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The Importance Of Equipment Reliability In The Oil & Gas Industry

It’s hard to imagine the modern world functioning as well as it does without the oil and gas industry. Providing the fuel that makes much of our society run requires an enormous infrastructure that includes pipelines, processing plants and more, all working to transport, refine and distribute some of the world’s most important resources. It is absolutely essential that the industry be able to do its job without worrying about interruptions. Any unscheduled downtime can be tremendously disruptive and could lead to some serious issues.

This is complicated by the fact that the equipment used in the energy sector has to work under some of the most demanding and inhospitable conditions known to humankind. The machinery and assets the industry depends on are subjected to intense heat, considerable pressure, caustic chemicals and harsh surroundings on a daily basis. With all of this taking its toll, there’s an increased risk of unwanted outages and disruptions.

Without an effective plan in place to keep equipment running as it should, operators are rolling the dice with their infrastructure. It’s estimated that ineffective maintenance leads to billions of dollars in lost revenue and added costs throughout the oil and gas sector.

Maintaining a Successful Operation

Oil and gas companies — along with the EPC firms (Engineering, Procurement, construction and management) and operators they work with — need to be aware of the techniques and tools at their disposal for keeping vital equipment in good condition. One of the most important steps they can take is to create a schedule for planned preventive maintenance. With routine inspections and tune-ups performed as needed, operators and contractors can ensure smaller problems don’t have the chance to develop into bigger ones that can slow down or halt production.

A relatively new development is the Industrial Internet of Things where oil and gas digitization, a major mega trend, is going to revolutionize the industry.  This involves a collection of sensors connected to the Internet that delivers constant updates on machine health and other valuable metrics. Technicians in the field can check on equipment using their smartphones and other devices to stay on top of any changes. In addition, advanced artificial intelligence applications can comb through the data collected by these sensors to aid better decision-making. Algorithims can spot trends and patterns almost instantly, providing operators with insights into how well their equipment is performing now and how it is likely to fare in the near future. Based on this information, operators can keep their equipment running as smoothly as possible, helping maintain high levels of production and reducing the amount of downtime they experience. With systems communicating between each other at all times and AI breaking down those communications into actionable data, the oil and gas sector is becoming even more efficient and effective.

Keeping oil and gas equipment online for as long as possible is crucial — not just for the success of the industry but also the rest of the world. If you want to learn more about the importance of proper maintenance to the industry, take a look at the accompanying resource.

Infographic created by Smartcorr Systems

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