The oil business landscape is defined by costly production activities and ever-shrinking margins. The cost of getting the oil from under the oceans to the fuel stations across the country forms the broad purview of lease operating expenses (LOE) for the oil and gas industry. It is no surprise that companies in this business are increasingly turning to technology to bring down LOE and improve ROI derived from the oil production activity. In fact, expert analysis shows that the below three KRAs are the biggest influencers for oil and gas operators:
- Higher production rates
- Decreased lease operating expenses
- Lower risks to operational safety
It is here that new age mobile technologies are evolving rapidly to deliver value to the oil and gas players on these three areas of operations. Many critical elements like control systems and sensors offer immense potential for bringing down lease operating expenses. This explains why many off-shore and onshore drilling companies have already embraced digital in order to remain efficient, cut costs, mitigate risks involved in oil production, and reduce errors.
How Mobile Technology Can Help?
A lot of opportunities are presented in bringing down unplanned production downtime. Also, maximizing efficiency would be an on-going objective. Mobile technologies help enable both in order to improve production capacity and maximize oil throughput. Recent reports state that if 3/4th of all oil, mineral, and metal extracting organizations embrace mobile and internet technologies by 2020, it could have a staggering economic impact worth USD 60 billion per year.
Here are some benefits that can be availed by oil and gas operators bringing onboard technologies like big data, IOT, and mobile applications.
1 – Worker Safety
Drilling into the seabed and oil extraction activities is an activity prone to many perils. With the help of a mobile app, supervisors can drive safety-critical functions such as location tracking, pipeline inspection, and remote monitoring of equipment. The availability of precise and real-time data ensures better quality decision making on taking pre-emptive action against potential hazards like upstream water movement and extreme weather conditions.
2 – Spotting Anomalies
A production data management tool integrated with a mobile app can help optimize lease operating expenses and keep it low. Such a tool helps you monitor LOE trend across many months and spot anomalies in a specific time period. This prevents unnecessary leakages at the field or lease level. This helps companies to take a decision on whether to continue holding to particular wells/ leases or let it go for the sake of optimal production without cost overheads.
3 – Efficiency
Advantages like ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy and stricter governance protocols are some of the biggest reasons why the oil and gas industry needs to adopt mobile technology. Old and bulky workflows can be made leaner without time or geographical restrictions. It also leads to enhanced automation and better cost efficacy.
4 – Regulatory Updates
The continuously evolving regulations landscape in the oil and gas industry means that managers need to be on their toes keeping themselves updated on safety, government, shale gas production, air, and water quality, nautical laws, fire protection, and effluent treatment guidelines.
Mobile technologies can help ease this process by pushing the latest updates on these protocols to the authorized users, who in turn, can enforce its implementation at the production level. These mobile-centric solutions can also track data like permits, renewals, approvals, and exploration permissions. This will lead to better compliance with regulatory norms like the Natural Gas Pipeline Reform Act and the Clean Air Act.
The global demand for alternative and affordable energy and stricter regulatory norms, coupled with skyrocketing CAPEX and OPEX, is a difficult challenge to overcome. By adopting mobile technologies, oil and gas companies can maintain a delicate balance between operations, compliance, and profitability.
The benefits discussed above amply denote the need for oil and gas companies to increase investments into exclusive mobile technology solutions designed specifically for their line of business.
The question that remains here is – Is your oil and gas production business ready to go beyond traditional methods to relay information and benefit from the incredible prowess of mobile technology to provide real-time and accurate updates about production KPIs. While the initial transition costs may seem heavy, the truth remains that in the long run, your business can definitely augment the bottom-line with successful automation and mobile technologies implementation.