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How Fiber Optics Has Played a Role in IoT Oil and Gas

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How Fiber Optics Has Played a Role in IoT Oil and Gas

Learn how fiber optics has played a role in IoT oil and gas.

· IoT Zone ·
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The ever-increasing demand for oil and gas has caused massive expansion and investment so as to change the old infrastructure, which has not changed over the years. The entire industry was in need of improvising the monitoring systems. With every possible technology taking place in the oil and gas industry, the Internet of Things seems to be the one having the maximum pace in this market. With Fiber Optic installation, companies are starting to leverage the advantages while simultaneously improving their accuracy and operational performance.  

Because of better productivity, durability, and safety in the worst environments, Industrial IoT in oil and gas has come up with customized and specific connectivity installations. The assets and equipment being used are highly reliable and can withstand pressure, heat, vibration, etc. with the help of IoT sensors.

The working of the pipeline was of critical importance as hazardous products like oil and gas are involved and especially when the pipelines are located offshore or in remote locations and sensitive areas. Real-time working of the pipeline has to be tracked.

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Role of Fiber Optics for Oil and Gas

The pipeline has been the safest mode of transporting oil and gas that are been widely used and heavily demanded in today’s era. However, pipelines undoubtedly have to cross through a variety of complex issues. Therefore, the pipelines not only have to suffer from mudslides, landslides, or any other geological disasters but also have to go through mechanical construction. Up until now, the pipeline has been the safest mode of transportation for oil and gas. But as pipelines have to undergo various challenges, fiber optics came to eradicate those challenges.

Leakage of oil and gas from pipelines caused damage to the environment, loss of product, and also the loss of life via hazardous incidents. The recent pipeline rupture that occurred in Alberta, Canada in the year 2011 released about 28,000 barrels of crude oil in that area, costing the Alberta economy an estimation of $826 million. And that is where the need for Fiber Optic sensors came from. They can detect leakages in real time and predict upcoming conditions that can cause oil or gas leakage. 

Fiber optics work as a passive sensor i.e. they do not need an excitation signal to work upon. In fact, the fiber being used responds to the environmental surroundings and modifies the input accordingly. The optic fiber has a very high capacity of fetching data in the form of transmitting light waves.

Hence, fiber optics in IoT and oil and gas plays a great role in sensing the data. With the help of a fiber optic solution, a large amount of data such as temperature, asset locations, and oil reserve levels can be monitored. As fiber optics offer large bandwidth, weight and installation time are reduced. Due to limitations in bandwidth, the traditional copper wire cannot handle very long distances offshore. Hence, it is imperative to implement fiber optic technology to have more data generation and analysis.

The fiber optic system delivers optical performance even if there are high temperatures and pressures. Fiber optics are mainly used to carry a large amount of data over longer distances. With a large amount of data, data analysis and real-time information for the entire production chain are performed. As the monitoring of the complete system is increased, more data is generated, which makes the longer transmission distances of optical fibers more attractive and have higher bandwidth. The massive data collected not only enables the real-time monitoring of the current condition but also forms the basis for better predictive modeling.

Optical Fibers are an excellent source of developing a distributed sensing system. In the fiber optic system, the fiber itself acts as the sensor. Any changes in pressure or temperature change the backscattering profile, which allows the monitoring of the backscattered light. The velocity of the light tells about the information on the basis of the location and the measurement. The fiber-based sensing system is highly used in the offshore oil and gas industry. The primary function of the optic fiber system is to provide the optical continuity between fiber optic sensors that are installed in the well.

Here are various applications:

  • The sensing system of optical fiber monitors the reservoirs and gets the good data so that a better understanding of what is happening inside the well can be known.
  • Optical fiber systems help in detecting pipe leakages.
  • Distributed sensing systems help in measuring the temperature and the formation of hydration in pipelines. It is used in both electrical trace heating and the electrical heating pipeline.
  • It provides real-time data from the complete length of the pipe and monitors the mechanical structure of the pipeline.

The safety of the pipeline has been an area of concern for a very long time, and the use of fiber optic cables has played its role at its best. Various systems like Distributed Temperature Sensing and Distributed Acoustic Sensing helps in detecting the leakage where they are highly dependent on fiber optic cables.

While the real-time monitoring of the system was no doubt possible with the help of the sensor, fetching a large amount of data was not a reality. As fibers have high tensile strength, they can be easily damaged. The emerging technology i.e. Optical Fiber in IoT oil and gas has been a great opposition to the traditional negative pressure. The advantage of early warning, real-time monitoring of the dangerous operation of the pipeline, and leakage information help in avoiding large economic losses. The system operates in a way that tells about the early warning system, pipeline safety, and minimizes the chances of the destruction of the pipeline. Whenever any leak is monitored, the substance comes in contact with the cable, and a variation in the temperature is measured. Another system sends the variations if any warnings are noticed. No matter which monitoring system you incorporate, they detect even the smallest of leaks. Fiber Optic pipeline leak detection systems are not new anymore, in fact, they are growing rapidly in the oil and gas industry. In fact, it has bridged the gap between environment and oil and gas companies by providing an optimized solution.

Bright Future of Fiber Optics in IoT Oil and Gas

The recent challenges of the oil and gas Industry highlighted the need to increase production efficiencies. Many evolving technologies not only enhance the oil and gas production but also unleashed new resources to extend the lifetime of an offshore oilfield. The real-time data and information provided give a deep insight into the real-time operations and predictive modeling. The fiber optic system provides valuable data and better performance even at high temperatures and pressure. The Fiber Optic system is an excellent tool for exploring the oil and gas industry and recovering the present challenges. The usage of the fiber industry is growing at an average of 5.5 percent per year and with a significant part of it due to the Internet of Things. Temperature, vibrations, flow rates, and other sensor data are sent via reliable and ultra-fast fiber connections.  

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Topics:
oil and gas industry ,iot solutions ,iiot ,iot platform ,iot monitoring ,iot sensors ,fiber optics ,iot in oil and gas ,oil and gas pipelines

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