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Why bother with a Digital Twin?

Digital twin technology is not a new trend in the energy industry, yet there is still a lot of confusion as to what exactly these twins are and what is their use value. Here we provide an overview of the role of digital twins in the modern energy, chemical, and process manufacturing industries.

September 4, 2019 Joseph Ting and Duncan Micklem Read full blog post

Latest Blog Posts

Why optimization programs are critical for the survival of marginal refiners

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Duncan Micklem, strategy director

The global refining industry is constantly evolving and responding to new crude supplies and sources, more stringent fuel/product specifications, perpetually changing demand patterns and other trends. Increased competition from large, efficient refineries is forcing small- to mid-sized refiners to rethink their approaches to remain competitive. With this in mind, aggressive optimization programs have become a very attractive strategy for marginal refiners. Here, Duncan Micklem, strategy director at KBC, takes a look at the key benefits of such programs and explains why they are key for survival.

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How is the use of simulation changing to enhance plant operations?

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The use of simulation in the oil and gas industry is nothing new. Such tools have been widespread for more than 25 years, and as technology continues to develop, the level of intelligence of simulation systems has risen. Here, Tim Shire, New Solution Strategy and Launch at KBC, explains how simulation is changing from an occasional engineering tool into a core pillar of daily asset monitoring and a key source of inputs to big data analytics.

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Downstream profitability: IT’s role in downstream refinery operations

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Stephen George, Chief Economist

In previous years big IT initiatives were oriented primarily to upstream applications where the costs and profits were large enough to justify investments in new technology. However, as computer and control technology advances, information innovations are starting to move into the downstream space. Here, Stephen George, chief economist at KBC, explains innovative IT such as IIoT can have a huge impact on the profitability of downstream refinery operations.

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How are National Oil Companies changing the face of the industry?

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Stephen George, Chief Economist EMEA and APAC and Mark Routt, Chief Economist Americas

National Oil Companies (NOCs) are changing the face of the refining industry. It’s an increasingly profitable market and over the next few years will see new capacity start-ups in Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern and Asian countries. In this era of change, how can oil companies future-proof their current investments and adjust to a new reality where NOCs will forcibly enter markets traditionally dominated by International Oil Companies (IOCs) and traders? What does a world look like with NOCs becoming a dominant oil product market force? Here, KBC chief economists Stephen George and Mark Routt explain how.

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Tim Shire, New Solution Strategy and Launch

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How do refiners address today’s skills gap?

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Tim Shire, New Solution Strategy and Launch

Technology is changing the skillset for today’s refiner. Traditional engineering is still important, but there’s a big cloud-shaped world for the talent of tomorrow to conquer. Here Tim Shire, New Solution Strategy and Launch at KBC, looks at how you can address today’s ever-growing skills gap.

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Don’t start from scratch: Why you should embrace your traditional digital tech

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Tim Shire

In his last blog, Tim Shire explored how cloud technologies offer real business value to your refinery. Our experience is that once people start using the cloud, a cascade of potential opens and the value grows exponentially. That said, digital technology and analytics sometimes holds out a false promise of replacing some of the difficult decisions and analysis that refiners have to make with a computerized solution. A better approach may be to build on top of what already exists to ensure success.

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How are big data and cloud technologies shaping future careers in the energy and chemical industry?

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Duncan Micklem, Strategy Director

The speed of business has been rapidly re-writing the job description of an engineer in the oil and gas industry in recent years. The world is becoming more and more short-term oriented. The proliferation of big data being transmitted in real-time at ever rising velocities has compressed the timelines for decision-making. The pressure to deliver immediate results in terms of safe, reliable and profitable operations has intensified.

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