Digital Oilfield of the Future here now!

BP is applying hi-tech systems to monitor and control offshore fields and facilities.

In the current issue of Frontiers Magazine, BP reveals much about its offshore digital business—with the realization of the digital oilfield of the future (DOFF). DOFF program manager Andy Leonard explained, “Data will flow from reservoirs, wells and process plant, onshore or offshore, to the desks of BP’s experts anywhere in the world”. The technology deployed builds on experience gained in both E&P and in chemicals and refining—much as described in our report from the SPE ACTE on real-time simulation/optimization (OITJ Vol. 8 N°11).

Real time

On BP’s west of Shetlands Schiehallion field data from some 8000 data sources, including legacy instrumentation, is transmitted to Aberdeen - and thence to the user’s desktop. In another initiative, on the Valhall field, BP has deployed a fixed array of four component seismic recording devices on the sea bed—its life-of-field seismic (LoFS) system. The first LoFS survey acquired seven terabytes of data which was transferred to the onshore processing house over a fiber link.


To manage and distribute the massive datasets flowing ashore, BP is developing a new integrated subsurface information system—ISIS. ISIS offers onshore mirror sites holding near real time replicated data from the offshore database. ISIS dovetails with BP’s real-time architecture project (RTAP)—itself built around Landmark’s Real Time Asset Management offering - see our report from the 2003 Landmark user conference (OITJ Vol. 8. N° 7).


For the engineers, a separate project, Data to Desktop (D2D) focuses on process plant and equipment data flows from separators, heat exchangers, compressors, and turbines etc. Data from BP assets around the world can be monitored in real time from any location. BP’s preferred data capture mechanism is the Fieldbus system which connects multiple ‘smart’ instruments to a common network cable, permitting them to communicate with one another and the host control systems. Fieldbus is already widely deployed in BP’s chemical plants. You can read Frontiers Magazine online at More on Fieldbus on page 11 of this issue.

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