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Statoil, Norway: Complex marine operations

Learn how GLview 3D Visualization API was used as the core graphics engine for simulating complex marine operations, such as lifting, installation of flexible risers, and pipe laying.

(Photo to right: Oil rig at the Sleipner Field.  Courtesy of Harald Petterson-Statoil ASA.)

Statoil is an international energy company with operations in 37 countries. It is an upstream-focused company with strong presence on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.  It is also considered at the forefront when it comes to HSE, new technology and innovative business solutions.  Statoil is HQed in Stavanger, Norway, has approximately 22,000 employees worldwide, and is listed on the New York and Oslo stock exchanges.

In year 2002 Statoil made a decision to use simulators for the real-time simulation of complex marine operations.  The rationale was threefold: i) lower the cost of operator training; ii) improve the planning of marine operations; and iii) reduce the number of accidents.

Statoil tasked a consortium made of Ceetron, MARINTEK and Systems in Motion (now Kongsberg Oil and Gas) with the development of an integrated simulation and visualization environment.  MARINTEK’s analysis software was to perform the numerical calculations.  Systems in Motion was to provide underwater and above water terrain visualization, and Ceetron was to provide the GLview 3D Visualization API to be used as the core graphics engine and to design the integrated simulation environment.

It was decided to focus the project on i) lifting operations, as exemplified by a subsea structure to be installed on the seabed; ii) installation of flexible risers; and iii) pipe laying, of oil and gas pipes.

There was a strong belief in the project that the business value of the simulators was strongly linked to being able to visualize the operations.  The graphical display of the simulations was done in real-time, with 3D graphics and possibility for stereo display. 

The project has resulted in 3 commercial products that are being maintained and sold by MARINTEK: SIMO for simulation of marine operations, BFLEX for simulation of flexible risers, and SIMLA for laying of pipelines. All simulators are integrated with the visualization environment Simvis.

For more information about Statoil, visit www.statoil.com.

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0081819 - Sleipner field - Photo Harald Pettersen - Statoil