In the recent past, there has been a report of increased shrinkage in the labour force in the oil mining industry. The industry is going through a major blow because of this. Oil is one of the most sought after resources and the demand for this commodity always hits an all-time high. With the rise in technology advancement, oil traders in Australia have been rethinking of how to incorporate digital oil fields to enable them to keep up with the rise in demand. So what exactly does going digital with oil mining means and what are the positive impacts?
Skilled labour shortage
There has been a tremendous decrease in of workers in the oil fields. Younger people no longer want to work in what is called the boom and bust business and are seeking other opportunities in other professional fields. The average age of a worker in a mine field is now ranging from 50 years.
Replacing the retirees and finding new employees has become a big challenge. This setback has forced oil companies to transform their operations into technology driven options. They seek modern ways to adopt digital oil fields and with these they are able to run their operations with few skilled people thus eliminating the problem of labour shortage. This way they are guaranteed continuity in production.
Digital oil fields use interactive and complementary technologies that allow companies to gather data throughout the oil field. Oil platforms are installed with drills which are connected to sensors of fibre optics and buried. These platforms are also known as “intelligent wells” and they are controlled manually by experienced workers on the surface. These sensors help transmit activities going on down the wells and in the case of shifting circumstances the operators are able to respond well in time. This has saved oil companies millions of money they would have used on manual methods to monitor the wells. It has decreased the cost of production which is felt all the way down to the consumers.
Digital oils fields have reduced the amount of human contact to the mine fields. Mine fields are known to pose high risks and are prone to work place injuries. With automation risky jobs like monitoring the mine wells are being undertaken by drilling operators that do this from miles away. Digital oil fields have ensured that cases of injury are fewer now. For example, if a drilling platform at sea is hit by a storm it does not affect the workers who operate it are hundreds of miles away.
There are powerful tools available that help people adapt to the changes in technology and in their new roles. Process simulations help workers to practice on computer based renditions to practice in advance on the new technologies coming up. Operators are given a chance to contribute their ideas to design and improve on prototypes of the systems. Lean manufacturing and six sigma are being adapted in the oil mining industry to help eliminate organizational waste. Productivity has been enhanced by overcoming talent shortages through improved techniques and output.