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

The skills shortage compounds the problem of higher demand for remote expert capability as the pool of experts available do not want to travel to remote locations because of increased time commitments.

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A field technician uses the Onsight rugged device and zooms into the problem area while communicating with remote experts.

“We’ve seen the desire to bring experts to the problem virtually has grown along with these increased costs in hard dollars and time,” said Wijtkamp.

This system can be used for both offshore and onshore fields. While the use cases and benefits of this kind of remote expert capability are typically the same, different environments present different connectivity challenges, Wijtkamp explained. In the case of an offshore rig, the company’s Onsight 2500Ex hazardous location approved camera device is often used to perform safety audits or troubleshoot assets. The rugged device is typically connected over a wireless or wired network at the rig and engaged in a live call with a remote expert onshore over the VSAT network.

Often, the bandwidth is locked down to 120k bits per second or less to ensure ongoing data transmission is not impacted. In onshore operations, these devices are often connected to cellular networks or portable BGAN satellite terminals.

“In both cases, the remote expertise can mentor the field operator from afar and build a valuable knowledge base at the same time,” Wijtkamp said.

While hazardous location-approved camera devices are available today on the market, Wijtkamp said that Librestream’s virtual presence approach is uniquely focused on meeting the difficult challenges within the oil and gas industry. The Onsight system also features a central management system that includes strict security controls, bandwidth management, usage reports and privacy settings. The centralized control is critical to an industry that must restrict bandwidth consumption and enforce security policies systemwide.


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