Crafting Excellence in Oil and Gas with Advanced Field Management

Crafting Excellence in Oil and Gas with Advanced Field Management

RMI Supply

Field service management in the oil and gas industry involves coordinating people and other resources to ensure companies operate efficiently, safely, and within regulations. What can decision-makers do so their efforts in oil and gas field service rise above the rest?

Prioritize User-Friendly Options

Most field service management tools allow people to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as:

  • Track their time
  • Review their schedules
  • Manage or retrieve contracts
  • Get location-based guidance
  • Submit reports
  • Communicate with colleagues or supervisors
  • Take pictures and video footage
  • Submit receipts and other job documentation

Users will undoubtedly appreciate chosen products more when they are easy to use and suit their workflows. For example, someone completing a gas field service job may lack reliable internet access when visiting a remote location. However, purpose-built apps can save inputted information locally on a device and upload it once connectivity resumes. The user can rest assured that all their activities and information will be documented, even in places with spotty connectivity.

The leaders tasked with improving field service management should also investigate tools that allow users to personalize the user interface, such as making specific features or workflows faster to access. When people can customize dashboards with tools that work best for them, they save time and boost productivity. The results support oil and gas companies and their entire field service teams.

Give Workers the Appropriate Electronic Devices

While workers performing a gas field service task would know to wear protective equipment, they may not realize it’s also necessary to only use electronic devices that will work safely in flammable environments. More specifically, products classified as non-incendive have designs and features to reduce the incidence of sparks and arcs that could ignite flammable substances. People can safely use these devices in environments where explosions are possible but unlikely.

When people must use electronic devices in areas with high concentrations of flammable materials where explosions are more likely, they should use intrinsically safe devices. These products work with limited amounts of electrical energy, making ignition events impossible.

Both non-incendive and intrinsically safe devices are purpose-built for use around flammable materials. However, the main difference is that non-incendive products include barriers to safeguard against sparks and arcs. Intrinsically safe devices do not have enough associated electrical energy to cause explosions.

Those supervising an oil and gas company’s field service needs should analyze which products to get for specific employees. Since field workers in the oil and gas industry may spend most of their days in highly flammable environments, intrinsically safe products may be the most appropriate choices for those situations.

However, in cases where other parties may only spend a few minutes in highly flammable areas per day — such as to check that field workers have done assigned tasks correctly — it’s probably more appropriate to give them non-incendive devices.

Track the In-House and Outsourced Roles During Field Service Management

An important part of field service management within the oil and gas industry is understanding which roles can be competently handled by a company’s in-house team and which must be outsourced. A practical way to decide about the two types is to determine whether a specific role requires highly specialized expertise or must happen at a particular facility.

Consider the investment of more than $5 million to open a facility that offers transformer repair and recycling services. That location could provide the expertise some field service management professionals need, especially as they evaluate what to do with aging or failing transformers.

Those overseeing field service needs should also consider the percentages of tasks handled in-house or outsourced. A large or growing outsourced segment of duties could indicate an oil and gas company could save money in the long run by expanding its facilities, training programs, or hiring practices to make outsourcing less necessary over time.

Such analyses could show skill gaps an oil and gas company should address for better field service management outcomes. Having the required expertise available within an internal team could mean that jobs get done faster than if the business must outsource instead.

Adopt Worker Safety Systems for Oil and Gas Field Service

A 2023 study from the CDC reviewed six years of data about fatalities in the oil and gas industry. One major takeaway was that the tasks could become safer if companies improved their lone-worker monitoring measures.

The research showed approximately 20% of incidents happened to people working by themselves. A potential way to reduce that number is to look to other inherently dangerous industries that regularly use Internet of Things (IoT) sensors for improved safety and smoother operations. The mining industry is an excellent example. Miners have IoT sensors that can monitor their health or warn them of hazardous fumes.

The CDC analysis also identified some of the major causes of fatalities for oil and gas workers. For example, while there was a vehicle-related link to 26.8% of the deaths, contact injuries caused 21.7%.

Oil and gas field service workers have the knowledge, skills, and training to do their jobs safely, but risks remain. Using advanced safety systems could be an ideal way to alert others that something has gone wrong, and first responders must investigate.

Some IoT devices can detect when a lone worker falls from a height or if an explosion has occurred. Many also provide real-time location data. Besides being convenient for verifying that workers are in the right places at the right times, location-based specifics can tell managers whether all field service crew members have safely evacuated after an emergency.

Others can indicate people may be overly tired and should take breaks as soon as possible. Allowing them to rest before it’s too late can prevent injuries and accidents while giving field service managers a clearer idea of labor needs.

Advanced Field Management Supports Company Success

When field service workers have the right tools, training, and safety measures to do their jobs well, they’ll be more productive and less error-prone. Those results further support the bottom lines and overall competitiveness of oil and gas companies. Competent field service done at the appropriate times keeps assets running smoothly while reducing accidents and regulatory attention.

3 Ways Technology is Going to Shape the Oil and Gas Industry Free to Download Today

Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.

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