How can mobility impact the digital oilfield in 2015?

By Fabrice Buron | Dec 16, 2014

The adoption of smartphones have surpassed the PC at last and is becoming even more integrated into day-to-day life. We use it to read email, share news with friends, check the weather, follow the news, manage our physical activity, remotely manage our home security, track the calories we consume, etc.

Digital Oilfield | ChaiOne | Houston & Austin

Digital Oilfield | ChaiOne | Houston & Austin

While we embrace new technology in our personal lives, the business community is challenged to successfully roll out similar solutions with their mobile workforce (over 100 million people in the USA).

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For a long time, security and connectivity have been the main roadblocks to the business community. With improving networks, emerging hybrid communications, cloud solutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), the landscape is changing rapidly. The oil and gas industry has an especially promising future ahead.

Here are some interesting insights into mobile use cases according to technology and oil and gas executives:

Field services and operations have a lot of room to grow:

Tablet and mobile apps can help optimize worker intervention. For example, apps can help with managing by exception, leveraging a combination of contextual information (sensors, iBeacons), geolocalization and operational data to get to the most critical sites first. After logging thousands of man-hours of observations on the field, the scenarios with the most need arose around inspection, intervention on unplanned well downtime, equipment failure and leakage prevention.

Whether you reduce downtime, prevent a leak or incident, report for fast intervention or minimize time to repair, the financial benefits are immediate and noticeable.

Big Data is useless if you cannot access what you need:

Another area that has great untapped potential is applying mobile technology to run operations such as oil rigs. Whether you operate multiple wells, contractors or a terminal facility, you need specific data, in real-time. The challenge with big data is figuring out what information is actually useful and can be acted upon. Most systems, while very powerful at the desk, are difficult and cumbersome to use with a smartphone or tablet. This can be changed with proper data driven design to create data visualization. Data driven design provides an easier way to navigate and drill down around critical assets. Combined with augmented reality and IoT, the apps are able to visualize things such as well production data, pipeline flow, and geological data. With this information, oilfield workers can take action and monitor the appropriate sites.

Oil and Gas Field Sales Enablement:

57% of collateral does not make it to the sales field. In selling complicated equipment and services for the oil and gas sector, each customer interaction is not only critical, but also unique. With a mobile device, a single platform can distribute and manage instantly all your content digitally, allowing the latest version of your tech specs sheet, reference guide, value proposition, and TCO calculator to be available right away to your team. You’ll be able to better represent your machinery, drill bits, and oilfield services by using a mobile sales enablement solution.

There is an even bigger benefit in adopting mobility on this side of the business: to enable your sales team to follow your sales process with a step-by-step approach and a behavior-driven tool.

Doing it Right or Not doing it at all

That is the question. A failed mobility project leaves a bad taste in users’ mouths for a long time. As an offshore rig worker that we worked with explained, “if it [the app] is not good, it better float”. At the forefront of ANY mobility project, user insights and data driven design are essential requirements.


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