DNV GL proposes a “probabilistic digital twin” (PDT) to close the gap between digital twins – increasingly used by operators to manage the performance of their assets – and a risk analysis still largely conducted manually before assets enter service
A digital twin is a digital “mirror” of a physical asset, including models of its structure and dynamics that are updated through a combination of multiple data sources. They bring significant benefits to data management and decision-making, providing a consistent, accurate single source of information.
Risk models are rarely brought into operation – they usually exist separately in engineering, operations and health and safety disciplines – and are mostly used in desk studies, based on historical data analysis and offering only a static picture of potential risks.
In reality, risks are dynamic, varying in time with the operating conditions and the condition of the asset, but they are not captured by current risk models that are rarely updated and lack real-time and predictive capabilities.
Liv A. Hovem, CEO, DNV GL - oil and gas, said, “A single, unscheduled downtime event can cost from US$2-US$5mn per day – better and up-to-date risk information may significantly reduce unplanned or unnecessary downtime.
“Our proposed PDT is designed to bring risk analysis into ‘live’ use. Their creation would add a layer of probabilistic risk modelling to existing digital twins, capturing uncertainty, the effect of new knowledge and actual conditions on operational performance and safety.
“By providing a more up-to-date and asset-specific risk picture, a PDT allows operators to adjust operations or take preventive actions to maintain an acceptable risk level at all times. This will enhance safety and reduce expensive downtime.”
The PDT concept was unveiled at Offshore Europe 2019 by Dr Frank Børre Pedersen, programme director for oil and gas at DNV GL’s Group Technology and Research unit, and senior research scientist Dr Andreas Hafver.
“The PDT is not an alternative, but an evolution of the digital twin – expanding it into the risk analysis space. It is a new way of delivering risk analysis – continuously and in a digital format, adding more value in day-to-day decision making,” Pedersen added.