Learning from Disaster: Digitally Enabling Safety and Compliance in the Oil & Gas Industry

Few industrial accidents witnessed the tragic breadth such as 2010’s Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eleven workers died; the environmental impact was immense, with almost 5 million barrels of oil flowing into the gulf, fouling hundreds of miles of coastline/wetlands and killing incalculable marine life; the Gulf coast economy lost $22 billion in tourism dollars; and BP had to pay out over $61 billion in legal fees and cleanup costs.

As horrific as it was, lessons learned will avert similar future disasters. One of those lessons was the importance of monitoring control systems. There is now a mandate that any oil rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico must actively monitor the subsea blowout preventer and control system in real-time.

New regulations require drilling companies to track, trend and report on equipment failures, abnormalities and overall system health. Embodying that mandate is the Janus24™ real-time monitoring platform developed by Deepwater Subsea LLC. The OSIsoft™ PI System™ combined with Hexagon solutions is allowing oil and gas companies and drilling contractors to now operate safely and in compliance with federal regulations.

First, Deepwater Subsea is born
Though he wasn’t on the platform when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, Michael Fry was a supporting subsea superintendent for Transocean when it happened. The tragedy – and the realization that it could have been prevented with updated operations and compliance measures – inspired him to found Deepwater Subsea LLC, which focuses on real-time monitoring, competency development and training to end preventable errors through digital transformation and operational excellence.

Specifically, his Texas-based company’s Janus24 real-time monitoring platform combines information previously siloed on paper, spreadsheets, hard drives and other disconnected databases into a central digital solution.

The combination of human operations procedures (j5 Operations Management Solutions), engineering information and schematics (HxGN SDx® Operations) with real-time and historical data (the OSIsoft PI System) has enabled the industry’s first digital real-time monitoring platform which utilizes the powerful joint value of these solutions.

This ground-breaking achievement developed in a relatively short-time, especially in the typically slow-moving oil and gas industry.

“To me it’s completely game-changing to have all this information readily available on one screen,” Fry said. “This is the first time end users can go to one place and get all the operations, maintenance, engineering and process data they need to do their duties.

“By having all this information readily available in a digital twin, I believe this is an industry first for the oil and gas industry, where it has been difficult to monitor remote assets and equipment in dangerous areas.”

To learn more about how Hexagon and OSIsoft solutions are enabling greater transparency and heightening Deepwater Subsea LLC’s creditability in the oil and gas industry, read the full case study here.

Want to see how to create an Operational Twin with solutions from Hexagon and OSIsoft? Register for our webinar series! Essential Elements of an Operations Digital Twin is scheduled for Oct. 1; four other webinars are planned for early October.

Watch the video, j5 Operations Management Solutions and OSIsoft™ PI Event Frames – A Powerful Combination.


Gordon Duthie
After graduating in 2010 with an MSc with Merit in International Marketing Management at Robert Gordon University, Gordon is part of the Hexagon PPM division Global Marketing Team in the role of Senior Program Manager focusing on Owner Operator solutions. He is based in the Aberdeen office in Scotland.

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