As the petroleum industry ventures into deep and ultra-deep waters in pursuit for increased oil production to meet the global energy demand, challenges of personnel health and safety and environmental pollution have gained a considerable amount of attention. One notable accident that has sparked this attention is the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore petroleum platform that led to the spillage of oil into the water bodies. In tackling these challenges and preventing the reoccurrence of such accidents, the application of robotic automation in these environments, adjudged to be hostile and prone to high level of risk, provides the only option for safe and cost-effective operations. With the success of robotic automation in the manufacturing and aerospace industries, the oil and gas industry aim to take the advantages of increased reliability, accuracy and efficiency provided by robotics and automation technologies in improving operations and production both onshore and offshore and limiting the exposure of human workers to explosive and harsh onshore and offshore environments. In recent times, robotic technologies such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), underwater welding robots and teleoperated unmanned production platforms have been deployed to facilitate smooth operation and production in ultra-deep waters. Thus, this paper investigates some of the various onshore and offshore operations such as exploration, tank and pipe inspection that require automation, the application of robotics and automation technologies to these operations, and the challenges and issues (such as human-robot interaction) involved in deploying robots in a dynamic environment.
Dagogo Godwin Orifama,
Robotization of Operations in the Petroleum Industry, International Journal of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.
Vol. 4, No. 5,
2019, pp. 48-53.
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