The Challenge

There are several procedures plant operators must strictly follow in order to avoid exposing themselves and others to serious danger. Therefore, it is imperative for trainees to master these procedures before performing them out on the field. New operators must thoroughly train for these procedures and shadow their more experienced counterparts before being able to operate independently in the field. Additionally, experienced workers need to be re-certified on procedures to guarantee a safe work environment. EON’s online virtual training solutions seek to mitigate these challenges.


As a plant operator, there are procedures you must learn and strictly follow in order to ensure a safe working environment. By not executing these procedures correctly, an employee can put people and the environment in serious danger. A seemingly trivial, everyday procedure executed incorrectly could have substantial negative consequences for the company and its many stakeholders.


Safety is a huge concern in the Petroleum industry. Companies, including BP, are constantly looking for ways to improve their safety training through increased quality, lower costs, and shorter time needed. These companies also struggle with the same challenges educators face: how to increase retention and how to engage their students/trainees.


BP’s training programs include replicated scenarios its teams are likely to encounter, as well as potential challenges that, though unlikely, BP employees need to be ready to handle. However, the standard procedures that operators follow contain contingencies for weather or disruptions in the process. These are not easily simulated with traditional training methods.

The Solution: Online Virtual Training

EON Reality produced a virtual reality Operator Essentials Training solution for BP. This application brings interactive critical-task training for plant operators where both employees and contractors train on a lifelike, state-of-the-art simulator that can replicates key procedures on a processing plant. BP uses the simulated facility to run customized exercises that allow its teams to practice scenarios relevant to specific maintenance and safety procedures.


EON Reality’s online virtual training solution provides a more realistic competency assessment to ensure both new and existing plant operators have mastered operational procedures. The application provided five thousand field operators with an experiential training simulation that helped train and assess if they had the mastered procedures so they could being working in the field.


By leveraging Virtual Reality’s ability for users to learn-by-doing, BP found that retention rates for VR based training are 80% higher than those who learned through traditional methods. This application enables trainees to gain experience on procedures without exposing themselves or the facility to risk and more closely mimics real situations than classroom training alone. Additionally, BP’s application empowers operators to engage in self-study of procedures.


Operator Essentials allows employees to practice different job tasks — such as unit start-up and shutdown, and pump and valve operations — in both normal and abnormal conditions, helping trainees learn how to properly perform tasks and avoid accidents. The facility is accurately modeled and, together with BP’s subject matter experts, have recreated full procedures for operators to perform.

The Results

By creating a Virtual Reality training environment, BP was able to maintain a high level of consistent training on their procedures to around five thousand of their field operators.