Rugged Computers for Oil and Gas Exploration

The oil and natural gas (also known as petroleum) industry has a global presence that explores, extracts, refines, transports and distributes petroleum products. The process to successfully extract petroleum for vast uses is broken down into three components: upstream, midstream and downstream. Integrated oil and gas companies have comprehensive operations that combine all three of these sectors.

Each of these three areas of the petroleum industry has different uses of hazardous computing technology, from extraction to processing to distribution, that all require fully rugged technology that is tested and approved for hazardous environments.

  • Petroleum Exploration and Production -> Upstream
  • Petroleum Processing, Storing and Transporting -> Midstream
  • Petroleum Refining -> Downstream

The hazardous computing technology used in oil and gas extraction, refining and distribution must be designed to meet and pass rigorous testing to operate in difficult environmental elements, including ultraviolet rays, extreme temperatures, salt water, hose directed water, chemicals, jolts, vibrations and flammable gases.

To meet these requirements, Daisy Data Displays manufactures durable and rugged industrial computers and display solutions for the oil and gas industry. As we have 40 years of experience in this industry, we are able to provide some of the most reliable solutions available.

Jump to more information on hazardous technology features.

Rugged Computers for the Oil and Gas Industries

Depending on the application, oil and gas environments can expose computing systems to extreme temperatures, ultraviolet rays, saltwater, chemicals, vibrations, jolts, hose-directed water, and flammable gasses. Because of this, hazardous computing technology used in oil and gas extraction, refining, and distribution must pass thorough testing to function in a variety of environments. Durable mobile computers are critical tools for both natural gas and petroleum operations.

Oil & Gas Applications of Rugged Computers

The extraction of petroleum for vast uses consists of three core components: upstream, midstream, and downstream. Integrated companies in this industry have comprehensive operations that use all three of these combined.

  • Petroleum Exploration and Production -> Upstream 
  • Petroleum Processing, Storing, and Transporting -> Midstream
  • Petroleum Refining -> Downstream

Each area of this industry relies on rugged industrial computers for several uses, including extraction, processing, and distribution. This technology must be tested and approved for a range of hazardous environments.

Upstream Processes

The upstream processes in the oil and gas industry entail oil exploration and production, including refining, onshore, petrochemical, and offshore drilling. Specially designed hazardous HMIs streamline upstream operations such as well logging, torque control, downhole operation, measurement-while-drilling (MWD), and directional drilling.

Hazardous computing technology enables engineers and operators to monitor critical performance data and machine control under harsh operating conditions. Because of this, operations normally use easily mounted, compact, and lightweight hazardous computers and monitors that offer added control closer to the drill sites and measurement tools. Easy access to readable real-time performance data allows operators to make key decisions, such as wellbore position, drill bit information, directional data that helps manage the reservoir’s production levels, and the flow of liquid. This in turn allows them to maximize well performance and longevity in the extraction of both conventional and shale oil, which rely on hazardous computing technology.

Midstream Processes

Following extraction through the upstream process, petroleum undergoes processing, storage, and transportation in the midstream sector. Hazardous computing technology is crucial for the midstream cycle, including processes such as distribution, storage, blending, inventory management, and additive injection services. Midstream operations utilize the same rugged computers for monitoring performance and control processing technology for applications such as tanker ships, pipelines, and storage facilities. 

For the midstream sector, a common application for fully rugged computers is the monitoring and management of fuel flow in pipelines. With reliable technology that gives easy access to flow metrics and pipeline performance, operators can quickly detect and respond to any critical issues, such as leaks.

Downstream Processes

After both upstream and midstream processes, the refining of petroleum takes place in the downstream sector. Refining processes also rely on rugged industrial computers to protect equipment.

Technical Specifications to Streamline Upstream & Midstream Processes

In both upstream and midstream sectors, hazardous computers have a pivotal role in maintaining operations and thus cannot risk breakdown, operational damage or explosion. To ensure the safety of the people and machinery, oil and gas industry requires technology with special wiring and electrical components that minimize risk of electrical failure or explosions. With this industry specific engineered design for the supply chain, hazardous PCs can operate effectively and efficiently in areas where flammable gases, dusts or vapors may be present.

The industry relies on hazardous area classification systems to describe the hazardous conditions of specific areas and thus, ensure the equipment can safely function in those conditions. North American has the NFPA classification system and Europe has the IECEX ATEX Directive that both describe the environments, as well as the safe installation and service practices to maintain the minimal risk of electrical issues. For the oil and gas industry, the most relevant classifications for hazardous HMIs are as follows:

For normal working operations where there are ignitable concentrations of flammable gasses or vapors are typically present, the hazardous computer must be tested and approved for IECEX Zone 1 environments or Class I, Division 1 environments. With this classification or rating, this extremely durable technology can safely be used in close proximity to the well or bore hole and as mentioned above, help monitor critical processes such as measurement-while-drilling (MWD), well logging, downhole operation, torque control and directional drilling. Common phrases used to describe this technology would be flame proof and explosion proof. 

A more prevalent need in oil and natural gas market is hazardous computing technology that can reliably and safely operate in areas when ignitable concentrations of flammable gasses or vapors are not present in normal working conditions, but may occur during system failure. This may sometimes be an environment in close proximity to a Division 1/Zone 1 environment, or one where the ignitable concentrations of flammable gases are contained during standard operations. These units are designed, tested and rated for IECEX Zone 2 or Class I, Division 2 environments.

Investing in safe technology is critical for the oil and gas industry, which is why hazardous PCs and displays are also designed to withstand the jolts, shocks and vibrations that the oil and gas equipment creates when drilling into hard surfaces; similar to the vibrations created in manufacturing facilities. Contained inside is a solid-state hard drive with no moving parts and temperature controls, these elements protect the unit from damage, freezing or over heating when enduring shock, vibrations, jolts and extreme temperatures from -20°C to 60°C (-40°F to 140°F).

> View Hazardous Computers & Displays 

Rugged Computer Specifications

At Daisy Data Display, our portfolio of rugged computers meets numerous specifications to help guarantee consistent reliability for every application in the oil and gas industry. These specifications include:

Class I, Division 1

A Class I, Division 1 environment is an area where a variety of flammable gasses, liquids, or vapors exist in ignitable concentrations during normal operations.

Class I, Division 2 Hazardous Location

Unlike Division 1, Division 2 indicates that flammable materials are used, processed, or handled in certain locations but are not normally present in ignitable concentrations.


The IP rating system helps rate enclosures based on their protection against potential hazards to electrical equipment, specifically the hazards of solid object ingress and liquid ingress. The IP67 rating is among the highest levels of protection that an IP rating offers, indicating total protection against dust and airborne particle ingress.


IECEx is an international systesm that is used to certify equipment used in explosive atmospheres. These hazardous areas are classified into different zones based on the frequency of occurrence and duration of an explosive gas atmosphere. 

For example, IECEx Zone 1 relates to an area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to occasionally occur during normal operation. IECEx Zone 2 classifies areas in which an explosive gas atmosphere is not likely to occur during normal operations, but if it does, it will only last for a short period of time.

Rugged Industrial Computers at Daisy Data Displays

The oil and gas industry relies on a variety of rugged industrial computer systems and equipment to complete operations. To help meet these requirements, Daisy Data Displays offers reliable products for hazardous areas. The engineering and production teams at Daisy Data Displays collaborate to design, build, and test our equipment, including rugged computers, monitors, purge controls, keyboards, workstations, and accessories to optimize their performance and longevity for many applications.

For more details about our equipment and to get started on a solution for your business, contact us today or request a quote for our products.