Explain about oil and gas industry instrumentation

Instrumentation role in oil and gas industry

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Instrumentation engineers are heart of petroleum industry. There is not only one role but many…

  1. Petroleum industry mainly consists of fluids and also many chemicals which are processed in heavy machinery. So, to deal with these kind of machinery, fluids and chemicals we have to use many sensors like rtds for temperature control or rotameter for flow measurements…… For proper working of these sensors and maintaining it timely we need Instrumentation engineer.

  2. If fluids are there then control valve will also be there. So, to check the proper functionality of those control valve there is another department in these industry. Again Instrumentation engineer is required for this.

  3. There is different department for analyzers that are being used in these industries. So, to maintain it we need chemical as well instrumentation engineer.

  4. Most of the plants are automated these days. Hence there will be installation of DCS(Distributed Control System). To maintain that we need control engineer.

  5. There are various PLC and SCADA and Emergency shut down system used. So, to maintain that again control engineer is required.

These all department are taken care by Instrumentation and Control engineer.

Author -Raghava Yagnik

Okay! Where to start!

You control the flow of oil through pipelines. This includes measurement of fluid velocity, viscosity and pressure. If a pipe bursts or is blown up, you’ve to shut down the valves to minimise the loss of property, or worse, life.

Fractional distillation of crude oil to get products (different products condense at different temperatures). So, temperature needs to be measured and controlled pretty accurately; else you lose raw materials.

Storage check. Oil is stored in very large cylindrical towers. We need to measure accurately the amount of oil in a particular tower; since a direct measurement of mass is very difficult (imagine trying to measure the weight of a building!), we measure the level of fluid in the tower to know the mass of oil remaining.

Instant shutdown in the event of a failure of a valve/sensor/pipe/cooling system for the safety of engineers at the rig and people living around it.

And how about measuring the amount of air that may me allowed inside a purification column? Or the speed at which it enters?

And all these things should be automated as much as possible to increase system reliability. Also, they should be fast; hence you need to develop advanced sensors. And design efficient control systems.

Here’s where Instru guys come in!

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