Many Oil and Gas (O&G) businesses are realizing that in order to improve operational efficiencies they will need to utilize digital solutions for every-day tasks. Cloud and mobile technologies are helping businesses quickly adopt digital solutions for field applications. Digital solutions on site are becoming an integral part of a worker’s routine and are helping companies provide a safer work environment for staff. Here’s how?

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The month is coming to an end, the United States of America has inaugurated its 45th President, and the WTI crude oil index is hovering just above $51/bbl. Shortly after U.S. election day, November 8, 2016, prices dropped to $43.32/bbl before shooting up to $53.99/bbl in early January 2017. Experts believe the rise in crude oil barrel prices are less dependent on the U.S. presidency and more on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to cut production. Unfortunately, the United States and other non-OPEC members are not participating in this production freeze and are actually saturating the market. The increased production in oil by the U.S. is potentially the reason why oil prices have not risen to the forecasted $60/bbl.

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Cloud technology has had an immense impact on many industries, including healthcare, education and retail. The cloud has provided on-demand access to information, reduced the need for large, physical storages, and has helped improve the analysis and trackability of information, all with lower implementation costs compared to on-premise solutions. Cloud technology could have the same impact on oil and gas. Unfortunately, the oil and gas industry has not been as receptive to the cloud as other industries. Below are a few tips to get your business started with the cloud. As we move forward, the cloud could begin to have an immense impact on production and productivity in the industry. Here’s how.

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It is evident that oil and gas (O&G) businesses are beginning to heavily invest in software technology to help improve productivity while reducing costs. The latest acquisition of Baker Hughes by General Electric shows that O&G businesses are starting to recognize the need for investment in service technologies to improve operational efficiencies. For example, preventing worker and equipment downtime as a way to further cut costs to remain profitable at lower oil prices. Business process management software and Internet of Things (IoT) technology are being deployed across the industry to help create greater efficiency at a work site and at the office. Businesses that are willing to accept that the conventional way of running an exploration & production (E&P) business is no longer sustainable at these lower oil barrel prices will survive by adopting new and emerging technologies.

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The oil and gas (O&G) industry is going through an age-related crisis. The average age of employees in O&G companies is 50 years according to the World Petroleum Council. This means that within 5 to 10 years the bulk of the current workforce will be retiring. As veteran staff retire, in many cases, the knowledge accumulated throughout their careers also goes with them. That is, unless the company has a proactive plan to facilitate knowledge transfer before that employee retires or leaves. Unfortunately, many companies don’t so O&G is facing a knowledge retention issue that must be addressed immediately. Software technology, along with a strong, well supported program that helps retain knowledge of retiring staff, is a key component to the success of every O&G business.

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We are moving into a modern workplace where live video streaming is quickly becoming the norm for communication. A perfect example is all the video meetings that take place thanks to services like GoToMeeting, WebEx and Zoom. But live video has other applications outside of regular meetings, particularly in incident response. The definition of Incident Response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of an event. When responding to an incident at an oil pipeline, having a video-enabled communication system will not only help your company limit damages, but also reduce costs and recovery time. The days where still images were the only way of documenting an incident are over. Having a reliable, live video streaming system available in the field will soon be the norm for rapid incident response and resolution.

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The Oil and Gas (O&G) industry is usually slow to adopt new software technology. Many small- to mid-size exploration & production (E&P) companies simply cannot afford the complex business process management software that larger companies can when crude oil barrel prices are struggling to rise above $60bbl. Fortunately for O&G, as software matures, much like other technologies, it becomes less expensive for the masses. In regards to software companies use to manage their Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE or EHS) programs, it has gone mobile, which allows safety documents and procedures to come with you to the field without having to haul paper folders and files around. Let’s discuss how O&G companies can cut costs and improve outcomes by adopting mobile HSE management technology.

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After many months of speculation, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed to reduce oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day. According to Bloomberg, the deal almost fell through if it wasn’t for a phone call between Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak. After Novak had agreed to reduce production by 600,000 barrels per day OPEC announced that they will make a cut to stabilize oil barrel prices.

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We’ve heard the saying many times before, time is money. The saying can be interpreted in many ways: it takes time and effort to earn money, wasting time is wasting money, having free-time is as good as money, etc. But in regards to businesses, accounts payable (AP) managers should interpret the saying to mean: the less time I spend on a task the more money I can save. The impact that invoice automation can have on a business that is processing dozens of invoices per day is immense. Saving time is just one reason why businesses need to automate invoice processing. Here are the top three reasons why businesses should utilize software for invoice automation.

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Suncor, Canada’s largest oil sands producer is exploring the functionality of autonomous heavy haul trucks for use when transferring open-mine oil sands to processing facilities. Mining.com explains that Suncor will start a one-year pilot program for six 400-ton Komatsu autonomous haul trucks as part of an assembly-line style operation. Why is this news so important for other oil sands operations? One word: technology.

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