2016 Oil and Gas Insustry Challenges - Field Eagle

AlixPartners have identified 2016 as ‘A Year of Transition’ for the oil and gas industry. While high natural gas and oil prices soared from 2005 to 2014, now the global oil and gas industry is in the midst of one of the most severe downturns in 30 years.

While 2016 has seen some improvement in the production and demand of oil and gas compared to 2015, AlixPartners note that in the post-boom environment,

“2016 will be a year of cutting capex, streamlining operations, increasing M&A activity, and restructuring…”

Moving forward, oil and gas executives are going to have to be more forward-thinking than ever before.

Taking advantage of technology is one way to innovate and minimize costs. Technologies that standardize common tasks and implement best practices can improve field productivity. Furthermore, oil and gas companies should adopt technologies that simplify business processes.

Oil and Gas companies in the post-boom environment will benefit from implementing technology that will simplify and standardize inspection and asset management processes.  Traditionally, inspection and asset management methods have been done with log sheets and clipboards.  The problem with this method is that capturing and using the information productively is very difficult. Pen and paper data captureis plagued with inaccuracies, transcription errors, and results in a backlog of data which needs to be catalogued once the data is collected.

Operator rounds provide one of the richest sources of data for making business decisions. Therefore, accurate and timely inspection data converted quickly into reports will help you  remain competitive in the current market.  Mobile inspections performed on a tablet with inspection software addresses the pains of pen and paper inspections.  Inspection software ensures accuracy and increases the speed of your field data collection by:

Providing instructions to inspectors in the Field: As inspections are configured in the system, management can set up instruction guides and videos within each question.

Thoroughness:  Data collection software ensures that every question is answered in full, without omissions, before the inspection is completed.  If questions are not completed, or requirements were left incomplete, the tablet application will not authorize the inspector to proceed to reporting.  This functionality helps reduce the risk of human error.

Media & Barcode/RFID Capture: Inspection software allows for various types of media capture depending on the abilities of the tablet.  Capturing barcodes, and RFID codes is another way to ensure accuracy because they eliminate manual data entry which is susceptible to human error.

Generate reports in seconds: With digital inspections, reports are generated within seconds which give you information about the health of your equipment at any point in time.  Creating reports digitally greatly reduces administration costs and costly, ill-informed decisions due to poor data quality.  Furthermore, digital inspections enable quicker inspection turnaround.  With the data and reporting feature of digital site inspection checklist software, a preventative maintenance schedule can be established.

Synchronize inspections to and from head office: Changing paper based forms is a hassle. The process of recalling outdated forms, updating them in Excel, then redistributing them is a lengthy process that can be easily automated.  With inspection software, forms are updated by an administrator on a server and synchronized with a mobile device that the inspector takes out with them into the field.  This allows for inspection forms to never be out of date. Once an inspection is complete, the data is synchronized back to head office where administrators can generate reports to gain valuable insights to manage their assets more efficiently.

The cost savings that an inspection software system provide are beneficial during this transitional period for the oil and gas industry.  Inspection software with equipment asset management (EAM) functionality, benefits your operations by giving you valuable insights into the overall health of your assets at any time.  A more extensive list of how an EAM saves you money can be found by reading this article: 10 Ways an Equipment Asset Management System Saves You Money & Time.  Below is a summary list:

  1. Establish a preventative maintenance schedule – use inspection data to set up preventative maintenance schedules. Preventative maintenance prevents unscheduled downtime and expensive reactive fixes.
  2. Increased Safety – prevent costly accidents or recurrences by having complete inspection and maintenance histories, detailed checklists, and look-back analysis which facilitates safety, corrective actions, and process improvements.
  3. Accurately assess the total value of assets - by knowing exactly what assets you have, where they are, and their purchased & depreciated value, you can accurately assess the total value of those assets. Understanding the total value of your assets plays a critical role in development strategies and recovery asset processes
  4. Capitalize On Lower Insurance Premiums – Staying claim free, insuring multiple assets, understanding your asset value, and maintaining safety can all control your insurance premiums.  EAM systems offer timely inspections, asset inventory, and preventative maintenance scheduling which all lend to keeping your insurance premiums as low as possible.
  5. Asset Inventory Control - the physical verification as well as tagging of assets prevents loss through theft, saving you money on replacement costs.
  6. Reduce the Risk of Fines – EAM systems make inspections timelier and accurate which will reduce the likelihood of fines from outside inspection agencies for non-compliance. 

Technologies that streamline business processes, standardize common tasks, and implement best practices improve field productivity and minimize costs.  Replacing pen and paper inspections with a digital inspection system will improve operational efficiencies and can hold you steadfast until a broad market recovery arrives.

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