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Pipe inventory used for the drilling of oil and gas wells is no longer out cold. This was explained to the COPAS-Colorado (Council of Petroleum Accountants) group at this past Tuesday, April 14, 2009 technical session. The presenter was the Denver based company, Cartasite, an organization focused on real time operational intelligence for inventory management.
David Armitage, founder and CEO of Cartesite, talked about some inexpensive, but effective methods their company is employing for oil and gas industry leader, Encana Oil and Gas (USA). Among other things during the presentation, David discussed tracking tubular and pipe inventory. Tubular and pipe inventory are the industry’s most difficult items to track. The company is utilizing an active RFID (radio frequency identification tag) placed in a strategic location on the pipe, allowing for frequent tracking of the inventory. One of the biggest problems the industry faces is the remote locations of this inventory and the accessibility of inventory yards to theft by criminals. He explained that an active RFID is a small, inexpensive, chip-like devise that has a tracking range of 250 to 350 feet transmitting a unique serial number to a central hub allowing for continuous count of items existing in the inventory yard.
The benefit of utilizing this type of technology assists in the monitoring of company assets and quick response by company management if inventory begins disappearing at a quicker rate than the known utilization rate. Because tubular and pipe inventory is a high volume item for oil and gas companies, and because, on a unit basis, it is a lower cost item, but on a cumulative basis, it is a high value contributor, finding a low cost, effective solution is a challenge in the industry. Denver based Cartesite is on the right track with its abilty to provide inventory tracking services to the industry.