The person who invented the phrase, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ never foresaw the digital era. In the current internet age, innovation is king, change is inevitable, and those who fail to adapt, lose. Consequently, different industries are turning to technology to stay competitive in the increasingly competitive business world.

Internet of things
Global business connection

From healthcare to manufacturing and oil and gas, numerous industries have discovered the potential of Internet of things (IoT) to make their operations smoother. They are leveraging IoT to attain greater efficiency and cost savings. According to 451 research, the number one use of IoT in the oil and gas sector is supply chain optimization. Other IoT uses in the industry include production prediction, preventative maintenance, and workload optimization.

Research shows that in 2018 the global IoT market was $190 billion. In 2026, the market is forecasted to hit the one trillion dollar mark. By 2023, the global IoT in the oil and gas market will be $39.40 billion. This growth will emanate from the deployment of automation and control and sensing systems in the industry. Also, the use of intrinsically safe IoT products will contribute significantly to this growth.

How IoT Benefits Oil and Gas Companies

Engineer discussing benefits of IOT

Oil and gas enterprises have a plethora of opportunities to employ IoT for production and equipment optimization. IoT has numerous benefits for these facilities, including.

·         Cut Operating Costs:

IoT enables facilities to discover patterns in usage and hence optimize resources. Consequently, a company reduces costs and increases profitability.

·         Increase Productivity

IoT offers a way to maximize production and equipment in the process of extracting oil and gas and hence boost productivity. Research shows that IoT utilization can enhance production by 6-8%.

·         Facilitate Data-driven Decision-making

IoT devices provide precise real-time data that can be used to inform decisions on research, refining, and logistics. Sensors, for instance, offer valuable data to alert about potentially dangerous scenarios and promote predictive analysis.

·         Reduce waste

IoT technologies help the oil and gas sector to reduce waste and thus become more environmentally friendly. It lessens cases of leakage and equipment damage.

·         Improved Risk Mitigation

Among the biggest problems for oil and gas companies is maintaining complicated and costly equipment. Oil and gas extraction requires the use of heavy machinery and advanced technologies. With IoT, companies can manage even the most innovative engineering equipment remotely. They can prevent equipment malfunction and minimize downtime.

·         Increase Employee Safety

Oil and gas industry employees work in some of the most dangerous conditions and are vulnerable to accidents and injury. IoT eliminates the human factor in many aspects of gas and oil operations. Therefore, it increases employee safety and reduces the prevalence of accidents.

Intrinsically Safe IoT Products for Oil and Gas Industry

Engineers at work in a large commercial shipyard
Port Engineer standing with a colleague reading an inventory list on a clipboard

1. Intrinsically Safe CCTV Cameras

Individuals and businesses have been using security cameras for decades. In gas and oil facilities, intrinsically safe CCTV cameras are invaluable. While many sites are located in remote, inaccessible places, and open sea, they are targets for trespassing, vandalism, theft, and even terrorist attacks. Also, they are flammable, toxic, and corrosive environments. Therefore, the facilities require adequate security to ensure the safety of personnel, expensive infrastructure, and production processes that CCTV cameras can offer.

CCTV cameras allow facilities to monitor their critical points of business from entrances to refineries, and wells. They act as a virtual pair of eyes for their facilities as well as deter theft. Also, CCTV cameras intercept risks, suspicious activities, and accidents promptly.

Importantly, these cameras monitor delicate production operations that take place in environments filled with toxic fumes and high temperatures- unideal for humans. Cameras in and around potentially hazardous areas are more important than ever. Explosion-proof cameras can avert an explosion, keeping your facility and workers safe.

2. Intrinsically Safe Sensors

Nowadays, sensors are everywhere – in homes, hospitals, shopping malls, and workplaces. They are a vital part of IoT, and almost all IoT technologies use sensors. In a nutshell, sensors identify and respond to changes in an environment. Gas and oil facilities can use sensors for different purposes including;

  • Access data on different variables – be it humidity, motion, or temperature. The data can be shared with other connected devices to elicit different actions.
  • Inspect the condition of pumps, filters, wellheads, and other pipeline ele Also, they assess the performance of above-ground pumps.
  • Monitor inventory levels.
  • Track tanker fleets in real-time. Sensors can track the location of tankers as well as their state to increase the efficiency and security of transporting oil and gas products.
  • Sensors can assist in supply chain management. They can alert refineries about the products that are in the delivery process. Similarly, sensors can notify distributors when their clients’ oil and gas are running out.
  • Sensors can help identify potential problems before they escalate. Consequently, facilities can carry out predictive maintenance and avoid more significant problems in the future.
  • Gas sensors can be used to detect hazardous gases in facilities.
  • They can offer data that can be analyzed into trends to enable evidence-based decision-making. Sensors can collect terabytes of data from production sites that can provide valuable insights.

3. Intrinsically Safe RFID Devices

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices are tagged in objects to aid in automated identification. They are widely used in industries like automation, manufacturing, medical science, and telecommunications. RFID devices have transformed the oil and gas industry. They have positive outcomes for improving operational efficiency, increasing productivity, and enhancing the safety of workers and equipment.

How do gas and oil industries use RFID? Here’s how.

  • Production of crude oil and gas: RFID readers are attached to drilling pipes to measure the depth of oil and determine pipe health. Also, they offer data related to underground temperature, mud composition, flow rate velocity, and stress.
  • Maintenance of equipment and units: RFID tags are used to ensure that equipment like pipelines are working optimally. They detect leaking pipes and other damaged equipment that could result in loss of oil and endanger marine life.
  • Ensuring the safety and security of workers: RFID tags combined with GPS technology help to trace and rescue workers in the event of an accident. Also, they are used to detect unauthorized people in a facility and determine the number of people entering a facility.
  • Simplify the administration process: RFID badges allow gas and oil companies to track daily employee attendance, timing, and activity logs.

Bottom Line

The oil and gas industry is among the top sectors that have embraced IoT. IoT helps oil and gas organizations to optimize the production process, increase revenue while reducing expenses, avoid accidents and disruptions, and beat the competition. Although there are numerous IoT technologies that facilities can use, this article outlines three of the safest. Contact us today for intrinsically safe IoT products to meet your business needs.

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