Learning about Canada’s oil and gas industry by visiting worksites just got a whole lot easier.
PetroLMI, a division of Energy Safety Canada, has launched a multi-part virtual reality tour designed to provide workers with better information about the sector and its shifting requirements.
The project includes seven Alberta worksites: near Fort McMurray, an oilsands mine and a SAGD facility; near Grande Prairie, , conventional drilling north of Grande Prairie, automated drilling south of Grande Prairie, a liquids pipeline near Edmonton, a natural gas pipeline near Edson, and a natural gas processing plant near Edson.
“Over the past few months, PetroLMI has piloted this project at events across Canada and we’ve heard this new tool provides an authentic experience, unlike anything else out there,” PetroLMI leader Carol Howes said in a statement on Wednesday.
“You put on a headset and you are transported to seven different types of worksites. You experience everything from watching a smart pig detect the health of a pipeline to seeing the largest trucks in the world at work. It’s a cost-effective way to see, understand, and be a part of the industry.”
Using virtual reality as a learning and training tool is quickly becoming an area of focus, said Energy Safety Canada CEO Murray Elliot.
“Some of the studies and data available suggests that you see improved training outcomes and reduced overall training time and costs,” he said.
“As a health and safety authority, we are looking at how technologies like virtual reality can also assist in providing safety training to the oil and gas industry.”
PetroLMI says that Experience the Energy: Take the Tour has been designed with Indigenous peoples, youth, workers in transition and newcomers to Canada in mind. The organization plans to attend numerous events in the coming months to expose attendees to the new tool and has partnered with Inside Education and the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth to share the virtual reality experience through schools and Indigenous communities.
Funding for five of the seven worksite tours was provided by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program, while the Province of Alberta, working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services, funded the two remaining worksites - liquids and natural gas pipelines.