VIRTUAL REALITY IN OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
Oil and Gas industry is the most significant sector. It has also been challenged with enormous new problems. Companies are being forced to do more with less in order to meet rising demand. This implies they have fewer personnel and less budgets. So, how can the industry cope in these challenging situations?
No wonder that oil and gas businesses are relying on virtual reality to help establish a more effective workflow in order to keep up with the speed of the sector. Oil firms are discovering significant cost reductions that help their businesses take off by utilising immersive technology to reform their work processes.
- Simulation of Oil and Gas Operations
By constructing a 3D replica of actual locations, virtual reality offers the user an immersive experience. Data on crucial oil and gas operations parameters is obtained through the simulation of real-world scenarios, and this information may later be used to compare the performance of various techniques in advance. Companies can build a digital twin using virtual reality to simulate the performance of an oilfield, refinery, or any other operational unit on a virtual platform.
This aids in reducing the risks and expenses linked to implementing new processes in the oil and gas industry.
- Oilfield Surface Terrain Analysis
In order to create 3D images of underlying geological features, virtual reality is essential. To construct 3D digital models, VR can reproduce subsurface reservoirs, structural faults, and other geologic formations. By using this technique, geologists, geophysicists, and engineers may more accurately plan drilling operations, discover possible hydrocarbon reserves, and minimize the possibility of dry hole drilling-related costs. Drilling efficiency is also increased.
- Conducting Training Programmes
The process of training service staff for the oil and gas sector is often costly and dangerous. A person has to refresh their skills or perhaps acquire whole new ones as technology advances, industry requirements change, new equipment is introduced with new operating procedures, and new equipment is put online.
The following are the advantages of virtual reality training, particularly for the oil and gas sector:
- Cost-effectiveness: With VR, there is no need to use and deplete costly equipment, or to send busy, high-paid instructors or skilled staff to remote locations for instruction. Every training session takes place within a simulation, and the instructional materials are continuously updated and reused.
- Safety: A well-designed VR training programme may accurately simulate a genuine working environment without any of the risks that come with working on an oil rig or a petroleum facility. Trainees can acquire new skills via VR without endangering themselves or the equipment.
- Efficiency: By practising new skills in a virtual setting, VR gives learners the opportunity to learn by doing, which helps them remember their new information and apply it more confidently in the real world.
- Engagement: With a VR education, students are placed through a predetermined scenario where they learn new techniques. The solution may offer pointers, cues, and directions instantly and interactively. It is also possible to include gamification aspects! All of this increases engagement in a manner that neither a textbook nor instructional video can.
- Assessment: In VR, evaluation of training outcomes is more simpler than in the actual world. There is no need to include specialised staff in this process because the virtual reality system can automatically track, record, and evaluate every action the student makes.
- Customizability: As VR capabilities are only limited by one’s imagination, a separate VR environment and training scenario may be built if necessary for every skill. Additionally, since VR training doesn’t interfere with business operations, customised training may be provided as needed, even for a single individual.
Additionally, wearable tech with VR capabilities is getting praise for being useful for training. Smart clothes and VR headsets may be used to recreate an immersive representation of a real production facility coupled with the appropriate environmental conditions to increase operator readiness. The knowledge of new procedures to be used in oil and gas plants is improved by the use of VR and wearable technology.
- Testing and Inspection of Processes
Through data-driven simulation and modelling, VR is being utilised to improve the efficiency of inspection and maintenance tasks. The use of technology makes it possible to combine real-time information with previous data to detect maintenance needs and instruct professionals on what needs to be done to avoid a breakdown. This comprises detailed instructions on how to find the defective item, fix or replace it, and reduce the amount of time needed to complete the maintenance task.
- Product Design and Manufacturing
For the creation of new products, VR is fantastic. It gives the chance to evaluate the results well before the production stage begins and enables the use of 3D rendering to replicate digital designs.
Even 3D printing and VR may be used to create prototypes right immediately. VR shortens turnaround times when a firm is creating crucial oil and gas equipment by hastening the product design process. By not requiring the production of several prototypes for testing, it lowers resource use.
The field of product creation is open to new possibilities thanks to virtual reality. Even before they are manufactured, digital designs are assessed for effectiveness using 3D simulation. When VR and 3D printing are combined, several prototypes may be created quickly. VR technology accelerates the product design process, reducing the turnaround time for the creation of essential oil and gas equipment. By obviating the need to create many prototypes for testing, the method also significantly decreases material usage.
- Disaster Management Using VR
Employees in the oil and gas sector frequently operate in hazardous environments where they risk injury from harmful chemicals and gases. These circumstances may result in disasters that employees will need to handle in some way or at the very least be able to react to in a way that will preserve their lives. All potential threats may be simulated using virtual reality technology. This implies that without really putting their health at risk, all personnel may be educated to react to threats. It is feasible to create VR solutions for:
- Evacuation simulation
- Training in hazardous environments
- Instruction pertaining to disaster response.
Concept training doesn’t adequately prepare first responders and field personnel for plant-related emergencies. Here, virtual reality training is far better to traditional teaching because it exposes students to warning indications of danger and teaches them how to react to them. Consequently, all of this useful information may be used to deal with actual calamities.
- Digital Twin With VR
IoT and network devices are transforming every aspect of oil and gas operations. In order to collect as much information as possible regarding plant operations for better visibility and decision-making, businesses are linking sensors on infrastructure and equipment. One example of an IoT use case that enables businesses to visualise plant operations in a virtual reality setting is the digital twin. It allows for the virtual replication of plant operations and aids in the identification of possible trouble spots and the creation of solutions.
Numerous advantages of digital twins include:
- Employees may practise in a virtual setting with all the necessary tools without worrying about pressing the incorrect button.
- For the purpose of identifying issues and resolving them in the real world, all plant processes can be reproduced in a virtual environment.
- An equipment engineer can remotely inspect a broken component using a VR simulation and a Digital Twin, then offer advise on how to fix it.
- To evaluate their feasibility and find potential for improvement, equipment and plant design can be constructed in a digital twin before being built in the real world.
As a result of VR’s ability to replicate a variety of plant and equipment settings and features, oil and gas companies may anticipate catastrophes, create and test virtual models, and educate workers.
VR is going to be the foundation of industrial training. When working in oil and gas fields, workers may be safer and more knowledgeable, thanks to the technology. Additionally, they enable employees to receive more hands-on training and virtual instruction, improving knowledge retention in a risk-free setting. The industry is gradually but steadily transitioning to these new technologies.