Oil and gas companies are evaluating the possibilities of deploying wearable devices in day-to-day operations to improve safety and efficiency in oilfield operations, according to data and analytics company GlobalData
Initial research focuses on enabling the real-time monitoring of field technicians to ensure their safety and to provide audiovisual assistance to perform asset maintenance, with the hope of adopting lightweight yet robust wearable devices, GlobalData noted.
These features of wearable technology encourage oil and gas companies to adopt helmets, smart glasses, wristbands and other devices that incorporate technologies such as wireless connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR).
Ravindra Puranik, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said, “Mobility is considered as the main driver and precursor to implementing any wearable technology in the oil and gas industry. Ever since the evolution of digital technologies, companies in the oil and gas sector are using industry-grade smartphones to capture field-level data and exchange information with onshore experts.”
“Instead of handheld smartphones, hands-free devices will increase work efficiency among the frontline workforce. Through different applications, wearable smart devices are expected to bring a paradigm shift in oil and gas field operations,” he added.
Wearable devices are also designed to provide safety to field staff by monitoring the wearer’s health condition, alerting them from exposure to potential hazards and also providing access to live locations of workers to the onshore support team. This, in turn, provides a sense of security among the workers and increases productivity.
“The oil and gas industry is integrating wearable tech with inspection and maintenance technologies to improve data collection and minimise risk to its workforce. Wearable devices in the oil and gas industry are made to withstand extreme temperature variations and resist oil, chemical spills, heavy rain, and dust among other things, making the working environment more secure,” he stated.
GlobalData’s thematic research identifies oil and gas companies, such as BP and Shell, among the leading adopters of wearable technology. In addition to these, several other companies, including Saudi Aramco, Eni, Marathon Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and NOV, have also started to incorporate wearable technology into their operations.