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Big savings with sharing economy project

The Virtual Inventory project at Norwegian Oil and Gas has already yielded savings of more than NOK 1 billion through reduced downtime for oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

This service provides oil and gas operators with an overview of all material held as inventory offshore, and allows these holdings to be shared across the companies. It can be regarded as an online marketplace for the petroleum sector.

Virtual Inventory provides major procurement savings, reduces production downtime and, not least, is positive for the environment by ensuring the use and reuse of materials.

“Twelve operators on the NCS have collaborated on developing the service in addition to four major contractors and Petoro,” says Equinor project director Terje Walstad Holten, who heads the sharing economy project at Norwegian Oil and Gas.

“This collaboration has shown that the industry is willing to change and wants to cooperate closely.”

The operators have seen big gains from Virtual Inventory since the project was launched in early 2017. It has already yielded an estimated gain of more than NOK 1 billion through reduced downtime for oil and gas production.

“As an operator, we see a big benefit from this service,” says Holten. “We’re looking forward to expanding collaboration with the other operator companies.”

For more details, visit the Virtual Inventory website.


Three examples from the Virtual Inventory service


Date: 11 March 2019

Partners: Aker BP (operator), Equinor, PGNiG and Wintershall

The Skarv licence had a pressing need to acquire proximity sensors for its compressors to avoid production losses. The supplier would take several weeks to deliver, but another operator had a surplus inventory of the required product and could share this within 24 hours. That sharing avoided Skarv downtime with a potential income loss calculated at NOK 18-84 million for the operator and its fellow licensees.


Date: 25 March 2020

Partners: Aker BP (operator), ConocoPhillips and Lundin Energy

The Alvheim licence needed spare parts for a pump to avoid a potential production shutdown. These components were identified within 12 minutes of the request being posted, assembled at an offshore location and flown to the requesting party in less than a day after they were initially sought. This collaboration avoided potential downtime not only for the Alvheim licence but also for the tied-back Bøyla, Volund and Vilje fields. Delivery time from the supplier was nine weeks.


Date: 4 June 2020

Partners: ConocoPhillips (operator), Equinor, Petoro, Total and Vår Energi

A circuit board was required for the Eldfisk fire-alarm system. Equinor responded to the request within six minutes, and managed to fetch the component from an offshore installation by helicopter within a day. The board was installed offshore on Eldfisk within four days, saving the licensees the 12 weeks from ordering to delivery and installation which they would otherwise have faced.