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3D Laser Scanning for Oil and Gas Applications

Oil and gas operations are logistically the most expensive and challenging projects in the world. Any second that the equipment or system malfunctions, can cause temporary shutdowns, loss of production, and ultimately causing major setbacks.

Our team believes that the project drawings and plans are only as strong as the data that is used to produce them.

Structural misalignment, equipment clashes and trade rework, are some of the typical results and production losses if the drawings and plans are incorrect, incomplete, or even non-existent.

We are seeing the industry rapidly shifting to a more precise and automated data collection method. Traditional manual measurement methods are being replaced by using laser scanning and 3D measurement solutions.

At ScanTek, our team understands that the amount of downtime and loss of work must be kept to the at-most minimum.

Our solutions and calibration services are conducted in accordance with the American Petroleum Institute (API) Manual of Petroleum Measurements Standard and the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) Standards.

Laser scanning is a non-contact way of collecting precise as-built data that captures real objects in three dimensions. The data points collected by the scanner creates a point cloud, which is a large collection of measurement points, that can be further processed and analyzed, on or off-site.

Many applications are made faster and simpler using 3D laser scanning. The following are some of the most popular laser scanning applications in the oil and gas industry, along with an overview of how 3D laser scanning can help:

Equipment Inspections & Modifications

Maintaining machinery in good working order is critical for protection and safety in a hazardous industry like oil and gas. Inspections can be made possible by enabling the point cloud data to create digital twins and accurate 3D models, allowing for managers and stake holders to pinpoint quality and safety problems fast and even in real time!

A facility that is undergoing modifications and equipment upgrades can accurately plan the location of new machines, by using our laser scanning solutions to generate a precise map and or plans based on the actual facility conditions.

Verification of Secondary Containment

To prevent spills from touching the ground, secondary containment systems are used. According to a 2015 survey by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 64 percent of hydraulic fracking leaks penetrate the underlying land, and 7% contaminate local surface water.

Secondary containment contributes to the reduction of these numbers. A laser scanner can be used for secondary containment volume inspection and overflow detection to ensure that spilled toxic liquids are contained and that environmental damage is avoided.

Tank Calibration and “Tank Strapping”

Tank calibration and “tank strapping” entails measuring and providing the necessary dimensions for capacity table calculations of massive storage tanks.

Our enterprise level laser scanners can quickly scan and collect precise point cloud data that is used to generate accurate dimensions for measuring storage tanks, barges, ships, or any liquid bulk container.

Maintenance and Upkeep

At ScanTek, our team can supply precise part dimensioning and fit data that can be used on to assess if replacement components can match properly.

We can even assist with aid in the design and manufacturing for custom parts and tooling!

Oil and gas facilities are also scanned on a regular basis to document and compare the results to see if there has been any significant deterioration or corrosion.

Verification of Volume

Volume verification is often used as part of tank strapping, and facilities can sometimes use it to determine their tanks’ capacity. Our 3D laser scanning solutions can provide a precise representation of fluid capacity in a tank.

Benefits of Using 3D Laser Scanning For Oil And Gas

Here are some advantages of using 3D laser scanning in oil and gas infrastructure projects, an approach that is modern, quicker, and delivers more precise – and safer results!

Projects Run More Smoothly as Accuracy is Maintained

The data collected from 3D laser scanning is extremely accurate and provides a more real-world model. Pipes are not flawless in the modern world, which makes constructing tight-fitting, complicated piping work difficult.

Laser scanning can pick up part and tank discrepancies that might otherwise be overlooked, resulting in a true representation of the existing conditions.

Rather than amplifying inaccuracies with misinformation during the design process, you can proactively stop them!


Apart from speeding up the measuring process, 3D laser scanning often saves time and effort by reducing travel and rework.

Many oil and gas sites are several hours away from the main stations, so several trips for inspections or measuring will consume a significant amount of time.

Our experienced technicians can mobilize on-site quickly, collect the required data with our scanners, and then analyze the data safely on or off-site.

All our scan technicians have received OSHA training to ensure they understand safe practices while on-site.

Safety is Essential

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 602 accident incidents in the oil and gas industry over the course of two years, beginning in January 2015. These accidents resulted in 481 hospitalizations and 166 amputations.

The use of laser scanning in an oil and gas facility can increase employer safety by holding workers out of harm's way. Workers sometimes place their physical well-being at risk as they try to manually walk, crawl, or climb to dangerous places to take measurements.

Our laser scanning and 3D measurement solutions can gather complex data and dimensions from a safe location – usually from the project site side-lines.

Laser Scanning Gives You a Leg up on the Competition

According to McNeil, several oil and gas companies do not encourage engineering and construction firms to bid on projects unless they use laser scanning.

Oil and gas firms that enable our laser scanning solutions achieve a competitive edge by providing quicker project turnarounds, increased protection, and accurate dimensioning solutions.

ScanTek’s Calibration and Metrology Services Include:

  • Ships

  • Barges

  • Aboveground & Underground storage tanks

  • Spheres

  • Horizontal tanks

  • Bottom surveys

  • Liquid calibration

Get in touch with our team of professionals to learn more about our solutions!


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