In a nutshell, remote monitoring integrates sophisticated cloud storage, data analysis, and enhanced security to improve productivity at the job site. All the valuable information gathered during monitoring is then put into the capable and expert hands of site operators and managers.
In the oil and gas industry, remote oilfield monitoring is an essential tool. However, many of the oil and gas sites are in hard-to-access locations – making it a challenge for operators to visit them.
Advances in the field have improved site monitoring and data analysis and collection. Still, in fragile, extreme, and hard-to-reach places, remote monitoring poses several challenges.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at some of these challenges and how best to address them.
Risk and Cost of Monitoring
Even though remote monitoring is conducted, traveling to these remote areas is unavoidable. Thus the high cost to reach them is always something oil and gas companies will have to deal with.
If the work sites that need monitoring are in extremely remote places, data collection and analysis may be difficult. There may be some time delays between retrieving the sampling and getting the results back.
Extremely remote work sites may also prevent continuous monitoring of data as well as the inability to detect on frequent and sudden changes that place on the site. Also, the retrieved samples from these remote work sites may not be fully representative of the data as a whole.
Some employment organizations strictly implement a two-personnel policy for remote work sites; the cost to follow this rule often presents a challenge for some companies.
Whether it’s in a hostile or rugged train, tropical areas, or the Australian outback, the risk and cost of data collection for analysis is one of the significant challenges in the oil and gas industry.
Diverse Data Sources Result in Varied Collected Data
In the oil and gas industry, data collection and analysis is essential in operation. However, even with remote monitoring available, manual collection of data for analysis is required. Thus, collecting data and samples from remote oilfield sites can be costly, not to mention inconvenient, inaccurate, and unreliable.
Complexity and Cost of Specialized Devices
Technological innovations have rapidly progressed in recent years. Remote oilfield monitoring has greatly benefited from these technological advancements. There are compact remote oilfield monitoring devices that can gather and transmit information through wireless networks.
These compact monitoring devices have significantly improved data collection and remote monitoring – two crucial aspects of the oil and gas sector. These devices have also been the go-to affordable and practical data collection solution for many remote oilfield sites.
However, because of the several parameters and environments, remote work sites can fall under, many remote oilfield monitoring systems are tailor-made – either under the instructions of the oil and gas companies’ in-house engineers or third-party specialists.
Thus, vast oilfields tend to be equipped with several devices serving specific purposes. Due to these scenarios, logistics and maintenance can be a burden.
While bespoke devices meet the exact needs and demands of a particular work site, they may cost significantly more than a ready-to-use remote oilfield monitoring system. The customization of these systems takes longer because of subsequent adjustments that take place.
Speaking of adjustments, specialists may be needed to conduct these design changes and calibrations – as well as maintenance and repair. Additionally, custom monitoring systems need to adapt to a more detailed set of industry regulations.
Special replacements and refits are also usually necessary to maintain custom monitoring systems. Thus, oil and gas operators may be limited to reuse these bespoke monitoring devices.
With proper planning comes correct execution. Although there are always challenges present in remote oilfield monitoring, as long as oil and gas companies take the necessary steps to plan accordingly, they can address any issue that may come.
Also, more and more advancements are becoming available. For instance, gone are the days that bulky, dedicated data servers are needed for operation.
Operators can now utilize convenient and light web applications through the cloud. These applications don’t depend on any hardware or platform; they can be conveniently accessed through mobile devices connected to the internet.
When it comes to remote oilfield monitoring, the technological landscape is always changing. Innovations in remote monitoring systems are always taking place, allowing oil and gas companies to operate more efficiently.