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Virtual Reality aids oil and gas plant simulation and skill development: GlobalData

Following the rapid adoption of virtual reality (VR) technology in consumer markets, the oil and gas industry is witnessing wide-scale deployment of this technology across its value chain, according to GlobalData

The company’s latest thematic report, ‘Virtual Reality in Oil & Gas’, explores how VR is finding its way into upstream, midstream and downstream sectors with applications in the simulation of new processes, analysis of project designs, reviewing of maintenance requirements and planning disaster responses.

Ravindra Puranik, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said, “Over time, this technology will transform oil and gas processes and workflows and help create new growth opportunities for organisations.”

VR provides an interactive experience for oil and gas processes within a simulated environment and presents a superior alternative to images, charts and schematics in the design and planning of different activities in the oil and gas sector.

GlobalData identifies Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Gazprom, Halliburton, Shell, Saudi Aramco and Sinopec as among the leading adopters of VR technology in oil and gas operations.

The oil and gas industry faces a unique challenge as many of its facilities are in remote locations around the world. Inaccessible terrains and harsh weather conditions compel companies to incur significant costs to keep operations running in those facilities.

VR has the potential to create virtual rigs using 3D simulation techniques to expose the workforce to the hazards of field operations in a cost-effective, yet risk-free way for the company, GlobalData said in a statement. With advancements in VR technology, the cost to plug an expert into VR system has become more economical than sending them to the facility, it added.