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  • Marcus Durant

Shortage of skilled workers for an upturn in activity? - Think Augmented reality.

The Oil and Gas Industry has been through years of under investment and now the world faces a potential supply crunch with the removal of a major supplier from the world market. Subsequently, the increasing oil price is driving a rapid increase in the cost of living, forcing countries to find replacement supplies either by expanding their own oil and gas production or by importing from alternative suppliers.

The problem facing countries with resources ready to exploit, will be the increasing scarcity of available equipment and finding people with the appropriate expertise and experience. As a result, equipment will need to be kept in service longer and people must be used more efficiently.

Several issues need to be overcome to accommodate this increase in activity. First, the Oil and Gas industry has become a less attractive place to work after years of decline and negative sentiment. Today, university graduates are focused on more sustainable careers, in part because it is difficult to see a long term future of the Oil and Gas industry. Second, the time required to build the autonomy and competence required to become an expert in the industry can be extensive, employees need to spend years working offshore to attain these proficiencies. Last, moving personnel to the rig site to deliver this expertise is expensive, inefficient and can increase CO2 emissions.

The Streamsolution Augmented Reality remote collaboration service can be used to re-think these paradigms; improving working conditions, elevating the industry image and allowing expertise to be leveraged optimally, permitting quality and safety critical activities to be performed on a more regular basis. Examples of what Augmented Reality can be used for include: Work Assurance, where remote experts ensure that work is carried out correctly and safely, performing Inspections more regularly makes sure equipment condition is constantly within spec, carrying out Maintenance using already present rig personnel, minimizes the time wasted to bring a specialist to the rig and reduces downtime if a part fails due to lack of maintenance.

Augmented reality provides seamless collaboration through real time video streaming. Experts can “augment” the vision of the worker through written instructions, by video annotations or by 2-way audio communication from the expert to the worker or simply witness the work as it happens to minimize mistakes.

When properly integrated into working practices, augmented reality technology will result in fewer quality problems and less safety incidents. It can allow companies to increase activity without hiring people from an increasingly scarce competency pool and it can reduce the need to make expensive and polluting journeys to offshore installations. It is time to bring the Oil and Gas Industry into the future.

For more information go to the Streamsolution website.



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