In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the opportunities presented by digitalization in offshore oil and gas. However, despite the increased attention, operators have received little direction from digital solutions providers on how to fully capitalize on its benefits. This paper will aim to change that by providing a blueprint for adopting a digital lifecycle approach to offshore oil and gas production.

The approach presented in this paper, which we will refer to as Topsides 4.0 for ease of reference, is an integrated digital lifecycle approach to rotating equipment and electrical and automation systems, underpinned by secure communications. The approach is designed to enable digital design and manufacturing, virtual testing and commissioning, and delivery of an intelligent "digital twin" of a topsides facility. The digital twin is a virtual replica that mirrors the physical facility in near real-time, thus providing a number of advantages to offshore O&G producers, including the capability to run virtual what-if scenarios on the asset and better understand how process, equipment, and maintenance would be impacted by different operating conditions.

Additionally, the paper will address challenges and concerns associated with digitalization in offshore O&G production, such as cybersecurity. It will also outline expected cost and schedule savings that topsides operators can achieve by embracing a fully digitalized approach, some of which include 3 – 9 month reduction in cycle times, $10 - $15 million reduction in CAPEX, and $100 million reduction in OPEX over a 10-year period.

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