As an industry we often say that we should learn from the lessons of others. This is an example of such a case. The United States Department of Defense is developing the next generation Battlefield of the Future concept, and as a part of that effort they are using gaming technology to create a situational awareness tool for the operating theater. Chevron Corporation and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) have teamed to develop a proof of concept using this approach to evaluate its usefulness for operations and simulation/modeling in the oilfield environment, in addition to the proven applicability for training personnel.

A virtual model of a Chevron Corporation onshore brownfield asset was developed using a commercially available game development engine. Geospatial information, real-time operational data and organizational knowledge were integrated into the 3-dimensional (3-D) models to provide a virtual operating environment. Such an environment would enable operators to virtually ‘tour’ the fields and prioritize activities before leaving their consoles, and provide engineers a richer understanding of the interaction between wells, facilities, and gathering systems. In addition, by integrating specialized tools (e.g., network optimizers); ‘what-if’ scenarios can be visually interpreted within the virtual world for easier assimilation and learning. The resulting virtual model also facilitates collaboration functionality due to its inherent support for multiple users (avatars and instant messaging) and the rich 3-D visual capability, making it easy to facilitate field planning activities like well placements, as well as road and facility construction before construction actually starts.

Future functionality could include real-time personnel and asset tracking using live global positioning system (GPS) data fed into the 3-D virtual model. This platform can also lead to the development of ‘intelligent’ workflows based on best practices, which can be refined and captured through the environment, and then guide users through routine troubleshooting and surveillance tasks based on those workflows (guided workflows). The next phase in the evolution of this paradigm is to be able to exercise supervisory control of field facilities through this environment by interfacing with the underlying supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and distributed control system (DCS) systems.

A live demo of this proof of concept will be presented along with current findings.

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