May 17, 2020

Top 10 oil producing fields in the world

3 min
Offshore rig in North Sea
[email protected] Click here for the latest issue of Energy Digital magazine 1.) Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia The largest conventional oil field in th...

Click here for the latest issue of Energy Digital magazine 

1.)    Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia

The largest conventional oil field in the world at 280 km by 30 km. Ghawar, in the Eastern Province, was discovered in 1948, started production in 1951, and is owned and operated by Saudi Aramco. Its current rate of production is 5 million barrels of oil per day. The estimated amount of oil in place is 71,000 million barrels.

2.)    Oseberg, Norway

Oseberg is an offshore oil field with a gas cap in the North Sea located 140 km northwest of the city of Bergen on the southwestern coast of Norway. The field, discovered 1979, is named after a 9th century Viking ship excavated at the Oseberg farm, south of Oslo. The current rate of production is 3.78 million barrels per day. The operator is Statoil, in partnership with Petoro, Total, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

3.)    Bolivar Coastal Field, Venezuela

This onshore field was discovered in 1917 and started production in 1922. It is the largest oil field in South America with nearly 7,000 wells and oil derricks that stretch for 35 miles along the coast of Lake Maracaibo. The total capacity of the field is estimated at 30-35 billion barrels. The current rate of production is 2.6 million barrels per day.

4.)    Fyodorovskoye Field, Russia

The Fyodorovskoye Field near Surgut, south of St. Petersburg in Western Siberia was discovered 1971. The huge field has been in decline but its current rate of production is still at 1.9 million barrels per day.

5.)    Burgan Field, Kuwait

The Burgan Field, discovered in 1957, is located in the desert of southeastern Kuwait and is considered the world’s largest sandstone oil field. In 1991 during the Gulf War, Iraqi soldiers set the field on fire as part of their retreat, but that act did not cause any significant depletion of oil reserves. Its current production rate is 1.7 million barrels per day. The estimated oil in place is 44,000 million barrels.

6.)    Rumaila Field, Iraq

The field, discovered in 1953, is owned by Iraq and subcontracted to BP and China National Petroleum Corp. Its current rate of production is 1.3 million barrels per day. The estimated oil reserves in the field are 17 billion barrels.  There are 270 wells operating at Rumaila. BP and CNPC are planning to increase production to 2.1 million barrels per day in the next few years.

7.)    Samotlor Field, Russia

The field, located at Lake Samotlor, is owned and operated by TNK-BP and at 1,752 square kilometers, is the largest in Russia. It was discovered in 1965 and started production in 1969. The current rate of production is 844,000 barrels per day. The estimated reserves are 4,000 million barrels. It has produced approximately 2.6 billion tons of oil since it was built.

8.)    Priobskoye Field, Russia

The giant Priobskoye Field, which was discovered in 1982 and started production in 2000, stretches over an area of 5,400 square kilometers on the banks of the Ob River in Western Siberia. Gazprom Neft and Rosneft are partners in ownership of the field. Its current rate of production is 684,000 barrels per day.

9.)    Prudhoe Bay, United States

Prudhoe Bay Oil Field is the largest in the United States and North America at 213,543 acres on the North Slope of Alaska. It was discovered in 1968 and started production in 1977. The field is operated by BP and its partners are ExxonMobile and ConocoPhillips Alaska. It s current rate of production is 660,000 barrels per day and the estimated oil in place is 25,000 million barrels.

10.) Majnoon Field, Iraq

Majnoon Field is located near Basra in southern Iraq and is one of the most oil-dense fields in the world. It is estimated to have reserves of 12.6 billion barrels. The field was discovered in 1975 by the Brazilian company Braspetro and is operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas. According to the Islamic Dictionary, Majnoon means “crazy” in Arabic. The site’s current rate of production is 500,000 barrels per day.  

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Jun 12, 2021

Why Transmission & Distribution Utilities Need Digital Twins

Petri Rauhakallio
6 min
Petri Rauhakallio at Sharper Shape outlines the Digital Twins benefits for energy transmission and distribution utilities

As with any new technology, Digital twins can create as many questions as answers. There can be a natural resistance, especially among senior utility executives who are used to the old ways and need a compelling case to invest in new ones. 

So is digital twin just a fancy name for modelling? And why do many senior leaders and engineers at power transmission & distribution (T&D) companies have a gnawing feeling they should have one? Ultimately it comes down to one key question: is this a trend worth our time and money?

The short answer is yes, if approached intelligently and accounting for utilities’ specific needs. This is no case of runaway hype or an overwrought name for an underwhelming development – digital twin technology can be genuinely transformational if done right. So here are six reasons why in five years no T&D utility will want to be without a digital twin. 

