The oil and natural gas industry has a proud history of hard work, determination, grit, and using proven conventional methods to get the job done.
Greg Archbald, a savvy entrepreneur who’s challenging conventional thinking, is demonstrating these values with GreaseBook and infusing them with innovation.
“GreaseBook is essentially, an app for oil and gas operators,” Archbald said. “Basically, you’ve got pumpers that drive around in pickup trucks checking all these oil and gas pump jacks we see off the roads of Texas and Oklahoma. And as an oilman, you may own 50, 100, 500 of these wells, and you have no idea the current status of any of them. So with your army of pumpers, we equip them with an app, on their smartphone, iPad, or any smart device, and then they can track and enter all of their oil, gas, water production information, commentary, sales tickets, and everything.”
Simplicity is one of the key advantages of the app, which allows information to be entered as easily as setting an alarm clock on a smartphone. With software that includes a real-time dashboard, owners can review the status of their wells and properties as soon as entries are made.
Previously used methods to keep track of well information was in the form of paper tickets, which were faxed into a main office, transported in a pumper’s truck where they sometimes blew out a window, or left contained on the actual wellsite in a pickle jar or mailbox, Archbald said.
What’s in a name?
The name “Grease Book” refers to an old industry term that Archbald describes, was a natural fit.
“Back in the ’40’s and ‘50’s, pumpers used to carry a small notebook with them for all of their daily well entries. And they’d have their greasy hands on it all day from pumping these wells, so they referred to it as their grease book,” he said. “And we thought, hell, that’s a great name. Let’s use that. So now when we talk to somebody in the industry about it, and say ‘GreaseBook,’ these pumpers know immediately what it is and what you do and what your app does, so it’s really helped out a lot.”
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Archbald’s idea to start a company came to him after attending school overseas and meeting some of the sharpest minds in mobile app development. Upon returning home, he shared his idea of building an app to monitor wells with his father, who runs an oil and gas accounting software firm, and found he had the same idea.
“It was interesting; I came back from school over Christmas. And I sat down with him in the den. I go, ‘Hey, Dad, I got this great idea.’ And he goes, ‘Well, hold on a second. I’ve got this great idea.’ And then he said the idea for GreaseBook. And I was like, okay this has to be done,” Archbald said.
Being Oklahoma based has been an advantage for Archbald and his team. He continues to work with local talent to develop his business, and recognizes the opportunity for young people to enter the industry and help change perception. So far, GreaseBook has amassed 100 companies on their app. From small mom-and-pop operations to publicly-traded companies, the app use is growing daily, ranging from Ohio and California to Texas and North Dakota.
Archbald is quick to define what led him in this direction and not take a job with his father’s company.
“I always was chasing after my personal freedom, but I don’t think that ever happens actually. I mean, so you don’t have a boss, but you have clients now that are your bosses,” he said. “But that’s rewarding, just building something that’s an extension of you and your personality, and that you can do it your own way, and, and that you can have fun doing it.”
As for succeeding as an entrepreneur, Archbald said he believes surrounding yourself with the right people is essential for growth.
“You want to be the worst player in a rock band,” he said. “You want to be able to learn from the lead guitarist. You don’t want to be the best guy in the band, because then you don’t learn anything. So if you can surround yourself with great people, you don’t have to do it all. And if you have one trait that you’re really good at, you’ll be amazed at how many other opportunities you can spin this into.”
With a successful company under his belt and more opportunity to expose GreaseBook to a wider market, Archbald encourages other young entrepreneurs he meets to not give up, so they can experience just a little of what he has.
“I just think running business and opening business and trying this whole entrepreneurial thing is just the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s all I want to do and talk about and it’s just fun to be able to wake up and really feel that way about something.”