8 Useful Apps For Oil And Gas Employees
The oil and gas sector has generally been slower than other industries to adopt new technologies and innovations. However the future is looking more promising as some companies begin to introduce new tools to boost productivity, collaboration and the influx of new talent.
The appeal of mobile devices for oil and gas professionals lies in the nature of the industry, whose workers regularly have to work in the field and away from any computers and other teams.
The ease with which mobile devices can be carried around and accessed at any time therefore makes them a promising and valuable resource for professionals, giving them an easy way to access and exchange information.
But mobile apps are not only helping to increase productivity; they are also actively being introduced into and essentially reshaping business processes, which is ultimately helping companies reduce costs.
But how exactly are mobile apps helping oil and gas professionals, and what apps should they be adopting? In this article we give you an overview of the benefits of using oil and gas mobile apps as well as examples of some of the best apps out there.
Benefits of oil and gas mobile apps
- Increased productivity. Mobile apps have been shown to increase productivity within the workplace as much as 40% – that’s 40% extra time that a company can gain thanks to mobile apps. They do this by making communication between employees, training and access to resources easier and faster.
Not only does this save time, it also allows employees to use that time generating additional business, potentially resulting in greater revenue for the firm.
- Instant access. By centralising information in one place, apps also make access to information faster and more efficient. This helps reduce problem-solving time, particularly for employees working in the field, by enabling them to access the information they need faster and more easily.
- Improved communications. Apps can also make communication between employees themselves instant, helping to connect geographically disperse workforces more effectively, enabling them to exchange information better. This is particularly useful in cases when urgent assistance is needed.
- Better decision-making. Finally, mobile apps can help employees perform daily tasks better. By providing valuable tools such as reference guides and calculators, employees can not only get tasks done quicker but also decrease the likelihood of human error.
What kind of oil and gas apps?
1. Health & Safety Apps
Mobile apps can be a way to ensure that all health and safety issues are being recorded and addressed so that regulations are always being met.
This can be easily done by allowing field workers to report any safety issues directly on the app with a video or image of the issue, which could be sent directly to the relevant incident response team.
The app could also contain basic health and safety policies and regulations.
2. Disaster recovery/Directory App
In the case of emergency situations or disasters, having a handy app with a directory of the emergency contacts and numbers that workers should be calling according to regulations is a great way to help manage a situation that is bound to be stressful and complex.
The app could also come with a list of the regulations in place for emergency situations, as well as appropriate response plans to help the worker move the situation forward and respond accordingly.
3. Reporting App
A reporting app is a great way to gather and deliver data daily and create custom reports for upper-level management.
Whether health and safety observations, well or tank and gauge data, with a reporting app users can easily record information by inputting it into a form. This can then be instantly saved in a database or used as part of custom reports.
All information can be automatically synced and stored in an online database, ensuring that it is not lost. This offers a great advantage compared to paper-based systems, which rely on all paper forms being safely kept and submitted, leaving plenty of chance for misplacement or loss.
Data can also be submitted in the form of photos of hazards, with generated locations, ensuring that these can be safely and accurately noted and taken care of.
4. Calculator App
Calculator apps are very useful tools for oil and gas professionals because they enable them to make complex calculations more easily and accurately on their mobile device while in the field.
Whether crude oil, refined products or lubricants, there are many calculators and converters available in mobile form that can make volume and metric calculations and even perform volume and density corrections for oil products.
Calculators are also available that determine the volume and capacity of pipes and that make calculations related to drilling operations, from pump output and flow rates to temperatures.
5. Project Management App
A project management app can be easily incorporated into oil and gas processes, making operations and field activity smoother and more effective.
By displaying daily activity at wells and active workover jobs, employees can track daily operations and costs.
The app can be made even more accurate by enabling field users to update the app directly, which they can do by submitting information relating to their own activities into a form that updates the app instantly.
In this way, all workers involved can make sure that they are up-to-date with what everyone else is doing.
6. Document Library App
A document library app offers the chance to keep all essential and relevant information and documents in one place, so that field workers can access it whenever needed while in the field.
For instance, a reference guide with definitions of technical terms and How-To guides relating to all major oilfield activities can be a useful way to avoid mistakes and ensure that workers know what they’re doing.
Also included could be mobile handbooks with field regulations to ensure that workers are always abiding.
7. Communications App
Internal communications apps are great ways of ensuring that employees working in the field can keep in touch with each other and with what’s happening at other locations or teams.
These apps can also be used to enable instant communication between workers without the complications of email. They are particularly good at group conversations, but without the need to worry about forgetting to click “Reply all”.
An internal communications app can include other forms of communication too, such as video conferencing.
8. Training App
Finally, mobile apps can also be used to bring new employees up to date with their tasks, or to introduce teams to new technology, regulations or projects.
By providing features such as interactive content (video, embedded documents, interactive charts, etc.), employees can be encouraged to engage with training materials more highly, increasing the chances and speed of learning.
Training apps can also include additional features that make them stand out from a PDF or paper alternative. For instance, exam or quiz functions that allow employees to test their knowledge can make the learning process much more engaging. This can be made even more so by incorporating “gamification” features such as points and badges, which can serve as incentives for workers to continue learning and testing and to perform better and better.
Essentially, this makes learning into a more fun experience, increasing the engagement and delight of employees.
Oil and gas mobile apps are revolutionising the industry and bringing great changes to the way they work, communicate and learn.
Not only are apps helping to increase productivity and convenience for oil and gas professionals, but they are also bringing new approaches and ways of working, becoming an intrinsic part of business processes and helping professionals do their job better and better.
We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of what mobile apps can do for the oil and gas industry and we should expect to see many changes in the coming years as the sector becomes increasingly mobilized.