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GE and Noble Link up for digital rig

Feb 25, 2018
3 min read
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Following the partnership formed by GE and Noble Corporation, the two companies launched the world’s first digital drilling vessel, targeted to achieve 20 per cent operational expenditure reduction across the targeted equipment and improve drilling efficiency.

In the offshore drilling industry, operators have long relied on individuals, leading to significant performance inconsistencies and variance. The downturn of the industry has challenged drillers to look for innovative ways to achieve operational excellence.

“We are very excited to showcase the launch of the Digital Rig solution and the world’s first digital drilling vessel as we continue to expand data-driven operations support while gaining significant efficiencies in drilling operations. The potential of digitalisation will go beyond a single vessel, opening the door to transforming our entire fleet. The data backbone paves the way towards autonomous drilling, and digital technology is facilitating a new era of drilling and asset performance improvements that are unprecedented,” said Bernie Wolford, senior vice president – Operations, Noble Corporation.

“Partnering with Noble, we are in a unique position to unlock synergies together—from drilling operations to equipment expertise and software analytics skills—to drive holistic transformation of the offshore industry. We are excited to be able to move an important step closer to achieving our vision of a more autonomous future for marine operations,” said Andy McKeran, general manager, GE’s Marine Solutions. “Noble Drilling has been a vanguard of industry digitalisation, and today’s milestone is testament to how industry leaders can collaboratively transform the industry.”

The Digital Rig solution, powered by GE’s Predix platform, deployed on the Noble Globetrotter I drilling vessel has been successfully connected to all targeted control systems, including the drilling control network, the power management system and the dynamic positioning system. Data is collected through individual sensors and control systems, harmonised and centralised on the vessel before transmitting in near real time to GE’s Industrial Performance & Reliability Center for predictive analytics. The delivered implementation and analytics on major marine and drilling equipment have already shown promising results, as the Digital Rig solution captured multiple anomalies and has produced alerts to inform potential failures up to two months before they would occur.

The Digital Rig solution combines data models from a digital replica of physical assets, known as a digital twin, along with advanced analytics to detect off-standard behavior, providing an early warning to operators to mitigate a problem before it strikes. Thanks to vessel-wide intelligence, personnel both on the vessel or onshore can gain a holistic view of an entire vessel’s health state and the real-time performance of each piece of equipment onboard.

The companies will soon start running analytics on equipment’s real-time data on the edge to localise performance improvements and asset intelligence. The remaining three targeted vessels are on schedule to be digitalised for operational optimisation early this year.

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