Robotics in oil and gas production can save several lives every year by executing tasks that are too dangerous for workers.
Oil and gas production involves some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Tasks such as oil drilling, roughneck jobs and maintenance tests, among others, cause several worker deaths every year. In fact, a study found that there are several deaths in oil and gas production that are never reported. Such points and facts beg the question, what makes oil and gas production so dangerous? As per another study, a large percentage of accidents in this sector are caused by human error. The study found that a whopping 86% of accidents directly involved contractors, with 28% accidents taking place during heavy-duty workover, drilling and well services. The inclusion of robotics and AI in oil and gas production can greatly reduce the life-threatening elements of oil and gas production. Already, you may know about the myriad applications of robotics when combined with technologies such as VR and AR. In a similar vein, employing robots for oil and gas production promises to take the sting out of dangerous tasks associated with the field.
Oil companies visit some of the most volatile places in the world to extract raw fuel that will be processed, refined and distributed later. Modern robots, controlled remotely by humans, can carry out extraction tasks in dangerous terrains. Such robots are equipped with 3D mapping sensors, cameras and microphones to collect data while navigating steep valleys, rocky mountains and other dangerous places. Additionally, the cameras use thermal imaging to accurately detect the presence of gas and fossil fuels in such zones. As a result, workers are not needed to traverse them to look for oil and gas prevalence there.
Roughneck is usually classified as one of the deadliest jobs globally. Once again, roughneck robots can be configured to carry out tasks such as connecting drilling pipes in oil-bearing rocks and sea beds for extraction. All in all, remotely-operated robots allow oil companies to bring raw fuel to factories for processing without unnecessarily putting laborers’ lives at risk.
Most oil and gas production operations take place underwater. Therefore, oil drilling rigs and other massive extraction machines are stationed in depths of up to a few miles underwater. These machines need to be regularly monitored for wear. Underwater robots can seamlessly carry out such maintenance inspections while also issuing alerts to the concerned authorities if repairs are needed. Additionally, businesses may use autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) to transport extracted oil autonomously to offshore sites.
Robotics is one of the prime application areas of AI. Therefore, the emergence of robotics in extraction and roughneck processes can be classified as a growing presence of AI in oil and gas production. So, ultimately, AI promises to play a significant role in improving worker safety in fossil fuel generation.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.