RFID For Oil and Gas
Asset Tracking

RFID technology to drive safety, reduce non-productive downtime, enhance operational efficiencies, and extend asset lifecycles.

Oil and Gas asset tracking has successfully integrated RFID technology into drilling, completion, and production, to drive safety, reduce non-productive downtime, enhance operational efficiencies, and extend asset lifecycles.

Using Radio Frequency technology for asset tracking in the Oil and Gas industry calls for systems to be ruggedized to ensure they deliver under extreme temperatures, pressure, corrosion, vibrations, shocks when operating downhole, subsea, and on the surface.

 

Select components are available to build on, that have been qualified in the field by leading industry players: Rugged embedded RFID tagsagile readers, and interoperable tracking software.

Oil And Gas Asset Tracking With RFID Systems

Rectangle-57 RFID for Oil and Gas

What Are The Challenges Of Oil And Gas Asset Tracking?

Tracking assets in drilling, fracking, offshore, and mining operations takes place in some of the world’s toughest environments for humans and technology.

Tracking technologies widely used in other industries struggle to match the oil and gas industry’s real-world needs and standards. QR and barcodes, for example, must be intact, clean, and visible in order to be scanned.

 

  1. How to capture the data required to run operations efficiently?
  2. How to perform inspections in the field for remote locations?
  3. How can traditional asset tracking functions such as identification, inventory, and replenishment be reliably automated?
  4. How do you create an asset tracking software and system that provides dependable real-time data?
  5. How can operational efficiency and staff productivity be improved without compromising safety?

Durability

Tracking assets in drilling, fracking, offshore, and mining operations takes place in some of the world’s toughest environments for humans and technology.

Accessibility

Safety hazards are significant in potentially hazardous and isolated regions with limited Internet and cellular connectivity. When dealing with large fleets of owned and/or contracted equipment and components utilized in drilling and production activities, inspections and maintenance in the field become even more difficult.

Productivity

Manual tracking has significant hidden costs: It is time-consuming, tedious, error-prone, and lacks real-time visibility, resulting in unplanned disruptions.

Extreme

Oilfield conditions are among the most difficult physical environments to work in: Deepwater, high-chemical exposures, downhole pressure, and vibrations, HPHT (High Pressure-High Temperature drilling over 150°C and/or pressure more than 10,000psi).

Expertise in RFID For Oil And Gas

Xerafy has been actively developing Oil and Gas RFID tracking and identification technology, bringing credibility to RFID for application beyond just supply chain management, alongside industry innovators such as NOVWeatherfordSPM Oil and Gas, among others.

What Are Embedded RFID Tags?

Specialized Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) are available that have been qualified to withstand the harsh environments in which exploration, development, and completion take place. Each Oil and Gas RFID tag contains a silicon chip with information recorded that can be read electronically, at a distance using an RFID reader. 

Unlike active tags which need their own energy source, passive tags are powered by the electromagnetic field generated by the reader, making them less costly and smaller than active tags.

Moreover, RFID comes with different frequency standards such as HF, LF, and UHF, that perform differently in the field. For instance, tags can be read from several meters away while others will require a very close distance in order to be scanned and interrogated. The former will be favored where there are requirements to scan assets beyond the line of sight of the reader, being hard to reach, and also for identifying inventory in bulk.

Xerafy has been at the forefront of UHF RFID technology advancements working with leading oil, gas, and mining operators to develop solutions that are aligned with global standards, ATEX-certified, and On-Metal. The Xerafy tags have been qualified in the harsh-environment operations of upstream, midstream, and downstream applications, including typical drilling and completion fluids such as mud, seawater, brine, and sand and proppant mixes.

Xerafy has created innovative features, such as the ability to implant an RFID responder in the metal of a drill string, oilfield tool, or lifting equipment.

While RFID encased in steel should not operate in theory, Xerafy’s patent-pending antenna design bypasses these constraints by utilizing the asset’s metal itself, transforming it into an RF antenna with detecting capabilities in all directions. This means that the RFID tag can be put in a hole drilled in a mill slot on the drill pipe’s pin end, with an epoxy used to join the threads and secure the tag in place.

The same levels of care and innovation go into designing a range of attachment mechanisms that ensure a tag is securely bonded to the asset it is tracking: Embedded in metal, Welding, Rivets, Screws, Fasteners.

Additionally, each Xerafy RFID tag can be customized to provide identification redundancy, e.g. with a unique serial number being encoded in the chip and also laser-etched on the surface of the tag to be read with the naked eye or scanned as a QR barcode.

All of the Xerafy Oil and Gas RFID tagging solutions comply fully with the RAIN RFID standard. Available independently of OEMs, they offer energy industry operators the opportunity to develop their own automated systems for identification, tracking, and traceability, and can be used to retrofit new as well as existing equipment, with engineering support available from Xerafy and its network of certified partners. Xerafy also works directly with equipment OEMs looking to embed RFID to offer IoT features and services throughout the value chain.

Agile RFID Readers

Oil and Gas assets and equipment and their RFID tags are detected using readers, which communicate data to a database in real-time. The selection of readers will be influenced by accuracy and automation needs.

The maximum distance at which information can be scanned is determined by the size of the tags and the object. Some applications will necessitate operating over larger distances and in different directions (for example, while locating pipelines in the yard), whereas others will be specifically designed for limited ranges in order to prevent stray reads from other tags (e.g. when tripping pipes, or for adjacent pipes on the same rack).

Furthermore, readers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for strategic placement while keeping data capture automation and full coverage in mind, without interfering with workflows.

Interoperable Oil And Gas Asset Management Software

The oil and gas asset tracking software will in effect link each asset serial number to a database holding a wide range of information: Inspection reports, manufacturer documentation, and historical data. Making the tracking system interoperable with existing systems will allow for seamless integration into existing operations in the office, yard, and on the rig floor. 

This ensures that the system provides operational visibility to everyone involved, even in the field: 

  • A tool pusher on the rig floor can see when the pipe was last inspected, who inspected it, and its real measurements using a handheld device.

  • Inspectors can directly review crucial operational data, such as total rotations or the joint’s sequential position in the drill string.

  • In the repair shop, each job is easily identified and tracked.

One critical success factor for digitization projects is to reduce the need for change management by offering suitable interfaces for varied users in various situations.

Beyond their operational value, Oil and Gas asset tracking systems ultimately generate data points that help increase awareness, can be audited, and are used to improve process efficiency and risk reduction.

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If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact with our team.

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Asset tracking, identification, counting, analyzing, monitoring: Businesses get the data they need to drive performance and flexibility with Xerafy’s passive UHF RFID tagging and sensing solutions, available for all types of enterprise assets ranging from small tools to large equipment.

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