Using Data to Maintain Safety in Oil and Gas Extraction

By Michael Benedict on December 10, 2015

Using Data to Maintain Safety in Oil and Gas ExtractionOil and natural gas extraction, while profitable, is also among the most dangerous industries for workers, with a fatality rate seven times higher than any other U.S. industry — 28.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers. It’s also gained notoriety in recent years for the environmental impact of massive oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in 2010.

The human and environmental toll of the oil or gas extraction industry draws negative media attention and regulatory scrutiny. Occupational safety and staying compliant with environmental regulations isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also better for oil and gas drill business in the long run.

Fortunately, breakthroughs in the capture and analysis of worksite data, including equipment performance, are making it possible to anticipate oil and gas industry accidents and machine failures before they happen — protecting worker safety and the environment while staying abreast of stringent regulations. Blowouts and oil spills are no longer an inevitability as the use of real-time data analysis expands to keep the upstream oil and natural gas industry safer.

This is particularly important as oil and natural gas extraction sites become increasingly more remote — often located either deep beneath the ocean’s or the earth’s surface, where environments are inhospitable and factors like pressure and temperature are harder to control.  

Take, for example, the 2011 Chevron spill, which dumped 3,000 barrels of crude oil off the country’s southeast coast due to an unanticipated pressure spike and cost the company millions in both civil and criminal proceedings, as well as lost revenue. One of the company’s executives explained that its new i-field technology, which implements sensors monitoring motion, vibration pressure, and weather data, will help detect potentially dangerous trends long before oil spill incidents like this occur and enable engineers to adjust operations in real-time to move more quickly to prevent them.

And while increasingly more data can be captured by sensors, human input is still necessary to oversee inspections, performance, and maintain safety in oil and gas extraction. Luckily, operators and contractors in the field can use mobile forms to monitor exposure of chemicals, metals, NORM, and more, then create programs to keep oil and natural gas drilling workers safe. Over 900+ mobile forms are available for the Mining, Quarry, Oil, Gas & Chemicals industry within the GoCanvas Application Store. 

The many components of oil and gas drilling that require constant monitoring can be better looked after and maintained using data collected by both humans and sensors with the help of mobile technology and the cloud.

Want to learn more about how mobile technology and data can be used in the oil and gas industry?

Download our new eBook, 4 Ways Big Data is Transforming Oil and Gas.

In it, you’ll learn:

  • How to predict when equipment will fail, and how best to structure your maintenance schedule
  • How data collection can help keep track of complex environmental regulations
  • How to enable quicker decision-making to improve worker safety and health

Using Data to Maintain Safety in the Oil and Gas Drilling

4 Ways Big Data is Transforming Oil and Gas