Oil and gas event showcases safer tech

Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Oil and gas event showcases safer tech

Innovation that helps to promote safety in the oil and gas industry will be on display at the Australasian Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition (AOG) 2019 event in Perth.

Some of the technology on display will include robotics, connected devices and big data.

In many instances, inspection work on process vessels and tanks on offshore oil and gas rigs have required shutting down the platform to facilitate manual inspection — a process that is often time-consuming, unproductive, costly and extremely hazardous.

“We’ve seen the market shift into a maintenance cycle, and over the last four years, companies have come to accept that remote visual inspection as a technology is the way forward. And with that has come robotics,” said Jason De Silveira, Managing Director of remote visual inspection (RVI) and non-destructive testing (NDT) solutions provider Nexxis.

“Innovative robotics technology and remote inspection systems can deliver far safer, more cost-effective, more reliable and more feasible solutions.”

The numbers support De Silveira’s claim, with the oil and gas industry planning to increase their investment in drones and robotics by 13% in the next four years as per analysis by Frost & Sullivan.

While Peter Milligan, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute for Non-Destructive Testing (AINDT), agrees that the acceptance of robotics in oil and gas applications is growing, he sees them as a tool and not a total solution.

“Robotics has a place; however, I firmly believe that the role of an NDT technician needs to remain in the hands of an appropriately certified person who can make a judgement call based on skill and experience,” Milligan said.

According to Milligan another noticeable trend in NDT is the growing use of remote monitoring systems which allow assets to be monitored 24/7, and if issues are detected a technician can be deployed to the exact location for further investigation.

“Remote monitoring locates, identifies, monitors and sanctions defects within the assets being inspected, which then allows maintenance teams to fix issues if required to avoid lengthy shutdowns if an asset fails,” he said.

With technologies such as sensors becoming more affordable and robust, and with these sensors attached to standard equipment, overall asset health can be monitored more efficiently — a practice often referred to as condition monitoring.

“The market for asset management and integrity technology and solutions has grown exponentially in recent years and, as a result, AOG is placing an increased focus on asset integrity this year to cater for increased visitor interest,” said Bill Hare, AOG Event Director.

AOG’s Knowledge Forum will feature several specialised technical sessions focusing on asset management, maintenance and testing, to complement the latest technology and service solutions on the exhibition floor in a dedicated Asset Integrity Zone.

“Supported by the Australian Institute for Non-Destructive Testing (AINDT), Asset Management Council and Engineers Australia, the Asset Integrity Zone will feature manufacturers and suppliers of non-destructive testing, condition monitoring, diagnostic engineering, or materials and quality testing, corrosion prevention, protective coatings, and asset management products services and technology,” Hare said.

For more information and to register, visit aogexpo.com.au.

Image caption: AOG Knowledge Forum.

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