IP cameras

View From Afar

Date PublishedNovember 26, 2015
CompanyAuthorized Impact Inc.
Article AuthorWolfgang Reger
Article TypeNovember 2015 Issue
CategoryArticles, Oil & Gas
Tags, ,
HUB SEARCHAuthorizedImpact
PULSE Interactive

View From Afar


With numerous reports of increased theft and vandalism in oilfield locations across Alberta, companies are now stretching their budgets to include more advanced security and monitoring systems to catch culprits in the act.

IP camerasSince the economic downturn, contracts have dried up, and at least 35,000 jobs have been eliminated. However, at many sites still operational, easy-to-grab items, such as copper wire, fuel, tools, and even vehicles and front-end loaders, are being picked up by opportunistic thieves.

Wolfgang Reger, president of Authorized Impact, says the company’s security solutions division is booming with requests for their more sophisticated patent-pending equipment and real-time tracking systems.

“This is a reality that companies are having to plan around unfortunately,” he says. “Most inquiries are for security but also tracking employee activity, vehicles/equipment, and pipeline leaks.”

Reger says clients are looking for their more advanced surveillance cameras and laser sensors to capture more detail even in darker settings. The more the detail, the better the chance for identification and prevention. The technology is also a boon to human resources and safety managers who can prove attendance, progress, compliance, and insurance for incidents.

“The industry has come a long way since analog,” he states. “Now, there are high definition cameras, high end communications, innovative access and attendance solutions, and even laser detectors that can track the size, speed, and direction of a person, vehicle, or wildlife across a site. This helps not only with theft but also liability, safety, and project management.”

IP cameras

One particular install that proved valuable for tracking activity and lowering theft was located  just outside Manning, Alberta. Reger’s team was called in to set up several remote cameras, LED lighting, and real-time tracking to keep an eye on staff as well as night activities.

“The project manager was able to monitor workers and see every corner of the site even when he wasn’t there,” Reger adds. “Loss was also mitigated, which kept the non-productive time down.”

For the James Bond effect, companies can also add biometric access controls to open gates and track attendance on site. For the projects that are highly sensitive, there are even facial recognition cameras.

Thermal cams and motion sensors are also useful in the field monitoring pipeline activity. Authorized Impact also identifies leaks and incidents requiring repair, which comes in handy in remote areas.

“These cameras can easily find fluid leaving the pipe within seconds, because the heat signature is distinct. We’ll also identify vandals who get onto or near the pipeline. Beyond that, we monitor the performance of the equipment on site and will automatically notify project leads to inform them of any issues with their equipment in real time 24/7,” Regers says. “There is a combo camera/digital and thermal, so you get both a colour image as well as thermal image sent to your device to immediately be informed

For those who are assuming the systems are too expensive for what they’re worth, Reger says costs are about $1,500/site/month.

IP cameras

Goodbye To Analog

IP camerasAnalog infrared systems, which are typical in the industry, are often limited to producing hazy pictures that make it difficult to pick up fine details necessary for identifying thieves. IP cameras have motion detection capabilities and higher pixel rates to pick up license plates and even the wrinkles on a person’s face if they’re close enough. They also analyze behaviour of humans and wildlife, which can provide live, real-time alerts that also record twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Authorized Impact utilizes IP cameras exclusively.

The more advanced systems are already producing results for clients, according to Reger. “One thief stole 700 liters of diesel within three minutes at a clients’ construction site in Calgary,” he says. “We deployed a simple LED lighting and digital camera system powered by solar panel, and it never happened again.”

Fortunately, for those who invested in analog years ago, Reger says there are components such as an encoder that can be plugged into the current system. This saves money at the beginning of the transition to more advanced technology and allows clients to migrate to the digital system over time.

Bad weather doesn’t seem to be a problem for the surveillance system either. The towers are resistant to over 100 km/hr winds, while the camera stabilizes the image against the movement. The cameras offer an automatic heating mechanism when temperatures fall below minus 40 degrees Celsius.

“If thieves try to steal the solar panels or try to topple the equipment, they have to get near it to do so,” Reger says. “By that time, the cameras have already picked up the facial and vehicle information, fed it to the satellite in seconds, alerted the owners instantly on their cell phone, and there is a full, real-time recording on the server for authorities to review and respond immediately.”

As far as his clients are concerned, Reger says their investment pays off immediately.

“Spending the money on our surveillance system is far more proactive, but many owners only see it as a loss in their pocket initially. They don’t see the potential for the tremendous operating costs plus the loss of income because your equipment is missing, your employees are stuck waiting for a replacement, and your client is counting the minutes of wasted time and profit potential. They have to decide which they value more.”

View From Afar Oilfield Pulse Interactive 2015 October IssueFor those who are assuming the systems are too expensive for what they’re worth, Reger says costs are about $1,500/site/month.

“The more sites, the less the cost per location. This includes the data storage, communications, cameras, lighting, and security/hazard monitoring. Volume discounts are also available.”

Wolfgang Ragar
Authorized Impact Inc.






Originally published in the 

November 2015 issue of Oilfield PULSE