Usage of mobile devices like Smartphone and tablets are increasing in leaps and bounds. It is being forecasted that smartphone users in the world will surpass the six billion mark by 2018. With such a huge user base, coupled with younger generation workforce more comfortable with social media on mobile devices, industries are also looking to search for avenues, where it can utilize the mobile technology for easing out its daily operation enterprise-wise. The Oil & Gas industry, especially upstream sector where workforce needs to be highly mobile, along with good connectivity or collaboration with the central team, are accepting the values of mobile technology than ever-before.
One of the areas where this sector is already utilizing mobile technology, is the usage of GIS-based application for tracking its workforce deployment to monitor the wells, and also on material management, where the required materials need to be transported and delivered on time, to various rig site or production platform. Additional areas, where mobile devices is now being used profoundly, is of work order management and engineering data management.
Work order management mainly compiles granting permit to work on the site and on real-time, as for e.g. after drilling the well, geophysical wireline logging team is called upon at the rig site, and they require to have the permit to work doc. from the company man, or the drilling engineer in charge of the site before conducting the operation. In this example, the organization would be benefitted if the drilling engineer in-charge of the rig site is equipped with a mobile device having a simple application, through which he can grant all the permission to work reducing the paperwork and that too all the docs will be updated enterprise-wide in a central location for future records. Engineering data management covers capturing field data remotely, as for example capturing well-head pressure data, or while drilling, capturing safety related data like measuring of leakage of sulphur gas or any spilling of diesel oil at the rig site, which can be stored and reported instantly at the organization level.
Future of mobile usage in the O&G industry can be no less than a sci-fi movie. As for example, a mud logger in conventional process captures the description of the rock cutting at the rig site. This information needs to be manually captured, recorded in paper, and then it is transmitted to the base location, which again is a long and tedious job. The work can be lessened up by capturing the ‘as it is rock’ cutting sample through the camera on mobile device, and identifying the rock types through pattern recognition application, thereby transmitting the data for real-time onsite coordination. In addition to it, the industry demand is also for to integrate the mobile devices with petro-technical applications, so that the engineers or the geoscientist can take operational decisions on-the-go.
The biggest challenges that will be faced by this industry in deploying mobility technology will be of security. The industry have to take care of sensitive data, which can only be done by incorporating strict corporate security standards.