Impact of Mobile Technology on the Oil & Gas Industry

Robby Gupta

The recent crude oil price reduction was an inescapable truth. During the mid-2000s the barrel price fluctuated between USD 80 – USD 150 (avg.), now the barrel price is at USD 44.73 (June 15, 2017). The world banking system and the low oil prices go hand-in-hand making it necessary for efficiency and effectiveness to be reinforced into the oil & gas industry.

The rapid automation and mobile technology progress in areas such as control systems, sensors, and big data within the oil & gas industry are impressive. Many off-shore and onshore drilling organizations have already gone digital in efforts to cut costs, reduce danger levels and mitigate their error-prone tasks.

Although automation does offer benefits in the exploration value chain, a vast gamut of opportunities lays in reducing unplanned downtime. Additionally, given the industry’s increase in capital investment, efficiency would be the key takeaway. Going digital (mobile more so) provides organizations with ample opportunities to maximize their assets and increase their oil throughput.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that even a small blimp in the volume of production will result in production efficiency and ultimately financials as well. However, the conundrum here is that these organizations depend heavily on hoary equipment to rely information. Although, the transformation to the latest technology is expensive, integrating mobile solutions isn’t. Companies that successfully employ automation can significantly improve their bottom-line.

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How Will the Oil & Gas Industry Benefit Through Mobile Technology?

It’s really not news that mobile technology is transforming a plethora of industries. For the uninformed here are a few statistics from Radicati; the report states that in 2015, the number of mobile users, both consumers and for businesses, exceeded 5.5 billion. It goes on to state that by 2019, the number is expected to increase over 6 billion. This shift in technology is evident in the marketplace where mobile technology adoption is widespread.

The oil & gas industry is not far behind; it is using mobile technology in numerous ways to improve employee safety, increase production, reduce costs and try and reduce environmental risks. It is estimated that if 75% of oil, mineral, and metal extracting organizations adopt mobile and internet technologies by 2020, it could have an economic impact of USD 60 billion annually.

Mobile technology is ubiquitous, here is how it is helping the oil & gas industry:

Safety and Real-time Analysis: Many oil & gas drilling and exploration companies have off-shore plants that drill into the seabed and gather oil. Mobile technology helps in location tracking, pipeline inspection, data capture, equipment monitoring and much more. This technology aids worker in collecting and reviewing data, which is crucial to make real-time decisions for corrective actions. Additionally, the technology helps in tracking water movement based on the location. Workers can be alerted to adverse weather conditions as well.

Regulations and Archiving: The technology helps in meeting industry regulations. Often, off-shore platforms are unaware of changes made to regulations. Mobile technology helps in informing and monitoring these regulations. In addition, the technology helps in creating data archives, which in turn builds a comprehensive data storage system. This can help organizations track upstream and downstream processes.

Efficient: One of the biggest advantages that organizations have when they use mobile technology is that they become efficient. Old and traditional workflows can be done away with, processes can be automated, and costs & resources can be saved.

With the advent of bringing your own device policy, organizations have the onus to integrate mobile technology into their processes. This can be extremely useful for on-field managers and senior level employees alike.

Do you feel that the oil & gas industry should adopt mobile technology? What are your thoughts about this blog? Please share them by commenting below.

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about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.