GE and Noble link up first digital rig

Analytics can detect potential problems two months ahead of time.

A number of key control systems have been digitised.
A number of key control systems have been digitised.

GE and the Noble Corporation have launched the world’s first digital drilling vessel, targeted to achieve 20% operational expenditure reduction across the targeted equipment and to improve drilling efficiency.

“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.

The digital rig solution, powered by GE’s Predix platform, deployed on the Noble Globetrotter I drilling vessel has been 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 Centre 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 solution combines data models from a digital replica of physical assets, known as a digital twin, along with advanced analytics to detect off-standard behaviour, providing an early warning to operators to mitigate a problem before it strikes.

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