Portable, networked tools in emergency situations at oil and gas plants
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Introducing new information and communication technologies is a way to increase the revenue for oil and gas companies. The expected added value of enabling these integrated operations is NOK 250 billion just in the next few years. A portable display device connected to a video camera can increase both the efficiency and the safety during emergency situations. Based on a feasibility study, it has been demonstrated how such additional portable tools can increase the capabilities of the two existing StatoilHydro systems HazVac and Medical Unit. HazVac gives a better overview of emergency situations. RFID tracking of plant personnel and video surveillance cameras are activated in an intelligent environment when wireless sensors alarm fires or gas leaks. Medical Unit improves the collaboration between offshore nurses and onshore doctors by using video conferencing and data sharing. Stops in production at the processing plant at Tjeldbergodden cost StatoilHydro NOK 6 million a day. Deploying HazVac can possibly decrease the damages by earlier and more detailed warnings of fires and gas leaks. It will be a good investment if it can prevent or at least reduce standstill time. Most important however are health and life. Both HazVac and Medical Unit can improve the safety of the personnel. The wireless sensor networks can help preventing human injuries, while calculation of safe routes will optimise evacuations. Real-time video collaboration can moreover improve the medical treatment of the patients. Field operators can communicate with these two systems by their portable tools. They can send and receive real-time video as well as access vital information. Requirements for this portable tool have been specified. Based on these, an initial system design has been made. A demonstration system has been implemented, demonstrated and evaluated. Further software implementation has to be done. There are also some challenges in finding hardware which do satisfy the specified requirements, and further evaluations are needed.