1. Smarter Asset Planning

A digital twin is a real-time digital counterpart of a utility’s real-world grid. A proper digital twin – and not just a static 3D model of some adjacent assets – represents the grid in as much detail as possible, is updated in real-time and can be used to model ‘what if’ scenarios to gauge the effects in real life. It is the repository in which to collect and index all network data, from images, to 3D pointclouds, to past reports and analyses.

With that in mind, an obvious use-case for a digital twin is planning upgrades and expansions. For example, if a developer wants to connect a major solar generation asset, what effect might that have on the grid assets, and will they need upgrading or reinforcement? A seasoned engineer can offer an educated prediction if they are familiar with the local assets, their age and their condition – but with a digital twin they can simply model the scenario on the digital twin and find out.

The decision is more likely to be the right one, the utility is less likely to be blindsided by unforeseen complications, and less time and money need be spent visiting the site and validating information.

As the energy transition accelerates, both transmission and distribution (T&D) utilities will receive more connection requests for anything from solar parks to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to heat pumps and batteries – and all this on top of normal grid upgrade programs. A well-constructed digital twin may come to be an essential tool to keep up with the pace of change.

2. Improved Inspection and Maintenance

Utilities spend enormous amounts of time and money on asset inspection and maintenance – they have to in order to meet their operational and safety responsibilities. In order to make the task more manageable, most utilities try to prioritise the most critical or fragile parts of the network for inspection, based on past inspection data and engineers’ experience. Many are investigating how to better collect, store and analyze data in order to hone this process, with the ultimate goal of predicting where inspections and maintenance are going to be needed before problems arise.  

The digital twin is the platform that contextualises this information. Data is tagged to assets in the model, analytics and AI algorithms are applied and suggested interventions are automatically flagged to the human user, who can understand what and where the problem is thanks to the twin. As new data is collected over time, the process only becomes more effective.

3. More Efficient Vegetation Management

Utilities – especially transmission utilities in areas of high wildfire-risk – are in a constant struggle with nature to keep vegetation in-check that surrounds power lines and other assets. Failure risks outages, damage to assets and even a fire threat. A comprehensive digital twin won’t just incorporate the grid assets – a network of powerlines and pylons isolated on an otherwise blank screen – but the immediate surroundings too. This means local houses, roads, waterways and trees. 

If the twin is enriched with vegetation data on factors such as the species, growth rate and health of a tree, then the utility can use it to assess the risk from any given twig or branch neighbouring one of its assets, and prioritise and dispatch vegetation management crews accordingly. 

And with expansion planning, inspection and maintenance, the value here is less labor-intensive and more cost-effective decision making and planning – essential in an industry of tight margins and constrained resources. What’s more, the value only rises over time as feedback allows the utility to finesse the program.

4. Automated powerline inspection

Remember though, that to be maximally useful, a digital twin must be kept up to date. A larger utility might blanche at the resources required to not just to map and inspect the network once in order to build the twin, but update that twin at regular intervals.

However, digital twins are also an enabling technology for another technological step-change – automated powerline inspection.

Imagine a fleet of sensor-equipped drones empowered to fly the lines almost constantly, returning (automatically) only to recharge their batteries. Not only would such a set-up be far cheaper to operate than a comparable fleet of human inspectors, it could provide far more detail at far more regular intervals, facilitating all the above benefits of better planning, inspection, maintenance and vegetation management. Human inspectors could be reserved for non-routine interventions that really require their hard-earned expertise.

In this scenario, the digital twin provides he ‘map’ by which the drone can plan a route and navigate itself, in conjunction with its sensors. 

5. Improved Emergency Modelling and Faster Response

If the worst happens and emergency strikes, such as a wildfire or natural disaster, digital twins can again prove invaluable. The intricate, detailed understanding of the grid, assets and its surroundings that a digital twin gives is an element of order in a chaotic situation, and can guide the utility and emergency services alike in mounting an informed response.

And once again, the digital twin’s facility for ‘what-if’ scenario testing is especially useful for emergency preparedness. If a hurricane strikes at point X, what will be the effect on assets at point Y? If a downed pylon sparks a fire at point A, what residences are nearby and what does an evacuation plan look like?

6. Easier accommodation of external stakeholders

Finally, a digital twin can make lighter work of engaging with external stakeholders. The world doesn’t stand still, and a once blissfully-isolated powerline may suddenly find itself adjacent to a building site for a new building or road. 

As well as planning for connection (see point 1), a digital twin takes the pain out of those processes that require interfacing with external stakeholders, such as maintenance contractors, arborists, trimming crews or local government agencies – the digital twin breaks down the silos between these groups and allows them to work from a single version of the truth – in future it could even be used as part of the bid process for contractors.

These six reasons for why digital twins will be indispensable to power T&D utilities are only the tip of the iceberg; the possibilities are endless given the constant advancement of data collection an analysis technology. No doubt these will invite even more questions – and we relish the challenge of answering them. 


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