Hi Friends! Hope you’re well today. I welcome you on board. In this post, I’ll detail how Innovative Engineering Solutions Improve Efficiency in the Offshore Oil Industry.
Despite ambitious global goals to reduce carbon emissions, fossil fuels such as gas and oil still provided over 80% of the world’s energy in 2019. The petroleum industry is still vital for global energy supplies, and, according to the International Labor Organization, directly employs almost 6 million people around the world.
To improve levels of safety and productivity while at the same time meeting ambitious targets for a low-carbon future, the industry is making significant changes. Innovative technologies are required to maximize the recovery of fossil fuels while at the same time reduce the environmental impact of extraction, and improve the safety and efficiency of offshore rigs.
The work of engineers from a range of specialist engineering fields contributes to cutting-edge developments to improve construction, extraction, and production. However, as offshore rigs become increasingly digitized, it is technopreneurs and electronic engineers who develop solutions to safely maintain equipment, minimize unnecessary emissions, and ultimately improve the safety of offshore oil rigs through increased automation.
Maintaining Safe and Reliable Systems
Working on offshore rigs is dangerous and accidents and injuries are common. In 2018, there were over 170 injuries reported within the offshore energy industry located on the US Outer Continental Shelf.
From the design of a rig to the installation of generators, electronic engineers are accountable for ensuring power and distribution systems are maintained and operate reliably. Although the majority of injuries on a rig occur through the use of heavy equipment, fires and explosions can be triggered by faulty electrical equipment.
This can lead to serious and potentially devastating injuries as workers are electrocuted, burned, or even crushed. Specialist offshore accident attorneys can provide support when accidents and injuries occur. Improving training for roughnecks and drillers and minimizing the risks from equipment failure must be a priority for electronic engineers.
The Benefits of Unmanned Rigs
With the increased use of automation on rigs, the risk to personnel is considerably reduced. Already, the majority of engineers involved with oil rigs are based onshore, and through the use of innovative and cutting edge technologies, removing the other workers is now possible.
For several years, the technology for remote surveillance and control has been implemented in the offshore industry, but with increasingly automated control systems, fully remote operations are becoming a reality.
Enabling more remote operations has become essential recently, and the pressures of the past year have prompted the increased development and adoption of AI on rigs. As well as monitoring systems, robot roughnecks will be able to interact with equipment, inspecting machinery, and carry out simple physical tasks.
This increased automation will drastically improve safety levels and significantly lower production costs. Efficiency is also increased as remote sensors and controls allow for a quicker and more targeted response to any changes, resulting in fewer shutdowns.
Implementing Smart Technology to Enhance Efficiency
A drop in the price of oil has encouraged companies to look at innovative ways to save money. Other digital technologies including smart sensors have increased the production from oilfields by 6% while at the same time significantly lowering running costs.
Offshore oil rigs have increasingly been fitted with sensors that can measure sensitive field conditions such as temperature and pressure. This information is then sent to engineers on land who can quickly make necessary adjustments to equipment.
Other environmental changes such as commonly occurring methane leaks can also be detected remotely with the use of cloud-based machine learning software.
Environmental Engineers Reduce Harmful Emissions
Minimizing the amount of methane leaked into the atmosphere is one of the best ways for the industry to reduce emissions, and preventing waste from leaks is just one of the roles of environmental engineers within the petroleum industry. Sophisticated AI and unmanned rigs may improve efficiency and safety levels on offshore rigs.
However, the negative impact of the oil and gas industry on the environment is still enormous. Roughly 15% of carbon emissions associated with the petroleum industry is created during extraction and production processes, and several major oil companies have promised to reduce these emissions in the range between 50% and 65% by 2050.
To help to achieve this, environmental engineers look at ways to reduce the need for controlled burning of oil and gas, known as flaring. In addition, the emissions created by building new rigs and other developments can be reduced by using low-carbon electricity from renewable energy.
The petroleum industry is making significant changes to adapt to a safer and cleaner low-carbon future. These changes require increasingly innovative technology to improve exploration and drilling in challenging environments, lower the costs of extraction and production, and create automated and unmanned rigs, where costly downtime is reduced and the risk to personnel is minimized.
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