Lloyd’s Register (LR), a leading global provider of engineering and technology-centric professional services, put delegates attending SPE Offshore Europe 2017 in Aberdeen, UK, through their paces with an innovative VR Safety Simulator and gaming experience.
The new VR experience has received a high level of interest in the opening days of the event at LR’s booth (#2C121) where event delegates experienced the ultimate in VR and gaming technology that is on the cusp of re-shaping how training is provided to the oil and gas industry.
The experience is being offered at Europe’s flagship energy conference, first being launched at OTC Houston in May and now at other events across the world. The technology is being used to raise an understanding of the critical nature many workers are exposed to in everyday rig operations. LR is also using VR to provide innovative training initiatives to support better skills training and knowledge sharing.
There are three key issues borne out of real-life incidents which users of the VR experience first-hand through sight, sound and touch. Users can then choose one of three multiple choice answers for each scenario, and the gaming experience is then replayed on the answers the user decides are correct.
The results from the user experience at SPE Offshore Europe proves more needs to be done to ensure the risks of getting decisions wrong are fully understood:
- BOP maintenance incident – just 43% of respondents at SPE Offshore Europe chose the correct answer to prevent the accident from happening. Users correctly identified an X-ray of the BOP to discover a badly fitted outlet part.
- Drilling platform incident – only 33% of users at Offshore Europe chose the correct answer. A window in the dog-house was broken, and rain water gets inside. A critical console in the dog house faulted from water ingress, causing an unplanned event on the drill floor.
- Crane lifting operation with a heavy load incident – 43% of users chose the correct solution which identified a poorly maintained lifting eye that needed to be replaced.
So based on these results what can industry do? Phil Edwards, Director of Consulting Services at LR, says: “Training and educating the industry on how to enhance operational safety and improve business performance is at the heart of LR’s business. We hope this VR experience and the results from it can become a catalyst for further industry engagement on best practice training initiatives, which produce a step-up in better, constructive and tangible learning and training results.”
Oil and gas companies understand the value of training and how it can help them save millions of pounds by keeping their equipment operating and reducing downtime due to unexpected failures or incidents. Like any industry, oil and gas companies can improve the quality of maintenance training by focusing on troubleshooting skills. Even though lower oil and gas prices have affected earnings, companies must stay focused on training programs to better develop their people.