1 Technology Trends and Tomorrow s Energy Infrastructure Challenge The future of the industry looks bright. There is growing global demand for oil & gas resources. But fulfilling that demand will require a generational investment in new supply infrastructure, a challenge in which technology, and in particular digital technology is likely to play an increasingly important role. -Dominic Thasarathar, Strategic Industry Relations - Autodesk
2 Introduction Energy-Hungry Planet The Oil & Gas sector is facing a time of major change. Over the next two decades, based on forecasts from the United Nations, world population will increase by approximately a billion, and by 2030 over 60% of the world s population will be urban dwellers. In parallel, data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates Global Economic growth is set to increase by 3% each year for the next 50 years 1. Collectively, these trends are underwriting an increased demand for energy resources. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that by 2035 world demand for Oil is set to reach 99.7mpd (87.4mpd in 2011) and Natural Gas 4955 bcm (3307 bcm in 2010) 2. To complicate matters, the majority of this increased demand will occur in what are today s emerging economies. Countries such as China, India, and other non-oecd nations will experience populations grow at faster rates than those of the developed world; likewise their economies the combined GDP of China and India alone will soon surpass that of the G7 economies. This presents the industry with a complex challenge putting in place increased capacity, and delivering much of that capacity to non-traditional markets. Tomorrow s Energy Infrastructure Successfully meeting this challenge requires a generational investment in supply infrastructure across the oil & gas valuechains. The IEA forecasts a cumulative investment in excess of $18Tn between 2012 and 2035 will be required to meet demand 3. Delivering such a pipeline of infrastructure is a monumental undertaking, even for an industry used to delivering some of the most complex projects on the planet. But against a backdrop of skills shortages, frontier environments, increased project size, questions over finance, and a host of other considerations, it s a task that seems to be getting harder by the day. Autodesk is thinking about this, are you? Autodesk is thinking about this challenge. We see trends in digital technology could significantly enhance or transform the way the industry plans, designs, builds and operates its infrastructure supporting it to deliver this new asset base in a timely, efficient manner, and doing so in a way which minimizes the financial burden on production costs.
3 Delivering Tomorrow s Infrastructure Size & Scope Massive infrastructure additions are needed across the globe to meet the increases in population, economic viability, and therefore, demand. The IEA World Energy Outlook for 2012 predicts a $15 trillion investment is needed in upstream oil & gas infrastructure over the next two decades. India, China, and the Middle East are seeing demand like never before, and the IEA believes they will account for 60% of the increase in global energy demand in the period to China s consumption for example is expected to rise from around 130 billion cubic metres in 2011 to 545 bcm in This demand increase will need pipelines and refining capability to carry resources from production to consumers. IEA predicts Iraq will account for 45% of the growth in global production to 2035, becoming the secondlargest global oil exporter. Meanwhile, in the United States, production from unconventional oil & gas sources has soared; the country is now projected to become the largest global oil producer by The infrastructure to move those hydrocarbons to processing facilities is woefully insufficient. A massive rail transport increase has helped combat a similar problem in Canada, but with an added cost of an increase in potential risks. Challenge and Change With depleting levels of easily extractable, large-scale, high-grade deposits, companies are increasingly turning to more challenging, often frontier environments in their quest to meet production targets and reserve-replacement ratios. Operating in such environments incurs greater production costs, driven by the cost of often complex enabling infrastructure, substantial investment in technology, and greater costs for service and supply of remote facilities. This, combined with widespread cost inflation for everything from labor to equipment spares, has seen the marginal production cost per barrel of the top 50 listed oil companies increase by 26% year-over-year over the last decade 5. With a fixed sale price, this squeeze on margins is becoming a barrier to growth, impacting all sectors of the industry, conventional, unconventional, onshore and offshore. At the same time, energy infrastructure projects are becoming more complex, larger in size and often fail to meet budget or schedule targets. Recent reports from Schlumberger Business Consulting show 30% of capital projects in Oil & Gas overran their budgets by 50% 6. Aside from the cost and scale implications, other key factors influencing the infrastructure challenge include growing sustainability requirements, concerns over the bandwidth capacity of the industry to undertake the volume of required projects, skills shortages, changing technology and convincing investors to finance such undertakings. To deliver tomorrow s energy infrastructure in a way that doesn t compromise profitability is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge. A task requiring the ability to design for multiple dimensions simultaneously, to deliver an asset which performs as designed, in way that upholds surety of outcome getting it right first time, to the budget, schedule, quality and scope specified.
