With the sustained dip in oil prices and forecasts which suggest sustained low prices in the short to medium term, there is huge opportunity and potential  for  big data analysis and augmented reality solutions that have been making waves in the oil and gas industry.

There are benefits with digital technologies – from remote communication to better predictive maintenance – through augmented reality.

These could have significant bearing on cost-efficiencies and project lifecycles for the industry, even as its   becoming obvious that in the near future, the most efficient sectors will be those equipped with data-driven tools and processes that maximize production while minimizing cost,  downtime and supporting the maintenance of rigorous safety standards.

Research shows that augmented reality will constitute an important part of the digital ecosystem over the next 3 to 5 years. What is left for producing companies and vendors will be to figure out how this emerging technology and its use cases can be adapted to the offshore environment.

First, let’s define augmented reality shall we?

Augmented reality is typically a technology that superimposes computer-generated data such as text, image, or video onto the real-world environment.

AR has already made its mark in various fields such as healthcare, gaming, social media, aeronautics, aviation, and education. It is now evolving beyond these fields and expanding its presence across other fields, most especially the oil sector.

Interestingly, the implementation of augmented reality solutions in oil and gas extraction and refining operations can prove to be effective in driving increased productivity and production efficiency. According to a report by ABI Research, the total AR market revenues for the energy and utility industry are expected to flourish up to US $18 billion by the year 2022.

How Augmented Reality In Oil And Gas Can Be A Game Changer?

Augmented reality is an emerging technology that can help oil and gas industries enhance their overall performance along some critical matrix such as productivity, efficiency, skills/knowledge transfer and cost savings especially for offshore operations on rigs.

This is why IngresQR partners with industry leaders in Extended Reality to developed AR driven innovative gadgets that help increase productivity across the oil sector.

So, here are a few ways augmented reality (AR) can be beneficial for the oil sector:

#1 Reduce Equipment Down Time.

AR technology can help reduce ‘time to repair’ for machinery or equipment that is critical to production.

Based on high levels of criticality of these equipment’s as they relate to production, extended down time is expensive with businesses and organizations placing a high priority on keep equipment down time at lowest possible levels. 

Machines or equipment that are non-functional or malfunctioning will obviously require technical support to repair and bring them back online and functioning within the shortest possible time to avoid reduced productivity and possible revenue loss. 

 An AR solution can be used to facilitate remote sessions between a field worker and a service technician or equipment vendor for the purpose of repairing the defective equipment. 

The remote session will involve the fieldworker initiating a video session with the expert or equipment vendor who could be stationed hundreds or thousands of kilometers away, this video session enables the ‘See What I See – SWIS’ feature of Augmented Reality that effectively puts the remotely located technician or vendor at the same location with the damaged equipment, enabling him or her to provide expert-level support to the field worker to enable him or her repair the damaged equipment.    

This process of repair and maintenance can be used to restore faulty equipment and machinery back to service within the shortest possible time.

With the SWIS (See What I See) feature of Augmented Reality, experts and experienced consultants can easily diagnose and detect root causes of equipment downtime and provide real-time help to resolve it.

#2 Low operating cost

The drilling of wells for oil extraction is an extensive undertaking with associated huge cost and expenditure.

AR could be used to guide Geologists and experts in reading and interpreting seismic data for improved reading accuracy that could help prevent cost over-runs and wrong investments associated with futile drilling.

Also, in terms of equipment maintenance as described above, AR applications and features such as SWIS (See What I See) can help reduce ‘cost of repair’ and ‘time to repair’ for critical equipment by enabling a remotely located expert to intervene, carry out  ‘on the spot assessment’ and provide real-time support to a field worker on location to restore faulty machinery or equipment back to service within the shortest possible time.

With AR, cost of travel and logistics associated with repair work is drastically reduced.

#3 Enhanced safety

Because Oil and Gas workers are mostly exposed to hazardous environments related to their job functions, they could be prone to injuries and risks of the same.

In the case of an explosion or fire hazard, Augmented Reality devices and wearables can be used to alert workers of probable risks related to the physical locations and safety directions to ameliorate the same.

AR wearables could identify and alert the wearer on exit points and muster points in real-time in case of an emergency.  

Conclusion

Recently, a number of oil and gas companies in producing as well as servicing are deploying AR technology, as they seek to leverage its features and several benefits they offer, such as improvements in productivity, increased efficiency, reduced equipment, and process downtime and improvements in safety.

As companies, AR technology influencers, and industry opinion leaders continue to highlight the value of this technology in the Oil & Gas industry and its uses cases, we anticipate that its adoption will grow exponentially over the next 3 years, delivery tremendous value to companies and the sector at large.  

In case you need a professional consultation regarding augmented reality development, feel free to contact us anytime!