The oil and gas (O&G) industry is slowly adopting new software and cloud technologies for oilfield instrumentation and in the back office to help streamline and automate processes. Throughout the well life cycle (WLC), during crude oil transportation, and up to the gas pump, energy companies are utilizing technology to improve efficiency, track inventory and to store historical data among other things. Unfortunately, the energy industry is a major target for hackers, especially businesses with outdated infrastructure. Here’s why new oilfield software technology is the key to securing business information and ensuring oil is not stolen during transportation.

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The recent merger between General Electric Co. (GE) and Baker Hughes is sparking up many conversations about technology in the oil and gas (O&G) industry. The first and simplest question being asked is, “why?” GE already has an O&G division and Baker Hughes alone is one of the world’s largest O&G services company. GE Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Immelt, said in this Bloomberg article that the merger creates “a diversified portfolio that can weather the cycles better than anybody.” Aside from creating the second biggest O&G service company next to Halliburton, the technology that will be shared between both entities is a major aspect of the deal. Here’s how the mega merger validates the need to improve oilfield technology.

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It’s a short month but as always there are many topics circulating the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry. First, U.S. oil inventory has quickly increased and Wall Street is ramping up investment in O&G. U.S. shale oil output is predicted to increase 41,000 barrels a day this month to over 4.7 million barrels a day. Total crude oil and petroleum products stocks are up to 2.055 billion barrels, increasing inventory by over 25 million barrels produced since January. As upstream businesses are ramping up production, Wall Street is looking to invest more in O&G, but only if crude prices climb higher and higher. WTI Crude Oil index is hovering at $54/bbl, but has been there for the last month without much growth.

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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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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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