The foremost concern for every oil and gas company should be the welfare of its workers, and primarily, it’s the on-field technicians who are in most danger of a potential hazard while carrying out their responsibilities. It’s for this reason that many companies have decided to switch from more traditional LDAR methods to various other industry alternatives.
Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) technologies is the most prominent alternative to M21, with one of its most significant benefits being the improvements to workplace safety. With the release of fugitive emissions there are many Health & Safety concerns as these fumes can be toxic, flammable, explosive, or simply cause health consequences due to long-term exposure. Oil and gas companies have begun to see that OGI is one of the best tools for keeping their job site’s safe and hazard-free.
1. Less Time on Job Sites
Having a third party on a job site is always an added Health & Safety concern, therefore reducing the time spent on site is ideal. Using optical gas imaging is not only a faster means of detecting fugitive emissions, but it is also far more accurate. A FLIR gas imaging camera as typically used in the industry, allows for quick, non-contact scans that let the operator see “visually” where the leak is coming from. For smaller leaks, they can be spotted a few yards away, while larger ones can be identified from much larger distances. Instead of manually checking each component, or using various “sniffers” (devices that measure concentration in parts per million), OGI cuts down on time spent doing surveys altogether. This way, technicians can reduce the time for components to be identified and reduce the amount of potentially dangerous emissions floating around.
2. Distance from High Risk Areas
Another advantage to OGI is being able to keep less of your staff physically involved in the LDAR process. Being able to identify and scan an entire area with remote camera’s means that technicians don’t need to enter at-risk regions personally. This way, companies can get their workers out of potential harms way without reducing the efficiency of their emissions detection systems.
3. No Heavy Equipment
Thirdly, not only is the use of these camera’s a more efficient way of scanning your job site, but with the ability to scan at a distance, technicians are able to evaluate hard-to-see or hard-to-reach places without using lots of complicated equipment. This ability to remotely scan miles of equipment, pumps and industrial complexes means that not only do you save time and money using less equipment, but more importantly you also lower risk of injury by removing setup/take down of the extra paraphernalia and you keep the technicians feet on the ground in the process.
All in all, OGI has some notable advantages that companies should consider, not only regarding the LDAR process itself but in ensuring that the overall work conditions for your technicians remain as safe and danger-free as possible.