Digitalising Offshore Energy Systems

The offshore energy sector plays a significant role in meeting the UK’s energy needs and is therefore crucial in helping achieve Net Zero and evolving the UK energy system. The challenge is multi-faceted; established industries such as oil and gas must modernise their production techniques, offshore wind needs to accelerate growth to meet government targets, and new industries such as CCUS (Carbon  Capture, Utilisation and Storage), hydrogen, and wave and tidal generation require further development to move towards long-term commercial viability.

The Offshore Energy Data Strategy Taskforce was established to bring together stakeholders from across the offshore energy sector to make a series of recommendations to accelerate the development and adoption of a coordinated digital and data strategy.

Digital technologies and data are powerful tools for the offshore energy sector to address some of their challenges, but they also present  wider opportunities to integrate across traditional silos to identify new value and novel pathways to net zero. Regulators, licensing bodies, and industry bodies alike have identified value and led programmes of work in this area. As investment and activity increase across the sector, creating a collaborative and interconnected digital ecosystem will create further opportunities for all.

Data is non-rival, meaning that both the data owner and the sector can benefit from better utilisation simultaneously, this means that there is a sizeable opportunity in fostering data sharing and cross-sector digitalisation initiatives. The Taskforce therefore aims to align digital and data strategies across the sector with the mission of delivering a modern, digitalised, and integrated, offshore energy sector.

Key points

The Taskforce makes a series of recommendations that aim to create the conditions for better data sharing and therefore digitalisation.  These have been grouped into ‘strategic’ and ‘workstream’ recommendations that tackle different aspects of the challenges.

Taken together, these recommendations outline the key areas where a collaborative approach to investment and delivery can drive digitalisation across the offshore energy sector.

Three strategic recommendations

Three “strategic” recommendations address the areas of policy and regulation, tools and infrastructure, and digitalisation, including:

  • Recommendation One: Unifying Data Principles
    • The offshore energy sector should establish a Digital Strategy Group and drive the adoption of Data Best Practice Guidance across the sector.
  • Recommendation Two: Delivering a Common Data toolkit
    • The offshore energy sector should establish a common data toolkit to facilitate controlled and automated data sharing across the sector.
  • Recommendation Three: Driving Cross-sector Digitalisation
    • The offshore energy sector should coordinate digitalisation efforts to enable efficient investment and capture cross-sector requirements.

Four workstream recommendations

Four “workstream” recommendations represent high-level opportunities to address key issues, containing proposals for projects or initiatives:

  • Workstream A: Enabling Whole System Planning
    • The offshore energy sector should create a whole system view of existing and planned infrastructure, aligning different data layers to provide a forward view of development requirements.
  • Workstream B: Advancing Data Coordination
    • Establish a Task Group to drive interoperability of data portals across the sector and promote the discoverability and reuse of existing data through the development of a data portal roadmap.
  • Workstream C: Leveraging Asset Data
    • The offshore energy sector should increase the utilisation of existing operational and asset data, using the Open Data Triage process, mitigation techniques, and standardised data sharing agreements to manage risks.
  • Workstream D: Offshore Emissions Data for Net Zero
    • Enable monitoring of Net Zero targets and advanced emissions tracking by leading on the provision of high-resolution and digitised emissions data monitoring and reporting.

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Digitalising Offshore Energy Systems

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