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How AR and VR Are Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry

2021.04.29 Aggreko

How AR and VR Are Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry


The oil and gas industry is facing an impending shakeup.

A rapidly retiring workforce is quickly being replaced by young workers. But the old infrastructure and digitally-adverse environment means that many new employees are having to carry out old-fashioned analog repairs.

Things are changing, though.

Wearable technology is dragging the industry into the 21st century, with the likes of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) providing major benefits.

We’re talking lower costs, improved safety conditions, and a larger breadth of services that can be offered.

Remote Repairs Are the Future

Dead gauges are a major hassle for workers, particularly if they’re located in remote or difficult to reach places. Engineers can spend ages trying to locate the gauge before they can even start troubleshooting the problem.

This means that operations often have to be put on hold until the issue is fixed.

If this happened on your site, what would it mean? Do you have a quick solution fired up and ready to deploy or would it spell disaster for your processes and revenue? What if you had instant access to the key information you needed to get the gauge back up and running in no time at all?

This is where AR comes in.

A headset that combines reality with instant, digitally-sourced information can make remote repairs a walk in the park.

Through AR, technicians can have easy access to a step-by-step run-through of how to fix an issue – even if the issue is located in a tricky-to-reach place.

Not only can AR provide workers with the location information of the gauge or other faulty pieces of equipment, but it can also showcase the right schematics to get the repair underway as soon as possible.

Training is Enhanced by VR

But what about VR? Where does this new-fangled tech come into play?

The role of VR isn’t as clear cut as AR, but we’re starting to see it play a big part in staff training. This is particularly true when it comes to training recent graduates who are set to work in deep water environments or remote locations.

Other companies have used VR to display instructions about crane use and equipment repairs without needing a trainer on-site.

As the shift becomes more apparent, we’ll see a massive restructuring across the whole industry. This means long-term employees will have to bone up on high-tech operations and new-age facilities overnight.

VR provides an immersive way for employees to experience new roles and operations.

The saying “seeing is believing” has never been more apt when you can put on a headset and move around in a virtual environment.

What Does AR and VR Mean For Your Site?

It’s still early days.

The estimated tipping point for the AR and VR takeover is still around five years away, particularly in an industry that tends to lag behind on the tech front.

Before you can start thinking about implementing these kinds of tech solutions, you need to make sure you have solid access to WiFi, a consistent and efficient power source, and powerful security. Without these, the benefits of AR and VR will be lost.

These new tech solutions also face hardware challenge.

Headsets need to be robust and meet protective standards, but they also need to be light enough for workers to wear all day.

Despite this, other industries are thriving under VR and AR implementation.

We’re willing to bet that it’s only a matter of time before they become must-have solutions.

Learn more about our solutions for the oil and gas sector