4 Technology Waves to Watch Technology is all around us and it s continually evolving. Knowing which technological trends are worth watching, and which are just background noise can be tricky, but here are 4 major digital trends that we believe will have a significant impact on the way the industry delivers oil & gas infrastructure. Digital Reality Increasing fidelity of graphical environments and advances in human-computer interfaces, in particular developments in immersive environments offers the potential of being able to simulate anything in the real world in the digital world beforehand. The use of intelligent 3D models for Oil & Gas infrastructure projects has of course been around for many years, but how might the ability to simulate any factor, simultaneously change the design process? Cloud Computing In just the same way as the Personal Computer displaced the mainframe, putting computing power in the hands of those with a desktop, so Cloud Computing is displacing the notion of limited computing power, and indeed the desktop itself. Access to a theoretically unlimited amount of processing power (so called infinite computing ) - on demand, in real time, as needed, anywhere, anyhow, from any device offers to transform the process of analysis and simulation. Digital Realization - 3D printing, digital fabrication and related technology trends offer the prospect of reducing the number of steps it takes to transition from a computer model of components of an oil & gas infrastructure asset, from many steps to potentially just one. Modern manufacturing has evolved around the paradigm of mass production, where both complexity and uniqueness have attracted a price premium it s traditionally been more expensive per unit to produce a short-run of bespoke objects than a high volume of standardized objects. But digital realization is now on the threshold of turning that paradigm on its head for a growing number of objects made in an increasing range of materials. How might the ability to print the component parts of an Oil or Gas infrastructure asset change the construction process? How might that free the industry to move beyond using standard catalogue items and design the best component for the job, unique to each installation? How might that change the service and supply requirements for example for spare parts if it might be possible to simply print a spare valve seal on a rig? Crowd Sourcing - as the digital environment continues to shorten the distance between individuals, it s ushering in new ways to collaborate and cooperate around complex tasks. Both social media and mobile technology are offering the prospect of tapping into infinite human capability to solve complex, abstract problems quickly through crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing to solve a problem has been demonstrated to give a quicker and better result than traditional approaches. As the industry faces increasingly complex design problems, with the need to balance a greater number of dimensions to come up with the best compromise, could Crowd Sourcing feature as a tool to aid in complex decision making?
5 When Technology Trends meet Infrastructure Delivery So how might infinite computing change the way we collaborate on projects? How might crowd and social networking change the way we approach design optimization? How might digital realization change the act of physical construction of an oil refinery, gas platform or pipeline? Bringing together these four trends with the project delivery process, we see 12 opportunities for technology to improve productivity, enhance predictability of outcome, or radically transform the processes of project delivery. 1. High-Resolution Modeling Imagine a digital model so detailed it would virtually eliminate the need for questions, because all necessary information is clearly and sufficiently displayed in an intuitive, ergonomic manner. This kind of high-resolution modeling could have an incredible impact on the process of representation. 2. Analysis During Design Imagine seeing in real-time the downstream impacts of individual design changes on the whole of the asset. Consider, for example, increasing the throughput for a process line in a model and seeing instantly the required increase in power for the pumps associated with that line, the increased size of power cable needed to supply the prime-mover for those pumps, the implications for the size of ladder rack needed to support those cables and so on. 3. Immersive Environments A massive task of computing power, and likely still a few years off, immersive environments hold the prospect of an almost Hollywood approach to design. Project teams in Oil & Gas are often widely disbursed, both across companies and across geographies. Effective collaboration can be a struggle, something that file sharing systems, intranets and other technologies can assist with, but ultimately can t replace the benefits of having everyone in the same room. So, imagine project teams stepping into a virtual environment and working on a proposed asset digitally, instead of simple file-sharing and database-sharing. It may sound like something out of The Matrix, but where increased computing power meets The Cloud, it is becoming a reality. 4. Reality Capture - Being able to capture the reality of a structure or environment and put it into a digital simulation for planning and design is a very real need. Today, laser scanning and photogrammetry are established practices, but increasing power and accuracy in technology could bring us beyond that. Imagine using the camera on a smartphone to take a picture that can then be interpreted into a 3D model, with high-quality features mimicking its real-world counterpart. That could mean a major change in the way assets are planned, maintained, and operated. But what of all the other information that exists in reality the environmental conditions and the material properties of brownfield projects for example? As remote sensing technology continues to move beyond capturing geometry, it s likely we ll see a broadening of reality capture to create information rich models of the existing context, enabling engineers to both better manage upgrade and expansion projects, but also plan for the decommissioning of the increasing number of end-of-life facilities which will require remediation over the next twenty years. 5. Complex Perpetual Modeling We have access to massive amounts of computing power via the cloud. This means an ability to handle complex computations, and even have them represented back in a graphically rich way. Colorful, detailed models are simply easier for us to interpret, and will ease the process of taking in large amounts of information. This could make for a faster design process. But equally, being able to see, visually, the impact of design changes taps into the human brains natural preference for interpreting complex information in the form of patterns and colors, over numbers on spreadsheets will likely make it easier for engineers to make complex decisions quickly. 6. Perpetual Analysis Evolution, the process by which nature undertakes design is arguably the best model for how to tackle multi-dimensional design challenges. Just ask the species of flora and fauna that continue to thrive over those that have died off. To mimic nature s way of design though will take a large amount of computing power. With enough power, we could see the impacts of design in real time, and get the best result, perhaps starting with seed designs optimized for a particular aspect of performance (cost, schedule, sustainability etc.).
