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Greenfield Digital Twin

A greenfield digital twin is a model of a planned physical installation, rather than a virtual representation of an existing asset. It is a dynamic model that can be used to simulate the behavior of the installation, improve the design, reduce design and engineering, construction, and installation time, and assess operational procedures, production efficiency, and maintenance friendliness.

  • Time saving


  • Time reduced on projects


  • Cost savings


From start to finish, virtually

Multidiscipline teams create the digital representation of the installation that is to be built. The representation consists of 3D models, design and engineering data, equipment specifications, simulated data, and operational experiences with the systems and equipment that is to be used. It covers all systems and equipment on the installation and allows the team to test different field development concepts, offshore subsea concepts versus unmanned or manned platforms, agains KPIs like HSE, development and operational costs, time to first oil, production efficiency, and maintenance friendliness.

The model is created in the feasibility phase and is matured throughout the concept selection, FEED, design and engineering, construction, commissioning, and installation phases.

Data from the many expert systems that are used in these phases is integrated using KONGSBERG’s Kognifai platform and – if desired – the digital platform of the client. The data is analyzed by applications that use physical simulation engines, and advanced analytical and
machine learning algorithms available as services on the Kognifai platform. The results are visualized using state-of-the-art 3D, VR, and AR technologies.

Quicker collaboration

Using a digital twin, the parties involved in a greenfield project can be joined in a non-linear environment that lets them start working together at an earlier stage than in traditional project models, while continuously assessing the effect of changes made on the KPIs. This is key for more gile project methods to be applied and a digital thread or integrated and updated view of the installation to be shared across the many disciplines and parties involved in a greenfield project.

For example, if a team is testing out pipe routes on the seabed, the digital twin can be used to rapidly identify any inconsistencies relative to requirements defined by other disciplines involved in the design of the pipeline, issue warnings, and eliminate unsuitable alternatives early in the planning process. Similarly, a pump provider
can use the digital twin to assess the performance of its pumps on the specific installation before a recommendation is made, and personnel constructing the installation can access checklists and instructions on how to assemble and install the pumps, and document the work, while in the field.

The Payoff

Time and cost savings strengthen the case for greenfield digital twins: Time saved has been documented at up to 40 percent, bringing the duration of an average offshore project down from three to two years. Cost savings have been conservatively estimated at 10–20 percent.

The current project model for greenfields offshore is 20–30 years old, and information is normally exchanged as files, typically pdf files. A digital twin allows all parties involved in a greenfield project to share a digital model of the installation.

In order to take full advantage of a digital twin, some processes will necessarily have to be changed. Skilled personnel will, however, still make the decisions and execute most of the work. The digital twin will help them make better decisions and be more effective.

The greenfield digital twin concept can also be applied to other industries, including renewable energy. The concept is flexible, meaning virtually any industry can benefit.

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