Robots replace humans, starting with high-risk offshore oil rigs

File photo of a section of the BP Eastern Trough Area Project oil platform in the North Sea

Various kinds of unmanned technologies are changing with each passing day. People are worried that machines will replace humans. However, in fact, machinery replaces them with hard working conditions and even life-threatening conditions. Therefore, they must pay more than the salary of the market to get the job. After all, these tasks should not have been originally done by humans, but rather the machines have to do it. At present, the replacement of human beings by machines is also the beginning of such work. The first wave of replacement targets is the operation of offshore oil drilling platforms whose environment is quite unsuitable for human work and whose risk is quite high.

Offshore oil rigs hang out in the open sea and are recharged for a long time. Most of the crew on the platform have to rely on their own efforts. Due to the characteristics of oil drilling, there is a risk of heavy casualties in the event of an accident, such as the deep sea horizon of British Petroleum (BP). (Deepwater Horizon) An explosion accident at the offshore drilling platform in 2010 caused 11 deaths. However, the oil drilling platform still required personnel operations. In terms of the Deepwater Horizon, there were 126 people on the platform before the accident.

BP has now begun testing and transferring some of the most dangerous work on the oil drilling platform to the machine. In the past, the pipelines and equipment of the oil drilling platform had to be snagged by professionals and risked by ropes. One by one, inspections were made on offshore drilling platforms. There is a strong sea breeze, and this kind of operation can be said to have considerable potential risks. Under the sea, the pipelines and equipment are to be inspected by diving personnel. They not only risk the waves, the current changes, and the diving equipment may be faulty, but also drag. The progress of inspections is slow, and human error may miss important security issues.

In the air, equipment is no longer risked by people climbing up and down, but instead using drones to take pictures and inspections, not only to eliminate the risk of human life, but also through a high-resolution lens and sensor, can also be more careful inspection; in the sea The equipment is no longer inspected by the divers. Instead, magnet robots are sent out, magnetically adsorbed on pipelines and platforms, climbed up and down, photographed with high resolution cameras one by one, and detected with ultrasonic probes at the same time. Small cracks, early detection and early replacement.

One of these magnet robots costs 60,000 US dollars, and the rental cost may be 600-1,000 US dollars per day. However, compared to personnel costs, the risk of loss of human lives, and the risk of accidental loss due to human error resulting in missing repairs, robots are far better than humans. reliable. BP has been testing the Maggie, a magnet robot, since 2017 in the Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the same size as a dog. British Petroleum uses machines to prevent people from exposure to danger. It has also found that machines are extremely efficient at collecting data. The time required for drones and robots to inspect robots is only half that of manual inspections. On the other hand, many equipment in operation may be dangerous if personnel are inspected. In the past, for routine inspections, the rig had to be stopped for 5 to 20 days. After switching to the machine, there was no need to stop the machine in order to inspect the equipment.

But this does not mean that the maintenance and inspection company is unemployed. It is only that personnel no longer need to risk their lives to go to the height of the drilling platform or to the sea floor. As long as they are in front of a secure computer screen, they can check the safety of the equipment. The machine continuously reviews the big data provided. , can help optimize the job of the inspection. It is only now that the robot can only perform inspections. Once a problem is found, the robot does not have enough power to repair it directly or send out maintenance personnel.

In the future, the machine may further have more functions. Norway’s state oil company (Statoil) is planning on the concept of offshore drill oil production that is completely unmanned and operated remotely. Noble Drilling and GE announced their cooperation in 2018. The introduction of fully digital drilling and digging vessels has laid down an important cornerstone for the complete unmanned drilling of oil on the sea. Norwegian state-owned oil company stated that the technology is mature and it only owes the actual implementation of the project plan. At present, there is no completely unmanned offshore oil drilling platform, but humans do not need to go to sea to take risks. Only remote operations are required, and all operations are performed by machines. The times will come soon.


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