Application of robotics in onshore oil and gas industry-A review Part i

Amit Shukla, Hamad Karki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

223 Scopus citations

Abstract

With ever increasing global demand and depleting resources for fossil fuels, oil and gas industry is now positively looking for advanced robotic solutions to increase their productivity and safety. With time easy resources of the fossil fuels are shrinking and newly searched reservoirs, to feed supply demands of global consumption, are mostly located in extreme environmental conditions such as hot deserts, deep water and arctic zone etc. Production of the fossil fuels, in such inhospitable environmental conditions, poses difficult challenges to health, safety and environment (HSE). Tragic incidents like Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon oil spills are examples of such challenges. Therefore, oil and gas industry has lot to learn from successful implementation of robotics and automation for dull, dirty and dangerous (3D) tasks of manufacturing industry. Most of the robotics technologies, currently used in the oil and gas industry, are mainly focused on inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) of plant facilities with higher frequency and accuracy. Fundamental idea, involved in the automatization of these processes, is based on the principle of teleoperation with skilled operator. Automation of 3D tasks not only improves HSE standards but also lead to much needed economic efficiency by reducing production cycle, floor space and number of staff members required for continuous inspection and manipulation of plant facilities. Considering the risks involved in this industry usage of completely autonomous robots, first without achieving very high reliability, is still a far fetch choice. Therefore, semi-autonomous robots, where actions are performed by robots but cognitive decisions are still taken by skilled operator, is an excellent choice for this industry as a near future solution. In the onshore oil and gas industry robotic solutions are used both in upstream and downstream processes, such as site survey, drilling, production and transportation, mainly focused in the form of in-pipe inspection robots (IPIRs), tank inspection robots (TIRs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) etc. This paper presents the state of art robotic solutions currently used in onshore oil and gas facilities.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)490-507
Number of pages18
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Volume75
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Automation
  • In-pipe inspection robots
  • NDT
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Robotics
  • Tank inspection robots
  • UAV
  • Wireless sensor networks (WSN)

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