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Oil & Gas RFID Group Focuses on Live Lab, Middle East

A consortium focused on RFID's use in the oil and gas industries has announced plans to expand its efforts to the Middle East, and is currently trialing the technology at a 52-acre test site in Texas.
By Beth Bacheldor
OGR's aim is to promote the use of RFID in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, by providing education, sharing best practices and developing and delivering total solutions that can help companies in the industry solve their specific problems. According to OGR, safety and security continues to be tantamount to the initiatives of companies in these industries, and radio frequency identification can play a vital role in improving safety and security. The technology, for example, can be used to track employees' whereabouts at oil refineries, particularly in the event of emergencies.

Late last year, Avery Dennison began working with an oil and gas refinery (that asked not to be identified) to test one of its newer RFID tags, the AD-902—a tag compliant with the EPC Class 1 Gen 2 and ISO-18000-6C standards, and optimized for on-metal performance—to track personnel during emergencies, as well as keep tabs on such assets as high-end laptops and specialized tools (see Avery Dennison Debuts Extra-Durable High-Memory EPC Gen 2 Tag).

RFID can also be utilized in refineries and chemical plants to collect and automatically act on a variety of critical information from tanks, machinery and other equipment out in the field (see Oil Refineries to Test Sensor Tags).

OGR is actively working to expand its worldwide efforts to the Middle East, a region stepping up its interest in RFID technologies—particularly in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries that drive the economies of many countries in that region (see Middle East RFID Market Heats Up). According to Ben Zoghi, a Texas A&M professor and an OGR cofounder who serves as its director, the consortium has presented a proposal to the college's sister university in Doha, Qatar, to help educate and share information with that country's oil and gas industry. OGR's proposal is presently under review, Zoghi says. "The timing is perfect," he states, "to further expand the gospel of RFID in the oil and gas industry to the Middle East."

In addition, OGR will participate in the RFID Journal LIVE! Middle East conference, scheduled for June 15-17, 2009, at the InterContinental Hotel Festival City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Zoghi will provide a presentation on active RFID's use in the oil and gas industry, and will detail a proof-of-concept project conducted at Texas A&M involving active RFID. What's more, he and Konarski will offer a lecture regarding OGR's efforts to help promote and develop a common approach to deploying the technology across the oil and gas industry.

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