You might think of the oil and gas sector as an old-school industry, relying on brute force and big equipment, but not necessarily part of today’s high-tech renaissance. If so, you’d be wrong. The industry is turning to mobile apps in a big way — and it’s getting big-time benefits. Let's take a look at how oil and gas mobile apps improve productivity and safety in drilling areas and on offshore platforms.
Natalie Cheng, in her blog post, “Benefits of a Mobile Field Service App,” lays out the benefits of mobile apps for the oil and gas industry. First is data capture, which is vital for field workers. She notes, “Mobile solutions make it easier to capture data from the field quickly and accurately. With a mobile phone or tablet, people in the field can get information easily and spend more time doing other parts of their job which reduces downtime.”
Mobile solutions also provide real-time information about wells are working, which helps companies make smarter, faster, better-informed decisions. Mobile apps can also track workers and equipment. Cheng says, “Location (data) helps get information to the right people at the right time in the right context. Real-time operational intelligence helps save money and headaches.” Mobile apps also improve collaboration.
Mobile apps also are particularly well-suited for field inspections. A program launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows just how much more efficient inspections of oil and gas sites can be when done with a mobile app. The department started using an iPad app for some inspections early in 2017, and by the end of the year were using it for almost all inspections. Before use of the app, all inspections were done with paper forms. Data from the forms had to be retyped in an office.
Now, according to the DEP, that kind of duplicate data entry has been eliminated, and far fewer visits between offices and field sites are required. As a result, DEP says, productivity has been improved by nearly 30 percent, resulting in $500,000 in savings, the equivalent of hiring six additional inspectors.
DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management Scott Perry concludes: “Making the inspection process completely electronic has transformed the way our inspectors do their job, increasing productivity, customer service, and transparency.”
Alpha Anywhere and its low-code approach is a great solution for building inspection apps. It’s ideal for building mobile-optimized forms that are at the core of the apps. To help you get started, Alpha Software has built a free Inspections Solutions app, a sample app that can be turned into inspection apps for field workers in virtually any industry. Here’s a full overview of its capabilities. Current Alpha Anywhere customers can download the source code for this inspection app from Alpha Software’s Github account and modify it for use in their organization’s inspection process. To read more about how to build oil industry maintenance and inspection apps, read the case study: “Alpha Anywhere Helps Build Maintenance and Inspection App for Offshore Oil Platforms.”