GPS & RFID Technologies for the Gas & Oil Industry
GPS & RFID Technologies for the Gas & Oil Industry

Apr 27, 2021

The gas and oil industry is currently facing pressure to become more efficient, and this push only increases as global oil demand continues to rise. However, while companies want to speed up processes, they don’t want to achieve this at the expense of accuracy or regulation since improving efficiency while maintaining safety and meeting regulations is a constant challenge for oil and gas companies. The loss of mission-critical equipment also causes severe disruption to the supply chain and has a major impact on timelines, key deliverables, and profit margins. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, combined with global positioning system (GPS) tracking, can help in many ways since both technologies provide an extensive network for tracking the location and condition of equipment, pipelines, and other items used by this industry.

When data, security, and logistics networks run in parallel, gas and oil companies can effectively manage their key assets on and off-site. Both long and short-range active RFID tags can monitor their assets and alert them according to their predefined variables, whether their main concern is asset longevity or a security-based application. Containers and contents can be tagged individually with different variables programmed according to their requirements. GPS and non-GPS tags usually have standard heat and motion sensors and the capacity for a huge variety of other sensors, such as temperature and moisture gauges, liquid level, and gas emissions sensors. In addition, there are switch tags for monitoring electrical equipment such as door and window locks, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors.

Gas and oil companies have already started to use this combined technology. BP recently deployed a solution that used RFID and GPS technologies to track items shipped from its European warehouses to South Korea when building a massive offshore oil platform. This helped ensure that the materials were delivered on time to Hyundai Heavy Industries, building the platform for BP. Petrobras, another company, is tracking a drill pipe tagged by Weatherford and shipped to an offshore oil rig operated by the Brazilian energy company to more easily verify that the correct pipes are being provided, inspected, and maintained. ProStar Geocorp is deploying RFID technology to offer a holistic solution to track the GPS-based locations of pipes and other equipment in storage and in-field installations, using RFID tags and handheld readers. [1]

Benefits of Combining RFID & GPS Technologies

  • IoT-Enabled Devices: Companies can decrease costs using these combined technologies on gas meters and other monitoring devices since tags can read gas meters remotely and initiate an automated billing process. This ensures that customers receive accurate and timely gas bills. It also cuts back on paperwork and reduces human error, saving time and money in correcting billing errors.
  • Operational Visibility: This combined technology allows companies to manage the data assigned to each piece of inventory. With an enormous industry like oil and gas, this is a lot of data, and RFID makes it simpler to sort this data. They can view how their business operations work, which enables them to improve their processes for managing inventory and finding ways to cut operating costs. This can streamline work processes effectively, ramping up production while cutting back on workplace errors. Since inventory errors not only hurt productivity but can also be expensive, it only makes sense that companies want to use the best available technology to avoid them.
  • Remote Monitoring: RFID and GPS-enabled tags can track miles of offshore pipeline remotely so that companies know what’s happening to their equipment in real-time, even if it’s out on the ocean. When valuable assets go missing, and staff doesn’t have the equipment they need to complete their work on time, it diminishes productivity and fails to meet goals. RFID and GPS can be used to track, monitor, and recover valuable assets and secure the safety of a site and staff.
  • Site Safety & Security: Using both RFID and GPS technology allows each unit to be monitored constantly without pause, as well as enables authorities to monitor where broken equipment and dangerous materials, like radioactive waste, are at all times and if safety has been compromised. By tracking staff, companies can also ensure that they’re exposed to as little radiation as possible. Automated tracking, monitoring, and reporting with real-time alerts delivered straight to a mobile device to alert staff of emergencies, improving the speed and security of company assets as they move through the supply chain from warehouse to site.

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