Benefits of Internet of Things(IoT) in Oil and Gas Industry
Any device that is connected to the internet and operates or functions using the internet is known as an IoT enabled device. For example: When we book a cab using applications like Ola or Uber in our smartphone- that is IoT in action or when we want to lower the temperature of air conditioner we use the cooling master app in our smartphone then connect it with the air conditioner using the internet and reduce temperature-this is another example of IoT in action. Various industries have started adopting IoT technology which includes the oil and gas industry as well. The oil and gas industry has to face challenges related to volatility in oil prices, risk of fall in margins and reduction in downtime. IoT is the key to transform’s oil and gas industry from reactive to proactive industry. There are three significant benefits of IoT in the oil and gas industry they are as follows:
1. Ensures Safety of Workers: Thousands of workers are employed in the oil and gas industry. It is estimated that more than four lakh workers are employed in the extraction sector of the industry. These workers are involved in various processes of production and each process has potential risks. The risk of a worker getting injured in the oil and gas industry is seven times more than that of a worker in other industries. Here IoT plays a significant role in ensuring the safety of workers. Smart sensors are fixed along with equipment that can detect which part of the equipment needs replacement before its replacement date. As a result, the process of production continues to move from one phase to another and also it reduces the risk of accidental injury of workers on account of maintenance.
2. Improves Communication and Cuts Down Cost: IoT helps in improving communication and it establishes a communication bridge between those who are working in a field and those working in office thus increasing overall safety. With the use of wearable devices like smart glasses field workers can share real-time data with those who are working in the office. Using smart glasses EHS regulatory instructions can be displayed by a worker within a device, which hands-free to safely complete their jobs. Employees can bring up new protocols through these devices and even record what they are viewing and then send data to the employees residing at another location. Thus these technologies improve communication, save resources and cut down costs.
3. Enhancing Productivity and Equipment Health: In the oil and gas industry, a large sum of money is invested in equipment thus occurrence of any mechanical failure in equipment would be highly expensive. If any mechanical failures take place then the refineries have to incur extra cost in repairing equipment and the opportunity to create a product is lost. To avoid such situations oil and gas companies have created schedules and proactive measures to downtime. Before installing the equipment on shop the refineries did not have any data about the current condition of the equipment. A valve pump replacement is scheduled for every twelve months, without knowing the health of equipment even though the equipment may be perfectly fine. This leads to waste as data used is historical, not real time-based. But now with the use of IoT devices fixed with the equipment, we get real-time related to the current condition of the equipment. As a result the replacement in equipment only takes place when is found to be necessary as per the real-time data. Thus enhancing productivity and equipment health.