Virtual Tools Close Gap between Remote Operations, O&G Experts

“In our experience, customers report high hurdles in bringing experts to any offshore location – regardless of location,” said Wijtkamp. “The shortage of living quarters, travel logistics and safety requirements make these trips time consuming and also impact overall health safety and environment. Onshore operations also face many of these same hurdles, especially when experts are located in different regions.”

In one case, a customer was even concerned with teams travelling 100 miles to troubleshoot an issue with a core tool due to their organizations health, safety and environment objectives.

Librestream has found that the shortage of experts extends across operations within oil and gas, but especially with engineers; this is the core group involved in live Onsight collaboration sessions, said Wijtkamp. Engineers are the scarcest commodity in the oil and gas industry, according to a March 2014 survey by Air Energi and In the survey, over half of the participants identified engineers as the most in-demand role in industry.

“The remote expertise is needed because of their specialized knowledge and experience level with a core tool or process. The situations may involve troubleshooting, preventative maintenance inspections and training on new processes or approaches,” said Wijtkamp.

In other cases, the field work may not be trained formally as an engineer, but needs guidance from engineering experts, Wijtkamp noted.

In one case, a field engineer connected to a gas valve expert by using mobile collaboration. Together, they were able to resolve an issue that had caused repeated shutdowns at an unmanned well in the Middle East, increasing production by an estimated $3 million per year.

“We also see high demand in the health, safety and environment side of the operation,” said Wijtkamp. “With the focus on safety, many teams are performing more responsive and frequent safety training sessions and inspections.

“Following a safety incident at an offshore rig, one customer was able to complete an immediate risk assessment, remotely resulting in an estimated saving of $56,000 from travel and productivity cost savings. With this more responsive approach, they also felt it improved their overall safety performance.”


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