Applying RFID to the Oil & Gas Extraction Industry

Oil and gas extraction is a multi-billion dollar global industry. There are 42 US gallons or 159 litres of oil in a barrel. According to the Oil Market Report the world consumes in excess of 93 million barrels of oil per day. The January 2015 production forecast put production at more than 94 million barrels per day. Crude oil is derived from mineral oil that contains hydrocarbons and other impurities such as sulphur.

The demand for oil is most apparent when you consider China’s energy needs. Almost half of all global oil demand will come from China and this trend will continue to 2040. The OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) will see a decrease in oil consumption.

Crude oil uses:

  • Plastic production
  • Fuel for automobiles and planes
  • Used in the manufacturing of detergents, paints and pharmaceuticals
  • Furniture manufacturing

Natural gas is a clean burning fuel generally located in deep underground porous rocks or trapped between dense rock formations. The province of Alberta provides 69 percent of Canada’s natural gas requirements. A gigajoule (GJ) is a unit of measurement for natural gas, 1 GJ is the equivalent of 30 litres of gasoline. Alberta currently produces an abundance of natural gas, enough to heat every home in the province for 25 years.

The OECD European region has predicted 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas will be consumed from 2015 to 2040.

Natural gas fulfills the following functions:

  • Heating the home
  • Cooking fuel
  • Electrical generation
  • Steam production
  • Creating polymers used in plastic

Exploring RFID in the Oil & Gas Extraction Industry

The Oil & Gas Extraction industry faces many challenges daily. Managing asset utilization, ensuring employee safety, and creating a profit from extracted natural resources are all part of every manager’s top priorities.

We have extensive RFID experience and can work with you to customize systems for particular industries; thus we can help to explore how to:

  • Track Assets and Equipment
  • Monitor Personnel Safety
  • Track Oil Distribution
  • Control Vehicle and Employee Access

 Applying Asset Tracking

Offshore oil platforms contain 100s of different types of machinery and equipment for the extraction of crude oil from the oceans floor. Tagging the miles and miles of steel piping with RFID Tags on an offshore rig may be an option to explore. This can tell the operator when a particular section of piping requires replacement. Without all piping being at functional capacity a rig can shut down resulting in the loss of millions of dollars if the mechanical problem is not rectified in time. In most cases, RFID tagging eliminates the traditional pen and paper technique of parts and maintenance records. GAO RFID understands your challenges and with our history of customizing solutions for various industries, we can explore ways to build a customized solution for your tagging related issues and may be able to help develop a solution for your exact problem i.e. RFID Readers. In other applications, we have used RFID Readers to accurately record relevant equipment maintenance scheduling. In the same way, we can explore using RFID readers to help drilling supervisors to be notified in real time of any potential issues that may come up.

  1. Maintenance dates for equipment
  2. Next maintenance date
  3. Technician sign off sheet

In additional to the pipelines, every piece of equipment from heavy machinery to expensive handheld devices can all be assessed to determine whether RFID can be used to track their usage and location. This would ensure optimal asset utilization and reduces the chances of these equipment being removed from the premises.

We have RFID experience gained from developing and deploying RFID technology to track assets. It is a system to track equipment and inventory, this same theory may be used to track the distribution of barrels of oil and gas. Instead of relying on traditional paper tagging that can fade or fall off containers the use of RFID Tags can relay information specific to the content being shipped. Identifying what tractor trailers are carrying what is of great benefit to the operator and buyer of oil during the transportation process. Being able to identify the arrival time of a shipment goes a long way in reducing logistical errors.

Applying People Tracking

Maintaining an accurate count of all offshore oil rig personnel is an important factor to ensure safety in the work environment. Similar to other people tracking applications using RFID, rig workers can be given RFID lanyard cards to see if they scan when they arrive and leave offshore rigs. Wirelessly signing into work eliminates the manual process of signing a sheet of paper regarding the beginning and ending of shifts. The idea of embedding RFID tags in rig worker uniforms can also be explored to allow access to rig workers with the necessary security clearance and allows managers to identify and locate personnel anywhere on the rig. Even in the event of muster calls, we can apply our knowledge and experience that we have gained from our experience using RFID to track people and to tally how many people are missing from the muster points in just seconds, raising the level of safety to a higher level.

Applying Access Control

Whether it is personnel or vehicles, every area of the oil rig is important and sensitive. Only authorized personnel should be allowed into certain zones to ensure safety. In this critical scenario, the access to restricted zones may be controlled with our experience in controlling access via RFID technology. Through customization, it can be a way to grant and deny access to zones without using keys or having manned entrance points. Each RFID Badge or Lanyard given to your employees can be programmed with access levels. If successful, authorized staff who walk in proximity of RFID Readers installed on doorways are immediately given access. This event is also logged in the database in case managers need to review access activity. Similarly, vehicles and machinery used through the oil rig can also be outfitted with RFID Vehicle Tags that can be programmed for access certain areas.

Integrating our System with your Management Software

Once developed, GAO RFID’s Systems can be deployed as a standalone solution or can be integrated with other software solutions, according to your needs.

GAO RFID’s AUTO-ID Engine, incorporates middleware and essential RFID functions that perform RFID data collection and information processing. It can seamlessly integrate with a wide variety of oil and gas extraction management systems so that you can access the data it collects directly via the system or systems you currently have in place.

Our team comprises of seasoned professionals who have the capability to combine our RFID experience with your industry experience and provide a customized solution that will smoothly integrate the appropriate RFID Solution with your IT architecture. The result is an RFID solution that is seamlessly unified with your management system.

We can work with you to integrate the RFID tracking data collected from our custom solution with today’s leading information management systems in your industry.

List of Relevant Information Management Systems

Contact us for more information on how our RFID can be configured for your organization.