The Challenge

Demographic trends point to a substantial personnel turnover, “the Great Crew Change,” taking place in the Oil and Gas industry. Newer generations are being hired and a premium is being placed on getting them to quickly assume increasing job responsibilities. Normal classroom and “on-the-job” training methods are not enough and need to be augmented with newer technology breakthroughs that advance worker knowledge through hands-on virtual training.

Console and Field Operators Train Separately

Most training tools are geared towards distributed control system (DCS) panel operators who are running increasingly automated processing plants. Only recently has focus shifted towards providing better training tools to field operators and rarely do they train together as a team.

Current Training Not Meeting Needs

Experienced workers need to be replaced with highly trained individuals while maintaining high safety performance and plant reliability.

Facilities Extremely Reliable

Plant operation has become so reliable that field workers may go a whole career without seeing a major upset, however operators need to be prepared in the event of one.

The Solution: Hands-On Virtual Training

ExxonMobil Research Qatar and EON Reality Inc. partnered to create a 3D immersive training platform that improves the way field training is done. This patent pending technology lets plant operators and engineers gain valuable hands-on virtual training inside a simulated plant or facility that mimics what they experience in real life.

Fully Interactive Virtual Plant Environment

The philosophy behind the technology is to create a holistic training approach that combines effective field training using 3D immersive environments with panel operator training using advanced dynamic process simulators (DPS). The 3D immersive environment, such as an Icube or a more portable 3D display device, enables a field trainee to navigate through and interact with these environments.

Train Panel And Field Operators Together

During each realistic training scenarios, both the DCS panel operator and the field operator have the opportunity to train together in the same environment. An integrated SCORM-compliant Learning Management System aids the instructor in selecting and launching the required scenarios, reviewing trainee progress, and tracking for competency assessments. EON Coliseum enables remote collaborative training as well.

Learn By Doing, Without The Hazards

ExxonMobil can simulate a variety of plant scenarios such as routine operations, emergency response, abnormal operations, upset scenarios, integrity critical procedures, and low probability high consequence events in a safe and controlled environment. These situations can then be repeated until the response becomes second nature.

The Results

Using the Immersive 3D Training Environment (I3TE) technology allows the trainee to “learn by doing” thus increasing understanding and knowledge retention. Training in this 3D immersive environment is a significant improvement over conventional classroom based training techniques.

“The Immersive 3D Operator Training Simulator provides a realistic 3D virtual environment that is a very close replica of an operating plant. These simulators are highly effective in training workers on how to prevent incidents, while teaching them to respond quickly and appropriately should any occur. This technology, developed in cooperation with EON Reality, is another example of how ExxonMobil continues to support research and safety, health and environmental protection across its global operations.”

Sara OrtweinPresident of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company