Oil rigs are exposed to extreme conditions when they hit the oil reserves under the ground and while they’re digging. The deeper you go, you’ll experiencing increasingly higher pressure that that the equipment will have to withstand. As a general rule, pressure increases by 25 bar every 100 meters and the temperatures are as much as 130C at the bottom of an oil well. Moreover, considering the fact that an average oil rig weighs about 17000 tons—you don’t get heavier equipment than this.

These considerations only point to the importance of having accurate measurements for the various metrics like temperature, pressure, torque and weight distributions at all points of the drilling process. Failure to do so might result in immense destruction and financial losses.  This only highlights the role of having fully functional, high-quality instrumentation on board and knowing under what conditions they can malfunction. As such, some of the common reasons oil rig instrumentation fails are:

Extreme Temperatures

Low or high temperatures both can cause instrumentation failure unless you’re investing in equipment that is designed to withstand extreme conditions. This is usually a problem when you’re drilling in places like the Arctic Circle where the temperature is usually below freezing or sometimes at the ocean floor where near freezing temperatures might force equipment failures.

Mechanical Vibrations

Your instrumentation will also malfunction when exposed to the high frequencies of vibrations—which is often the case at oil rigs. These vibrations might damage sensors, gauges or sometimes change their calibration settings so you won’t get accurate readings to contain possible accidents.

Corrosion and Rust

Your gauges are also exposed to a lot of corrosive materials and gases. In the event of a blowout or if these gases leak back into the annulus containing the drill thread, they corrode through the sensors and you will need to replace them. Furthermore, lack of maintenance and the accumulation of rust can cause the gauges to malfunction too.

Inappropriate Applications

When you’re installing pressure gauges or weight measurement equipment, you have to use instruments that can bear the loads which will inevitably be placed on them. Sometimes, inexperienced handlers can use the wrong gauges which can’t measure or detect values at certain magnitudes. This can cause errors in measurements and possible equipment failure.

Invest in High-Quality Oil Rigging Instrumentation Now!

Contact Instruments is a leading supplier of pressure gauges, trash pump parts and other rigging instrumentation in Canada. Speak with us today for more information on our products or to place an order for your instruments today.