Shell’s Enchilada offshore platform has been surveyed in September 2012 with a specially built, fully automated 100 megapixel 360º HDR panoramic photography camera system with 3D measurement capability. Subsequently, a 360º PanoramicGuide web-based viewer was produced and made available to Shell users. The spherical photos were indexed to the facility’s general arrangement drawings. Interactive descriptive menus and maps were made available to quickly locate and navigate to points of interest. Users can choose from multiple viewpoints of the Enchilada facility, view 360º in all directions around those viewpoints to virtually examine various areas/equipment in the platform, zoom in to view precise detail, and take 3D measurements between visually recognizable shapes and patterns from the viewpoints.

The paper will discuss a number of potential and tested applications, the latter where the technology has been used for the Enchilada platform:

  • a)

    Detailed visual assessments for engineering design, project planning, operations and safety reviews;

  • b)

    Visual reference during conference collaboration meetings with offsite subject matter experts and email communications to assure common understanding;

  • c)

    Visual assessments by subject matter experts, including consultants and sub-contractors that are not possible with video, standard photography or 3D models/images created from laser scans alone.

Experience using the viewer has demonstrated that users are able to improve quality and collaboration in planning work related to construction and modifications, potentially resulting in decreased cost and project recycle, improved HSE and reduced liability and risk, by minimizing or even eliminating offshore trips and time on site for vendors and other personnel.

Development of new advanced visualization and communication technologies will be a key success factor for future improvements in planning, asset management and Integrated Operations, among other remote operations activities.

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