6 7. Predictive Analytics a practice already in place in other sectors of the economy, most notably the retail sector, Predictive Analytics puts together large amounts of computing power with large amounts of data to spot patterns. Those patterns are probabilistic indicators of future outcomes. Predictive analysis offers the potential for better decision makings before committing a project to the real world, by looking at how past project decisions impacted previous assets. Feeding operations and maintenance data, performance data, project team behavior, historical project delivery information, and more, as raw material into predictive analytics systems has the potential to open the door to en era of continual project and asset improvement. 8. Reverse Project Delivery wouldn t it be nice to eliminate the words if only from a project director s lexicon? If we could simulate anything in the real world beforehand, designs should be perfect before committing to build. No longer will a foreman say If only I had known that this part wasn t specified correctly or similar. These problems would be eliminated. 9. Supply-Chain Insight Everyone from the firms involved in design to the suppliers providing basic materials should be able to step into the same collaborative environment. It provides a manner for understanding where each firm s work fits in to the project, and can help identify any clashes or issues, as well as opportunities for improvement. All this can be done without compromising the schedule or adding excessively to the budget. 10. Printed Components 3D printing is currently being used for small and medium-sized pieces and components. Could massive structures one day be printed with a single printer? What if an entire platform could be produced at the push of a button? How would a 1-step process for going from a 3D model to a finished asset change the way construction, operation, and maintenance are handled? 11. Institutionalized, Distributed Knowledge Crowd-sourcing and social networking give us a way to connect like never before. We are now able to take our best practices and connect with everyone in an organization to ensure everyone is consistently following those practices. This could help streamline processes and ensure everyone is working the same way. It could help reduce redundancies, leverage knowledge internally amongst workers, and externally amongst other organizations that can benefit from that expertise. Additionally, by fostering the notion of individual knowledge workers, able to market their wares via the cloud, it opens the door to a much broader pool of talent for the industry to mitigate its current and growing skills shortages. 12. Shorter, Deeper Transactions - The wisdom of the crowd can quickly solve problems. Companies are already using the cloud accessibility of skilled workers to solve problems. As projects get more complex, and schedules compress, solving these problems quickly may be an incentive to tap the wisdom of the crowd. In theory this should accelerate the time it takes to solve complex design challenges, and do that in a much deeper way, because project teams will no longer be restricted to the quantity and efficacy of knowledge that exists within their team, or the wider team of their companies.
7 The future is coming. Are you ready? Autodesk is watching these trends and preparing for these possible changes. With a full suite of available products and services, Autodesk is ready to help you prepare for the future, and best take advantage of the technological trends that are already here. For more information, head to About Autodesk Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone--from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists--uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. Autodesk design and engineering solutions for oil and gas can help enhance and transform the way the industry plans, designs, documents, builds, and manages projects with intelligent 3D. For more oil and gas resources from Autodesk visit or autodesk.com. About PennEnergy PennEnergy serves global energy professionals with the broadest, most complete coverage of industry-related information, with resources to help effectively perform critical job functions. Including content from all PennWell Petroleum brands and other industry sources, PennEnergy.com delivers original industry news, financial market data, in-depth research, maps, surveys, statistical data, and equipment/service information. We have also invested in Google search technology to make it easy for customers to search and find needed data. Since 1910, The PennWell Petroleum Group has been the industry leader for coverage of and service to the worldwide petroleum industry. Its foundation magazines are Oil & Gas Journal, Offshore Magazine, Oil, Gas & Petrochem Equipment, Oil & Gas Financial Journal, LNG Observer and The Petroleum Buyers Guide. The group also produces targeted e-newsletters, hosts global conferences and exhibitions, seminars and forums, directories and technical books, print and electronic databases, surveys and maps.
8 References: The structure and contents of this white paper were culled from the Autodesk presentation Toward 2030: Modelling Tomorrow s Oil & Gas Infrastructure by Dominic Thasarathar. 1. Johansson, Åsa et al. Looking to 2060: Long-Term Global Growth Prospects A Going for Growth Report. Paris: OECD Publishing, Print. 2. Birol, Fatih et al. World energy outlook, Paris: OECD/IEA, Print. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Challenges of E&P Megaproject Delivery, SBC. Home, SBC. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Sept < Our_Ideas/Energy_Perspectives/Summer12_Content/Summer%2012_Challenges.aspx>. 6. Mckenzie, Kate. Marginal oil production costs are heading towards $100/barrel. FTAlphaville. FT.com, 2 May Web. 20 Aug <ftalphaville.ft.com//2012/05/02/983171/marginal-oil-production-costs-are-heading-towards-100barrel/>.
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