How Technology is Empowering The Modern Rig Worker

As a former rig worker, I use my experience to advocate to empower the modern rig worker.

Everyday I work with global organizations that are improving business outcomes with our augmented reality service platform. These organizations are passionate about their workers and equally focused on how they can improve the workers’ day. This passion to empower the worker is something that excites me. As a previous rig worker myself, the ability to resolve issues on the rig immediately is something I can relate to.

Earlier in my career, I was a rig worker. A drilling fluids specialist to be specific at a large oilfield services company. A Drilling Fluids Specialist’s role is to formulate and oversee the mixing of drilling fluid, a combination of water, clay, oils, and various chemicals, that allows drilling rigs to drill. I remember many times when help or information wasn’t easily available to me and my fellow colleagues. This lack of accessibility seriously impacted our operations. Ultimately, our customers were the ones who were negatively impacted.

One time in particular stands out as a great example.

I was assigned to a rig that was drilling exploratory wells in the Southern California Monterey shale. It was an exciting opportunity. I was the only Drilling Fluids Specialist on the rig for the entire two-week hitch. I controlled the systems and treatments we used day-in and day-out. This new location was an out-of-date rig which created many more challenges compared to my former rig. It had lower operating capacity and the equipment regularly broke down.

It is during my earliest days on this drilling rig that my mind goes back to when I think of how Librestream’s technology could’ve really helped me get the job done.

Late one night I was pulled out of bed because the solids control system wasn’t working. It was causing the solids contamination in our drilling fluids to exceed tolerable amounts. This challenge was out of my scope and it would take at least 6 hours for the service company technicians to arrive.  I had no solution and no answer for my team on when they could continue drilling.  I couldn’t help them do their job.  I felt like I was letting my team and customers down.

After the tech arrived to fix the issue, we were back up and running within 15 minutes. Later I discovered that it was a simple fix that I could perform once I had all the information.

This is just one of many examples from my own experiences of issues that could’ve been resolved quickly with access to the right people or knowledge to avoid downtime. Working with the energy sector now from a different perspective, I see my experience echoed in various other business units in every organization.

I work to help these organizations empower their field teams/ rig worker. I think of myself when I see these workers. I don’t want them to feel like their hands are tied. Access to knowledge, teams, and even suppliers gives these workers a way to resolve the issue faster. Instead of feeling defeated, my hope is that they feel empowered and can continue with their work.

Upcoming Industry Panel

On October 3 at Oil Comm, I will be participating in the following panel:

The Role of AR, Wearables and IoT for a Digitized Workforce.
Digital transformation is bridging the gap between the physical worker and the digital world. New technology innovations such as Augmented Reality, wearables and IoT, enable workers to make smarter, data-driven decisions in the field. Learn how the energy sector empowers a digitized workforce with immediate access to remote experts, work instructions, and machine data through Ex-certified wearables and handhelds devices.

I am excited to take part in this discussion with experts such as Mark Norman, AM Systems/ Services Development manager for NOV, and Feroz Mohummed, Director of Product Marketing for RealWear, as we tackle how Digital Transformation is bridging the gap between the physical worker and the digital world.


Please reach out to me if you are interested in how an augmented reality service solution platform will transform your organization and empower your teams (rig workers) every day.

This post was written by Jennifer Estep, Business Development, Energy, at Librestream Technologies

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