Augmented reality (AR) can simultaneously increase the productivity and safety of workers in the oil and gas field. So there is value and a need to integrate Augmented reality in the oil and gas operations, most especially during the COVID 19 Pandemic.


Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that is will definitely bring some improvements to the oil and gas sector by solving some key challenges associated with the times.

AR is also breaking boundaries that seemed impossible to surpass, leading to new and exciting developments for industries.

One of the most significant industries adapting to and realizing the benefits of AR is the oil and gas industry, which has accelerated the adoption of AR devices, wearables, and solutions in 2020.

Here, we will look at how to integrate augmented reality in oil and gas operations today.

Applications Of AR In The Oil and Gas Sector

Working in the oil and gas industry is a demanding job with extremely high stakes for both revenue and safety. 

When there are challenges on an oil rig, a professional rig worker with significant expertise may resolve such challenges ensuring that there is none or very minimal production impact.

However, such experienced workforce may be hard to find for extended periods of time offshore and are also expensive to hire. Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that is already disrupting the oil and gas sector by solving some of these key challenges.

So, here are a few ways AR can be applied in the oil and gas industry.

#1 Visualize Machinery Data

The first application of AR in the field is what we would call the “pre-made scenarios“.

This is basically an AR version of your existing handbooks and covers all the standard procedures in a visual way. Through the help of augmented reality glasses, the rig worker can connect to live data via sensors which provide data for predictive maintenance through visual representations of the current status of machinery.

These applications are ideal for training, operating, and fixing complex equipment for any common operation and maintenance processes identified in traditional handbooks. Pre-Made AR Scenario applications and digital workflows are an extremely powerful upgrade to traditional field handbooks and operations manuals. 

#2 Enhance Remote Service Capacities

It’s also possible to use Augmented Reality applications to enhance remote service capabilities.

Incident management systems are now available with inbuilt call features to connect technicians to the right technical expert immediately.

With the click of a button, technicians are in a video call with experts who can use in-call Augmented Reality on the device screen to guide them through the digital workflows and procedures to resolve technical problems, and restore production or service within the shortest possible time.

This type of AR remote service is best for unplanned issues resolution like some of those experienced during the COVID pandemic.

Combined with the pre-made scenarios, these two types of AR implementations cover the majority of use cases in support of modern facilities in the oil and gas sector.

How To Integrate Augmented Reality (AR) in Oil and Gas operations.

Augmented Reality is already putting several key benefits on the table for the oil and gas sector – the first of which is the ability to knuckle down on process efficiency.

#1 AR breaks down complex tasks into easy to understand visual steps

When production challenges occur offshore, the on-site technicians and engineers are often under tremendous pressure to carry out work procedures to resolve same.

Most incidents are unexpected, resulting in an urgent need for a resolution.

So, Augmented Reality helps professionals visualize digitally broken down work procedures with video or image formats for help in an easy to understand format, thereby reducing the pressure on those working in the field.

It also ensures that an expert is within easy reach and accessible at any given location without the attendant costs associated with getting them there in the person, ensuring that problems that could potentially spiral out of control are addressed quickly and expertly.

#2 Improve worker safety with AR

The oil and gas industry is facing challenges on all fronts as a result of this pandemic, and so incorporating smart tech is not just a helpful add-on, but in many ways imperative. AR great for efficiency, but it’s also increasingly vital to ensuring staff safety.

Under skilled technicians need no longer worry about waiting for specialists to arrive. Instead, they can focus on dealing with problems as they occur in real-time.

Whether handling a complex set-up, inspection, maintenance, or repair, using AR Remote support and collaboration presents one of the most exciting areas for the continued development of AR, and the oil and gas industry is a perfect place to get started.

As machinery and equipment grow ever more complicated and the demand for highly skilled staff grows, companies in this sector can look forward to a brighter and more cost-effective future by exploring the many possibilities for both on-site and offsite usage of Augmented Reality remote access within this critical area.

#3 Predictive safety sensing

Predictive analytics is vital in the oil & gas operations as wearable devices can assist employees in determining and predicting their safety.

Vests monitor heart rate, blood pressure, air quality, geolocation, weather conditions, and other metrics associated with safety.

Goggles measure eye movement for evidence of fatigue, disorientation, and other signs of visual impairment.

Two-way communication provides real-time information, task support, and contextual information (e.g., team location) to relevant personnel, who can halt work as needed to maintain employee safety.

In addition, oil & gas safety analytics identify key drivers of workplace incidents to enable focus on resource planning to ensure that resources are positioned where they will have the most impact.

#4 Worker-amplified intelligence with AR devices

Augmented reality (AR) devices (e.g., smart glass hardware, analytics, back-office tools) in the oil & gas industry go a long way in improving worker safety and efficiency by providing visual clues and indicators, process steps, and repair and operation instructions, making them available where they are needed.

For example, gesture-control armbands can initiate a video conference between an on-site worker and a remote expert, who can see what the worker sees, talk them through a set of tasks, and provide annotated instructions on the worker’s augmented display.

Thereby, making the onsite worker a technical expert too!

#5 Solve problems fast reducing both cost and time

As with other industrial fields, AR has a unique ability to dramatically reduced equipment and machinery downtime when errors occur. With AR solutions implemented on offshore facilities, all employees are empowered to immediately be the technical expert when trouble occurs.

Simply grab an AR-enabled device and let it guide you through the troubleshooting process in a visual way.

Setting up an advanced AR system for a massive oil rig will need significant investment. However, the benefits that follow are evident.

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