Sure the oil and gas industry, as with any other industry, has benefited tenfold from the constant advancements and improvements in technology – but it isn’t always the high tech gadgets or seemingly impossible systems that make our jobs the easiest.
Some of the gadgets that we use every day in sites all across the industry actually happen to be some of the simplest as well.
Here are a few examples of simple, yet clever inventions that have simplified the job sites for oil and gas workers.
Simplifying Job Sites With…
Pipeline pigs are bullet shaped devices, typically made of rubber, that are sent through pipelines for a variety of maintenance reasons – they clean, they collect data, and they inspect the quality of the pipeline.
Of course, over the years pipeline pigs have gone from the basic rubber version to having an array of high-tech spinoffs used to complete even more detailed inspections, etc., but even in its simplest form, a pipeline pig makes any oil or gas workers’ day a whole lot easier.
Keeping pipelines clean is imperative to workplace safety as well as pipeline production and efficiency – and having a product that essentially does all of that work for you allows you to focus your energy and attention elsewhere.
Pig Passage Indicators
Of course, sometimes these pigs cause problems – they get stuck, they go down the wrong pipe, heck sometimes they flat out get lost. That is where the invention of pig passage indicators comes in handy.
One of the most common, and non-intrusive versions of a pig passage indicator uses magnets – how’s that for simple. The indicator attaches to the outside of the pipeline and, using its magnetic detector, it is able to confirm when a pipeline pig, also fit with a magnetic piece, has passed by that spot in the pipeline.
This keeps workers up to date on the location of pigs, which helps them track down any that don’t reach the finish line more quickly than if they were not able to see its last confirmed location. This saves the workers time and saves the company money – a real win-win!
This is probably the simplest of the simple. What is a windsock you may ask?
It is a sock (okay, not exactly, but a piece of fabric that is similar in shape to a sock) that is used to determine the direction of the wind.
Told you – simple.
While this is a simple invention, it performs a very important job – knowing the direction of the wind helps workers know what areas of the worksite are safe from H2S.
H2S is a deadly gas that is present throughout many oil and gas worksites and is colourless and odourless. Of course workers always have personal monitors and fresh air units on their person as well, but windsocks are truly the primary line of defense against this workplace hazard.
Are there any other inventions that have simplified oil and gas job sites that you think we should know about?