Monthly Archives: April 2016

War against (conventional) oil production reporting software

Disloyal Tendencies: The Mobile Scare

There is a very real external danger in the war against conventional production reports. And, there is a very real internal danger from people who are working for oil & gas companies to actively undermine these reports…

This danger has become clear and present since mobile tech has become a reality in our everyday life. In companies, time and money saving ideas should not only be considered but encouraged.

However, this creates huge conflicts of interest for the status quo…


Now, when we were growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, the tendency was to force upon pumpers, admin, and the like production reports that sucked. It was a wonderful example of how technology worked against the very people it was trying to help.

And, in retrospect, management hasn’t been fair to these pumpers. With each iteration, internal responsibility was pushed to the field, and the pumper’s job became more and more difficult… their responsibility to manage production assets remained the same, yet they were now forced to work with production reporting tools that also sucked.

But who could blame these companies?

As they continued to grow and strive to run a more effective and profitable business, how could you not introduce new solutions to the field?

It’s always a process. You go through periods where you have to endure things like paper, fax, palm pilots, and clunky software before we eventually get to the good stuff.

Today, something very interesting is happening: a surge of new methodology, ideas, human reason, and logic. And, it’s not coming from the top down, but from the bottom up.

Mobile is being pushed by the field into the office. A single pumper shifts from paper to mobile. An admin back at HQ realizes she no longer have to make telephone calls to remind the pumper to ‘get his data in’.

Eventually, engineers and production supervisors start clamoring because they actually have data and graphs that make sense. The band wagon increases in size.

The things that mobile is doing are valuable and positive… it creates proactive pumpers, it alleviates minutiae from the back-office, and keeps engineers and supervisors focused on the task at hand (maximizing oil production).

And the best part?

People actually want to use this stuff.

Folks, there is no stopping this groundswell — it’s replacing processes that were forced on the field just a decade ago…

And, you’re right. The company who ignores the idea of mobile, may, in fact, prosper for the next 2, 3, or 4 years. However, if you take the long-view (like GreaseBook!), where do you think this particular operator be 5, 8, or even 10 years from now?

But, what do you do when companies continue to roll-out palm pilots and clunky “tough books” to the field? Worse still, what do you do if you find yourself working for one of these companies??

When this begins to happen, mobile seems like less of a high-minded sentiment, and becomes more like a threat.

And think about how difficult a threat it would be if those private investment dollars began flowing toward other, more effective operators?

If the public markets began to favor stocks of companies who embrace solutions that help them to remain profitable at a lower price of oil?

Or, in light of the small independent, if dollars were forgone in favor of production reports that suck, jeopardizing jobs in a potentially volatile climate?

Think how dangerous it would be if the ideas of mobile and consumer tech (iPads and iPhones) were spreading through the industry, but your company simply stays put.

Mobile is like a virus, isn’t it? There’s a germ-like quality to it. Employees and contractors filled with the dangerous idea of employing a solution they actually want to use are like carriers of a mental contamination or intellectual smallpox to companies that refuse to change.

To the status quo, mobile is like a Trojan Horse — an enemy from within. Contract and company pumpers alike start coming with kickass production reports that enable people in-house to get shit done. The people working at these oil companies tell two friends, then each of those people tell two more…

Eventually, the whole sphere of independent operators is mobile. Beware, the industry has an intellectual epidemic in it’s midst — it’s called GreaseBook, and its production reports definitely do not suck.