BIM Can Help Oil and Gas Projects Review Designs with Clients More Easily and Produce Documentation 50% Faster

Oil and gas industry has always had one consistent demand; and that is to build huge complex structures. But the matter doesn’t end here. The engineering and meticulous execution needs both; on site and off site, which becomes impossible to meet manually. Projects that overrun in the oil and gas industries, have deeper cost impacts that extend over the lifetime of the delivered asset.

The Price of Oil has gone down once again:

  • Fueled first by high natural gas and then oil prices, activity soared; and companies across the entire value chain enjoyed the boom in drilling and the resulting midstream and downstream projects
  • From 2005 to 2014, oil and gas company stocks collectively outperformed the market by a factor of 1.3–2.0x
  • Now that the global oil and gas industry is in the midst of one of the severest downturns in 30 years. Industry revenues for 2015 is estimated at 10% to 20% low if compared to 2014, with industry profits expected to shrink by 20% to 30%
  • That falling flight seems likely to continue across 2016 as well.

Oil plants or refineries and offshore structures; demand tons of energy and billions of dollars to put into. It’s a glutton thriving on Energy, Cost and Time, which unfortunately the dipping Oil and gas industry has realized. The industry is hell bent on saving as much as they can, but how? Where should they cut the expense from? What gulps the money at a go?

This pressurizes BIM service providers to deliver projects on schedule and remain profitable. BIM services providers in turn implement standardization designs and adopt a modular approach to reduce designs of process units, schedule and cost uncertainty and, therefore, saves significant amount of time and money.

Yes, BIM can save the entire show. It can’t be denied that what is expected the most of BIM is its accuracy and detailed digital representation of structural as well as functional aspect of any facility. The model works as a facilitator of information, to all involved in operational cycle thereby helping in decision making across designing to construction. BIM model helps in determining buildings life cycle through various process like cost management, project management and facility operation.

Many Engineering and Fabrication companies have been using BIM for a long time now. Though Plant Design Systems may still function traditional way, on 2D Drawings, integrating BIM has helped the Oil and Gas industry to produce their designs in planned and efficient way cutting costs, time and energy. For Oil and Gas industry the major issue stands in Plant Equipment, Pipe Spooling, oil well drill and most importantly electrical system and other structures. These can be taken care of by incorporating it in a 3D rendered data environment.

This is not even it. Software’s like AutoCAD Plant 3D helps in Quick optimization of equipment’s and makes it easier for designers and clients to review and modify the design according to requirements - instantaneously. One such example is of an Australian Gas producer, where integrating BIM cut the process down to 50% faster as compared to a BIM - less project.

AutoCAD plant 3D for the project of Oil drill enabled:

  • Evaluation and improvement in the design with client - conveniently
  • Spot and address clash detections more easily using a 3D model
  • Produce construction documentation faster

The Pickanjinnie Pad Drill provides a single pad for four wells to extract coal seam gas (CSG) in the Pickanjinnie area of Queensland, Australia. By using a single pad for multiple wells, company now saves money on leasing and by sharing well support facilities, including gas/water separation, flow metering, and gas flaring. The shared processing facilities required more intricate piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) than single wells, increasing the risk of design interferences.



Editing became a lot simpler and faster in AutoCAD Plant 3D software, and that’s not even it. Their model prepared through AutoCAD Plant 3D proved to be an efficient tool for identifying and resolving interferences, thereby making it easy for designers to modify required changes. The core issue for oil and gas projects has always been – time-added to the challenges, of course!

Once a company signs an extraction lease, they wish to begin realizing value from their investments quickly. The hurdles like Piping interference, inaccurate Bills of materials (BOMs) and miscommunication are always in and around. The 3D BIM model also helps in design reviews as it becomes much easier to explain the clients through a 3D model. This leads to instant suggestion of optimizing equipment and valve locations for constructability and long-term maintenance.

Using the built-in isometric extraction capabilities, all isometric drawings with accurate BOMs were automatically generated from 3D model. Pickanjinnie is one remote place on earth and thus, getting right materials and Quantities becomes just as important as clear isometrics. Though it was first time used for construction documentation they were able to finish the work faster by 10%

BIM helps the firm review designs with clients more easily and produce documentation faster. It helps to ensure the higher quality of design and structural engineering parts in oil and Gas sector. Software like AutoCAD offers the power/ability to mend drawings, interoperability and various other things while creating productivity and creativity in the project. 

About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi is a BIM expert, a certified Sustainable Building advisor, and an associate director with more than 15 years of industry experience. He leads a team of architects, Structural & MEP engineers, LEED consultants and energy modelers. Bhushan strives to make his organization a cohesive resource for sustainable building design. He regularly participates in green initiatives like tree plantations, and promotes using bicycles for everyday commute.

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