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05/01/2017

Improving safety in the oil & gas industry

Dallas, Tx

From 2003 to 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job — a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

The same data indicates similar fatality rates since at least the early 1990s. Safety and health hazards and dangerous conditions that can result in fatalities for oil and gas workers include vehicle accidents, or being struck-by/ caught-in/ caught-between vehicles, explosions and fires, falls, confined spaces and chemical exposures.

RFID was adopted in the oil and gas industry more than 10 years ago, and since then many companies have invested in RFID technology to improve their operating processes. The technology not only improves safety for workers, it also helps safeguard assets (and the wells themselves). RFID also helps protect against potential environmental damage. RFID makes it possible to track workers, tools, and materials, even the down hole drill pipe. It is also easy to collect data about who uses which tools for which processes using RFID technology. Moreover, RFID can help the team to identify mistakes during work processes because the RFID system can issue alerts if there are unusual operating conditions.

RFID can even track the status of drill pipe safety, collecting critical information about the drill pipe that can let managers easily know when there are problems and when the drill pipe should be replaced. Oil and gas companies were challenged when trying to collect this data manually, but a number of companies have also begun automating the process with the use of Xerafy’s Xplorer tag, thought to be the first specialised RFID tag designed for drill pipes, which was released in 2015.

According to Xerafy, Xplorer, an EPC Gen2 RFID tag, shows high performance even in harsh offshore drilling environments. It can operate at extreme temperatures up to as high as 250°C. 


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