Reporting on a successful pilot for Virtual Operating Room
In November 2022, Epsis was awarded a pilot within drilling and wells in Equinor, where we were to investigate the opportunities of developing a Virtual Operation Room (VOR) within drilling.
The title was “From physical to virtual operating rooms” (Equinor awarded Epsis a pilot project – Epsis). The project aimed to create a scalable solution. Virtually enabling situational awareness and interaction as if you were together in a physical space. We have worked from concept development to product development and testing. Everything was done in collaboration with Sekal, Odfjell, SLB, and Equinor at Deepsea Aberdeen’s drilling rig.
What have we done?
In the first part of the pilot, a feasibility and requirements analysis was carried out with crucial operational personnel. We then narrowed it down to specific focus areas for the pilot. In addition, the project-initiated work with IT across all the companies to open up Microsoft Teams functionality that makes collaborating easier. Enabling this functionality was essential. It created a solution with different functionality to help in day-to-day operations. We tested the functionality and corrected errors. On 29 March, the solution went live. It happened at the same time as essential drilling operations were underway at Deepsea Aberdeen.
- We have designed a virtual room—a “room” where the team could quickly access all tools and information systems.
- We have established a secure area for sharing information across companies and roles.
- Additionally, “the room” provides functionality for effective dialogue about various operational tasks and questions.
The solution combines new functionality in MS Teams – Shared channels and Epsis’ product Enify. We have collaborated closely with the customer, and the users’ needs have played a decisive role, involving users from both onshore and offshore teams.
We have collaborated with a forward-leaning team from various companies who want to simplify the operations. In the pilot, we have supported meetings / synchronous interaction. But a virtual space must facilitate asynchronous interaction where everyone can inform and contribute at the right time. Such an environment can reduce the time spent searching for the right resources and make information available for a specific task when needed. It allows sharing information across companies in a secure area accessible to everyone, rather than sending large amounts of attachments by e-mail.
We are incredibly proud of what the team across such large companies has achieved so quickly, says Jan-Erik Nordtvedt, Epsis’ project manager in the VOR Pilot.
What has the team achieved?
- Carried out a pilot that has illustrated some of the possibilities, utilizing existing technologies
- Together, we have established an easily scalable pilot
- We have tested the solution operationally, with positive feedback
Work is now underway to look at scaling the project. The tested solution could be the first step in creating a standard for Virtual Operating Rooms. A standard that is quickly scaled and makes it possible to onboard and train personnel across different operations rapidly.
Epsis is proud to have taken part in this pilot – it is motivating to help create solutions for the “sharp end” in operations.