Inspectioneering Journal

New Technologies Present Opportunities for Pipeline Asset Managers

By Steve Slusarenko, Chief Field Engineer at ProStar Geocorp, Inc., Layne Tucker at EchoRFID, and Jim Anspach, Director of Utility Market and Practice Development at Cardno, Inc. This article appears in the January/February 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Everyone in the Oil & Gas Industry knows that we are in the business of moving product from the ground to the consumer. This is a very complex process that requires many events to happen in the right place, at the right time, and in the right way. Many of these events involve numerous people, each potentially with different desires, needs, and opinions. It can be a very risky and costly process. Our job is to make each of these events in our business happen as effectively and efficiently as possible.

A business process is simply a chain of events to provide value. We have all heard that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We also know that if a chain is too long or too large, it will be a heavy burden to carry around. In a perfect world every chain would be the perfect material, the perfect size, and the perfect length for the job.

In the field, we have many chains that are made specifically for a single task, and we have many of them that are built larger and longer than needed so that they can be used for several tasks. This requires of course, that we carry these heavy chains with us everywhere and this can be burdensome and costly. We also have chains in the office and here is where we can see a parallel between the physical chains needed in the field, and the logistical chains needed to support business event processes. 

In the Oil & Gas business we have hundreds of event process chains, each of which bears a cost and contains certain elements of risk. So what can we do to reduce our burden and improve our business? Let’s take a look at the current state of affairs and then have a look at some new technologies that may offer us an opportunity to improve our lot.

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