Huge pipeline projects such as Keystone XL used to require labour-intensive maintenance and continual physical inspections. This made them expensive and less profitable than they are today. But why the change? Well, modern pipelines are more efficient and less likely to break down thanks to wireless IoT smart monitoring developed by companies such as Next Industries SRL. The advent of the Internet of Things has revolutionized the way pipelines are managed. Costs can be cut, production can be increased and reliability is better than ever. The oil& gas industry has benefited from these technologies more than most - and here’s why.
The ability to Monitor Vast Networks from One Location
A single control centre has the capability to monitor a vast network of piping. In the US, for instance, there are approximately 55,000 miles of crude oil pipeline. Add the 40,000 miles of gathering lines, and that’s nearly 100,000 miles to monitor. To monitor such a huge network manually would take thousands of man hours every week. But the latest wireless technology allows entire networks to be monitored on an automated basis.
Pipelines transporting oil can deliver crude at pressures of anything between 600 and 1000 psi. So when splits or ruptures occur, the loss of oil can be quick and significant. But by using Iot Smart monitoring systems, oil&gas companies can identify compromises in pipes equipment before the situation ever gets this far. It’s also possible to identify the smallest of leaks — which can cause huge losses over a period of time.
Monitor General Wear and Tear
All pipelines need repair or partial replacement from time to time. The remote monitoring systems supplied by Next Industries SRL identify potential maintenance issues by monitoring variables such as temperature, compressor condition, flow, pressure, density and many other readings.
Collating Data and Contextualizing it
To monitor pipelines with IoT technology is used a system known as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition). The data being sent back wirelessly from sensors is used to make certain automated decisions in real time -such as turning valves or changing set points on flow controllers. In the past, companies have monitored their equipment and then reacted to problems. This new method works on the basis of making predictions using the most recent and relevant data available.
Making Pipeline Management More Profitable
The major oil and gas companies now rely on the Internet of Things for this type of systems monitoring. Take Pacific Gas & Electric, for example, which is responsible for more than 6,000 miles of transmission pipeline and 42,000 miles of distribution pipelines. The company has embraced remote monitoring systems that use smart technologies. Situational awareness, situational intelligence and predictive analytics. All work in conjunction to run the company’s entire network based on the real-time data that is collated by the latest wireless monitoring systems.