Safety of the Rig Crew
Innovations during tough times, it’s not a prerogative to only production and refining techniques, but encompasses the safety aspects as well.
In recent years, the Oil &Gas industry faced tough challenge years when oil prices nosedived from $100 per barrel in June 2014 to a historic low of $30 per barrel in Feb 2016. The massive crash resulted in a 40% reduction of CAPEX by the global oil and gas companies, snowballing into a massive job loss of 400,000 between 2014 and 2016 and cancellation of non-profit making projects.
Under such a challenging scenario, drastic measures were called for. Austerity measures fueled by innovation has started to bear fruit post 2016, as unconventional reserves have become productive using new petroleum exploration techniques and with oil prices recovering at a slow pace. A proven oil reserve of 1707 billion barrels, a worldwide average demand of 96 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) and production of 97 MMbbl/d translates into about 50 years of oil reserves. Less accessible sources involving hazardous conditions e.g. high pressure and high temperature wells with high concentration of sulfide, are being explored.
A simple innovation that was long overdue for the oil and gas industry is a hammerless union. The use of a sledgehammer to strike blows on such critical part involves number of hazards including misdirected hammer injury, cracking of pipes, weakening of unions and chipped metal and sparks flying around. A number of inventors have come up with various wrenches to eliminate hammer, but these have not been widely adopted by industry.