Motorola and Field Technologies Online hosted an informative webinar on the use of RFID in oil and gas applications this week. The webinar speakers say that the increased visibility provided by RFID in extremely difficult working conditions can save the oil and gas industry tens of millions annually.
“Because I can see this information very quickly, it provides me visibility to where my assets are and visibility gives you a lot of great positive business benefits,” says John Rommel, senior manager of RFID channel development at Motorola. “RFID lets you know where your people are, where your consumable materials are, where your valuable assets are, what is inside containers and what has been inspected and not inspected. If you need a piece of drill pipe and it’s not on the rig and you need to shut down the rig until you get it, we all know the consequences of that.”
Konrad Konarski, co-founder of the RFID Oil & Gas Solution Group Consortium and president of Merlin Concepts & Technology, says that RFID is saving the oil and gas industry tens of millions annually. He points out that applications at the well site are the sweet spot, with RFID contributing toward $80 million in savings annually.
At the well site, for example, RFID allows workers to lower or remove pipes from a well and to associate them to that particular well. RFID documents how long a pipe has been in place in the well, how deep it was placed in the well, which then allows you to track inspection data and drill strength, and how much wear and tear that pipe has been exposed to.
“This type of technology, although not as prevalent as it should be, is growing within the sector and is bringing the industry into the next generation of identification,” says Konrad.
Another $80 million is being saved at laydown yards, huge storage areas for piping that needs to be carefully identified for various jobs. Throw in anther $50 million in savings for service centers, and the total annual savings could reach $210 million.
“Once a part is commissioned, it goes to laydown yard – essentially stack of pipes sitting around,” says Konarski. “By looking at these pipes, you may not be able to identify one from another, but they are completely different and designed for different environments.”