Practical training has always been the order of the day for the energy sector.

However, as practical training becomes extremely expensive, hard to access, or risky, the world has seen the importance of virtual/augmented reality to improve the quality of training in the oil and gas industry today.

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In the energy sector, proper professional training is highly important. And as technology evolves, the oil and gas industry continuously receives new equipment and new methods of operation.

Hence, the need to train the workforce and make them proficient in new sophisticated machinery and technology according to new standards and recommendations cannot be overemphasized. Without sufficient training, the entire operation may be at risk.

So in this article, we will look into different ways Augmented reality improves training in the oil and gas industry in 2020.

What is Augmented reality?

Augmented reality AR 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, and education. It is now evolving beyond these fields and expanding its presence across other fields, most especially the oil sector.

And Virtual reality (VR)?

Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places or immerses the user in a simulated environment for a virtual experience, hence the term ‘immersive experience’ used to describe a virtual reality experience. Rather than viewing a screen in front of them, users are able to interact with 3D virtual environments, which is experiential in nature.

By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer becomes a gatekeeper to this artificial world.

What Are The Challenges Faced When Organizing Practical Training In The Oil and Gas Sector?

As technology keeps advancing and the oil and gas industry continuously receives new methods and equipment for operation, it is imperative to offer Practical Training for effective results. 

Challenges faced with organizing practical training in oil and gas sector

Now, organizing proper training for employees of an oil rig for example can be very challenging as it requires the resolution of quite a number of problems and challenges.

Some of the challenges associated with organizing practical training in the oil and gas sector are; 

#1 High costs

Oil and gas fields are usually located in places that are difficult to reach – in deserts or open sea. To get there, companies have to use helicopters, choppers, or motorboats.

If the companies working in the oil industry want to train their personnel on-site, that means flying or transporting them to the rig with accompanying high cost of logistics involved.

All this and more result in a high cost of training.

#2 Heavy duty equipment complexity 

Another challenge is that oil and gas companies operate very complex machinery that is specific for this industry. It will take a lot of Practical Training to ensure expertise in equipment operation and maintenance. 

#3 High risk

Oil and gas operations are extremely risky and hazardous.

Unfortunately, even experienced personnel can get injured on an oil field, thus the training becomes a very risky business. Also, inexperienced workers can damage expensive equipment due to their lack of skills.

These major challenges can be overcome by utilizing Augmented reality tools we provide at Ingres Quality Rollout, for effective risk-free training.

How Can Augmented reality Improve Training In Oil And Gas Industry With Augmented Reality?

The challenges faced with practical training of personnel in oil and gas industries are numerous as we stated earlier, Augmented and virtual reality provides the answer to these problems.

Virtual reality allows recreating various operating environments and conditions to enable trainees benefit from experiential learning from an immersive environments.

With the help of the virtual reality, your oil and gas firm can hold practical training on its premises without actually ferrying the trainees to the rig and exposing them to risks while baring huge logistics costs.

The use of Virtual and Augmented reality can enable huge and measurable training improvements for trainees in the Oil and Gas sector.

#1 Faster learning

By stimulating multiple senses and making the trainees literally “learn by doing”, virtual reality creates knowledge that is retained longer and can be applied quicker.

At the same time, with VR, all mistakes and their consequences can be simulated, making them immediately visible, hence creating a strong link between the trainee’s actions and their consequences. In the same vein, the trainee practicing in virtual reality gets feedback almost instantly while the experience is still fresh in their memory.

#2 More efficient personnel training

An Augmented reality (AR) training setup allows simulating various “pre-made” scenarios. In the oil and gas industry, especially at rigs, there are many scenarios that could go wrong very quickly. Dangerous situations (like explosions or collapses) require real-life experience to know how to respond to them.

Using augmented reality (combined with VR), your personnel can have an extensive training course, confined to a middle-sized room. In a risk-free AR training center, a trainee can go through a thoroughly modeled simulation step by step.

After acquiring virtual experience, workers will be better suited for training in real conditions.

#3 Higher safety level

There are a lot of accidents that can occur on oil platforms. With the use of Augmented Reality devices and wearable’s providing additional information in real-time, the field worker is better equipped to respond to risks and unforeseen circumstances.  

In a state of emergency, it is often hard to remain calm and avoid panic. Workers who make use of AR can follow an evacuation path overlaid by the headset to get to safety. That’s just one of the major benefits of augmented reality gadgets.

Also, when it comes to working precautions, AR systems can detect various devices and objects to warn the wearer of the possible danger.

Hence, when workers are about to use potentially dangerous equipment, they could receive notifications on the AR wearable warning them and providing them with real-time information on precautionary measures that can be taken prior to utilizing such equipment.

So, by decreasing the risks through situational and positional awareness provided by AR wearable’s, the number of accidents and related expenditures will be driven down drastically, and efficiency and productivity will only go up. Also, AR improves the quality of training in oil firms.

#4 Contextual knowledge provision in real-time

Learning is not majorly about practice. Theoretical knowledge is also important, especially when it concerns complex machinery and sophisticated processes.

AR-based training can display related information during the practice through the over-the-shoulder coaching method. For example, when electricians work on electric networks, it is helpful to display safe voltage ranges or specific purposes of each cable in the circuit.

#5 Training productivity and engagement

The productivity of the training directly depends on the student’s engagement, since a bored student is unlikely to be able to learn productively.

At the current stage of the technology evolution, there is probably no method that creates higher engagement than virtual reality. And that’s for a fact!

All users having a VR headset cannot help but be amazed at how the creators managed to place them in a completely different world.

Conclusion

Training in the oil and gas sector can be quite a drag, especially organizing training for remote workers. Augmented reality devices, wearables and solutions are available to improve and create more engaging training experience for the oil and gas industry.