Opportunities and Challenges of Robotics and Automation in Offshore Oil & Gas Industry


The oil and gas industry will continue to boom in the coming few decades. Obtaining oil and gas from conventional and non-conventional resources will become more and more challenging. This intensifying need will impose very considerable demands on work force, financial and technology capabilities. Since the future supplies of oil and gas are to expand, advanced technology will become increasingly necessary to obtain access to more challenging conventional and non-conventional resources. Therefore oil and gas technologies will be very costly to operate in the coming future due to hostile, hard-to-reach environments. The offshore oil industry will become a complicated myriad of advanced equipment, structures, and work force. Our objectives are to identify potential applications and research directions of robotics and automation in the oil & gas field and explore the obstacles and challenges of robotic and automation applications to this area. This study performs the necessary survey and investigation about the work conditions of robotics and automation equipment in the oil and gas industry, especially offshore oil rigs. The oil & gas industry processes are first investigated. The personals and tasks are then explored. Furthermore, this paper reviews the current robotic automation technology. The challenges and requirements are identified for robotics and automation equipment in the oil and gas industry. The requirements of robotics and automation in the oil & gas industry are presented. Future research opportunities are discussed from a technical perspective.

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Chen, H. , Stavinoha, S. , Walker, M. , Zhang, B. and Fuhlbrigge, T. (2014) Opportunities and Challenges of Robotics and Automation in Offshore Oil & Gas Industry. Intelligent Control and Automation, 5, 136-145. doi: 10.4236/ica.2014.53016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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