Swiss company Akselos has deployed a structural digital twin for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production’s (SNEPCo’s) Bonga Main floating production storage and offloading (FPSO).

The FPSO is located 120km south-west of the Niger Delta, in water at a depth of over 1,000m.

SNEPCo is Shell’s deepwater company in Nigeria and operator of the FPSO.

The Bonga Main FPSO became operational in 2005. It has a capacity of 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and weighs more than 300,000t.

Akselos noted that the digital twin was a model of the Bonga asset. It represents its ‘entire physical counterpart in absolute detail and accuracy’.

The Swiss company claims that the FPSO is the largest asset in the world to be protected by a structural digital twin.

Bonga Asset Manager Elohor Aiboni said: “The Bonga Main FPSO heralded a number of innovative ‘firsts’ when it was built back in 2004, so it’s fitting that it’s the first asset of its kind to deploy something as advanced as a structural Digital Twin.

“We are very excited about the new capabilities that Akselos brings and believe it will create a positive impact on the way we manage structural integrity. It is also a great example of digitalisation coming to life.”

The structural digital twin is based on Akselos’ patented reduced basis finite element analysis (RB-FEA) technology.

According to Akselos, the deployment of the simulation technology will enable safe ‘asset life’ extension.

Akselos CTO and co-founder David Knezevic said: “We are very proud to have reached this important milestone, which represents many months of complex engineering work between SNEPCo and Akselos.

“To have the opportunity to deploy our breakthrough technology on a 300,000t asset is the kind of technical challenge that Akselos was founded to solve.”

In February, Akselos and UAE-based engineering and contracting company Lamprell signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for digital projects.