Nicholas Newman
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Robots are taking over oil rigs

Oxford, United Kingdom Technology February 21 @ 10:27am

Much is being talked about that the return to higher energy prices, will mean jobs will return in the industry. The crash in oil prices saw a loss of more than 440,000 jobs. However, the lesson that the oil industry has learnt is that it needs to cut costs. One way to do this is to automate, this spells trouble for the roustabouts (oil workers). Such automation of complex drilling equipment and maintenance of oil wells, reduces demand the demand for brawn and increased demand for brains with laptop, especially software specialists and data technicians .

As a result, we are seeing robots taking over many of the boring repetitive tasks that require brute strength. This is likely to mean, at least 1/3 to 1/2 will cease to exist, in the future. This means instead of a drilling rig having a team of 20 people, this will be reduced to just 5.

This feature will take a look at the technologies, challenges, issues that the industry is facing in its efforts to increase the use of automation along the value chain, such as the Iron Roughneck, made by National Oilwell Varco Inc., designed to operate on onshore and offshore rigs, which automates the repetitive and dangerous task of connecting hundreds of segments of drill pipe as they’re shoved through miles of ocean water and oil-bearing rock.
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