Is Your Oilfield Management Platform Doing These 6 Things?
“Digitization is the new lubricant for the future of the oil and gas industry’s upstream sector.” –Strategy& report by PwC
In order to keep a competitive advantage in a cutthroat marketplace, world-class oil and gas operations are tapping into the latest technologies. Augmented reality (AR), machine learning, automation, and robotics are all part of ‘what’s next’ in oil and gas exploration, but the greatest investments in transformative technologies are taking shape around software designed to make exploration more agile and data more accessible than ever before.
According to a recent study from Newsweek Vantage, nearly half of all oil and gas enterprises are making their largest investments in digitalization of data and core processes as well as in cloud migration. That rate increases when looking five years into the future as fifty-one percent of companies surveyed in the study will make significant investments to enhance their use of IoT devices and software that increase their data acquisition and analysis capabilities.
With the recent inclusion of Mi4 Corp’s Productioneer as the first oil and gas application on Microsoft’s Power BI AppSource marketplace, we’d like to highlight some of its key features to show you what six things your oilfield management software should be doing to maximize your operation.
Data Acquisition and Analysis
Crunching numbers, collecting data, and engaging with complex analytics are nothing new for the energy industry. But increasingly in the last half-decade, as prices have remained below expectations, digitalization and the streamlining of vital data and information are seen as necessities, rather than as the luxuries we mistook them to be during the very early years of such integrations. Now, the software and tools you use to collect and synthesize oilfield and gas exploration data must be as competent and capable as the rest of your upstream and downstream operations.
Your software should not only be able to collect important data, but also provide insights that enable your teams to identify and track important patterns in production. Software, according to PwC’s Strategy& division, “will be the lubricant for smarter exploration, easier capture, and safer operations,” with focus geared toward “real-time alignment with real-world changes” and requiring fewer staff to manage operations. Indeed, the potential impact of new production management software on the industry will be far reaching—and much of it is already here.
Advanced analytics, as mentioned in the Newsweek Vantage study, are being used “to measure and select the optimal scope of work for facility turnarounds, helping executives decide whether to replace or repair equipment.” And that’s just one of the many ways data crunching is simplifying the work of planning and operating facilities. Other applications include measuring cost performance and reliability, improving logistics, and optimizing project portfolios, all of which have a significant cost-cutting impact on oil and gas exploration at the enterprise level.
And with user-friendly platforms, such as Productioneer’s Power BI dashboard, your data is presented in a clean, easy-to-assess visual interface that helps to increase the accuracy of interpreting data and frees up valuable equipment to optimize production. It can also help your team recognize production trends or anomalies with greater efficiency and address issues before they reach a critical stage.
Multiple Device Support
In today’s fast-paced upstream work environment, connectivity and compatibility are key factors in achieving overall efficiency. With the array of devices and platforms available nowadays, your software—and your data—should be accessible where and when your teams need it most. Cloud-based management platforms like Productioneer give production managers the greatest amount of flexibility in determining how to integrate new software and have it reach all facets of their organization.
From the field personnel, to production and operations, land and accounting, and all the way up to execs and management, having compatibility and the ability to share real-time data across all devices enables your entire operation to function smarter and more effectively, cutting down on costs and improving performance.
Determining production methodologies and deciding on proper allocation can be challenging and time consuming without the right tools. The latest oil and gas production management software should be able to combine measurement data with site-specific information to simulate field conditions and come up with algorithmic solutions.
Productioneer and other management platforms consider the following factors when developing flexible algorithms to address complex allocations calculations:
- Frequency of Test Sampling. Whether conducting traditional production well tests or taking more advanced multiphase flow measurements, the frequency of your sampling will influence the accuracy of your projected allocations and therefore have an impact on calculations.
- Commingled Wells. Prior to the advent of advanced software, commingled wells presented a major hurdle for allocations. Now with complex logic abilities and workflows, the complexities of a commingled well system are easily handled by the allocation algorithms.
- Facility, Sales Point, or Pipeline Changes. Any alterations made to upstream or downstream production, at any point during operation, can be taken into consideration and incorporated into your allocations management.
- Local Regulatory Requirements. State and federal regulations play an important part in providing a framework for the allocations process. Regulations may dictate the type and frequency of well testing, which may, in turn, affect the accuracy of reporting. Digital allocations platforms can improve regulatory compliance and mitigate the risks posed by inaccurate or infrequent testing.
As we have laid out the importance of having an effective digital platform to manage and optimize allocations, finding the right software is therefore a crucial step to improving the overall performance of your gas or oilfield enterprise.
Tracking expenses for your gas and oilfield operations doesn’t have to induce stress or strain resources, but it can be time-consuming, which is why finding the right software to streamline expenditure tracking can have a measurable impact on efficiency and overall cost. That said, fossil fuel production does require the use of industry-specific accounting procedures to track both tangible and intangible expenses.
Here are a few capabilities beyond the basic spreadsheet that you should look for in a software platform to take your expenditure and AFE tracking to the next level.
- Tangible and Intangible Expenditure Tracking. The costs associated with exploration and operation of gas and oil wells takes many forms, often classified as ‘tangible’ or ‘intangible’ based on their salvage value. From administrative, transportation, and construction costs to funds designated for metering and wellhead equipment, it is important that your expenditure tracking software has the capability to track and analyze all costs across each of these areas of your enterprise. They should not require the use of separate applications or spreadsheets but seamlessly integrate with one another.
- Top to Bottom AFE Tracking. Proper AFE tracking and reporting not only helps your operation to run more smoothly and cut costs, but also gives confidence to investors by providing instant access to estimate vs. actual costs, AFE approval status, and other performance metrics.
- Accounting Systems Integration. Your expenditure tracking software should give you the ability to integrate this information into the rest of your accounting system, giving you a full picture of production performance.
Choosing the optimal accounting platform for your oil and gas enterprise can help you overcome the challenges of managing expenses and streamline AFE processes, while taking some of the administrative burden off of both your upstream and downstream teams to focus on more pressing areas of production.
If your oil and gas management team is looking to streamline production, cut costs, or take performance to the next level, talk to a member of the Mi4 team about Productioneer. It’s a digital platform that provides end-to-end systems integration, comprehensive reporting and analytic tools, and concierge-level support to help power your production enterprise.