While digitalization offers many potential benefits in the upstream value chain, some of the biggest opportunities are in integrated operations, such as reducing unplanned downtime by enhancing asset integrity management.”
Funding for the nearly $590,000 ($750,000 CAD) contract is being provided by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL), InnovateNL and industry partners. The contract will commence in 4Q17 and conclude in 4Q18.
“This project is consistent with our member’s pursuit of opportunities to gain competitive advantage by harnessing new technologies to improve operational efficiencies, increase cost savings, improve real-time understanding of operations and the environment and reduce risk within Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore environment,” said Alan Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of PRNL, a federally-incorporated, not-for-profit organization that facilitates and funds R&D on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas industry.
Kraken said a goal of the project is to demonstrate and evaluate an improved process for data collection, analysis and predictive analytics for oil-field inspection, maintenance and repair. The project also aims to demonstrate a next generation 3D subsea imaging/asset inspection solution that generates millimeter resolution data.
Under the terms of the contract, Kraken will integrate its SeaVision 3D laser imaging sensor and underwater robotics technologies with a cloud-based data analytics infrastructure to demonstrate an end-to-end digitalization methodology for subsea asset integrity management. Cloud-based integration, predictive analytics and open-architecture Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) concepts will also be evaluated.
According to Kraken, this digitalization methodology will provide unprecedented visibility by connecting with subsea assets in a controlled and repeatable process, any time and from any vendor, as well as insights by capturing holistic views of asset condition with predictive-based maintenance, and optimized asset performance by balancing reliability, performance and cost when defining maintenance strategies across operations.
A white paper published by the World Economic Forum in January 2017 entitled “Digital Transformation Initiative: Oil and Gas Industry
” found that digitalization in the oil and gas industry could unlock approximately $1.6 trillion of value for the industry, its customers and wider society through 2025. This total estimated value can further increase to $2.5 trillion if existing organizational/operational constraints are relaxed and the impact of “futuristic” technologies such as cognitive computing are considered. Environmental benefits include reducing CO2-equivalent emissions by approximately 1,300 million metric tons, saving about 800 million gallons of water and avoiding oil spills equivalent to about 230,000 barrels of oil.