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FEATURE: OIL AND GAS


[KEY POINTS]


Communicating with remote locations to share data and control operations is at the heart of the oil and gas business


Visualisation, simulation and collaboration are the key AV applications


SNAM Rete Gas’s dispatching centre features a videowall comprising 24 eyevis LED-lit 80in SXGA+ resolution DLP technology cubes


Oiling the wheels


Whether it’s upstream, downstream or midstream, the AV industry is providing sophisticated solutions to the oil and gas industry. Ian McMurray goes swimming to find out what they are


AS MANY commentators have noted: it is how we produce and use energy that has had the greatest transformational effect on society over the past 300 years – ever since Thomas Newcomen set his steam engine to work in 1712. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that four of the world’s five largest companies are oil and gas companies. Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Sinopec and BP are joined in the top 10 by Aramco and China National Petroleum. The combined revenues of those six companies are an astonishing $2,343 billion. Only around eight countries in the world have a greater GDP.


A slightly different perspective comes from the top 10 of Fortune magazine’s 500 largest US


42 October 2013


corporations. Of those 10, four are energy companies – and two are car manufacturers. Whichever way you look at


it, oil and gas companies represent a huge market – and thus are a natural target for audiovisual solutions. Like other geographically dispersed multinationals, oil and gas companies are heavy users of AV technology. Videoconferencing is, unsurprisingly, widely deployed – but there’s more. “You can find NEC products


in oil and gas company control rooms, meeting rooms, reception areas, training rooms and restaurants, as well as being used for digital signage,” comments Jonathan Cooper, business development consultant at NEC Display Solutions Europe.


UPSTREAM, DOWNSTREAM, MIDSTREAM As well as those AV solutions for general application, the industry has been quick to serve the specific needs of energy companies – whether upstream, downstream or midstream (see boxout, page 45). “We’re working with oil and


gas companies right across their operations,” says Phil Laney, director of simulation and visualisation at Digital Projection. “Upstream, we have 2D and 3D projector- based data visualisation for exploration as well as for extraction, where projected images are used to help guide the drill bit in an exploratory well. We also provide projector-based visual collaboration between headquarters and the offshore operation.”


“Downstream, we see our


projectors used in control rooms that monitor refineries, and in providing virtual walkthroughs of plants that are being designed,” he goes on. “For midstream operations, we provide maritime simulators for offshore simulation, anchor handling simulation and full mission bridge simulators for LNG [liquefied natural gas] and oil tankers and support craft.” “Barco provides networked visualisation and management software- centric solutions for control, monitoring and collaboration in exploration and production applications as well as in refining, processing and distributing oil and gas,” notes Peter Bussens, director, segment marketing, advanced visualization at Barco.


3D, very high resolution and complete colour accuracy are vital in delivering accurate data on which to base critical decisions


Inhospitable installation environments create challenges for reliability, maintainability, service and support


‘We’re working with oil and gas companies right across their


operations’ Phil Laney,


Digital Projection www.installation-international.com


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