Production Data Capture App ‘Gotchas’

Oil pipeline with app database popping out

When it comes to oil & gas field data gathering (FDG), there’s an app for that, right? Actually, you may have seen more than one of these apps that claim to revolutionize the way your oil & gas business works, often with claims like “zero upfront costs,” “no contract,” and “money back guarantee.” Claims like that are more suited to late night TV infomercials rather than the serious business of recording production volumes, sales tickets, and other field data that drive your profitability. Getting a refund after the app has failed to correctly record a month of sales runs is missing the point. You should expect more from your field data capture app, and the company behind it. Read on for the big “gotcha” with such apps, but first a few runners up.

One Size Does Not Fit All

That new field app you’re trying out looks pretty slick and claims to cure your production data capture headache. It has most of the essentials: oil, gas, water volumes – check, tank levels – check, sales tickets – check. But wait, you want to track and calculate gas volumes differently for each gathering facility. Oh, you can’t do that. And there are a dozen other production and operations data types you want to track but can’t, leaving your team to manage data in multiple places, then figure out how to piece it all together.

Production Reporting 101

Production data capture apps focus on lease operator data entry with no reporting or analysis capabilities for back office staff, like engineering, accounting, and management. Production reporting is often an add-on feature but rudimentary at best, offering no support for the kinds of complex reporting and analysis most operators need. Operate in Texas? You’ll need to back allocate your lease level production using well tests and other data. Can your field app do that?

Passing the Buck to the Operator

Lease operators often hit the road for multiple operators. Production data capture apps are an attractive solution for recording a complex mix of data along a well route, but it’s a bottom up approach to field data management that often leaves operators out of the decision process. Field data is usually delivered to the operator in a spreadsheet, which is nothing new, or via online reports. It’s up to the operator to incorporate this field data into key workflows, such as production analysis, accounting, and compliance. This begs the question – what’s in it for the operator if they still have to shuffle data?

Production Data Capture #1 Gotcha

Lease Operators do a lot of heavy lifting in powering the digital oilfield through the collection of critical business data. Arming them with tools that can simplify daily well routes, reduce human error, and improve data quality should be a key component of your production data capture strategy. But it’s not the only game in town.

Oil & gas operators also rely on automated systems – such as SCADA remote monitoring – to gather field data, technology that is increasingly available even to the smallest operators. Lease Operators will always have a place in the field as data curators and troubleshooters, but the reality is that most operators use a mix of lease operator-powered and automated production data capture. Most apps on the market ignore this reality, leaving their users with even more of a data management headache, which is contrary to the claim of curing it.

How do you integrate lease operator data with SCADA for a complete view of your operations? Choose the wrong software partner, and you’ll need a lot of time, money, and baling wire to get there.

A Complete Oil & Gas Production Solution

There is no silver bullet when it comes to production data capture apps. Rather, operators who want to leverage field data to drive profitability and other business outcomes should take a top down approach and look for solutions that offer:

  • Customizable inputs + ability to add new parameters
  • Seamless flow of data into operator’s production database
  • Instant access to production reporting and analysis for back office staff
  • Integrated system for human-based and automated data capture

Field Data Gathering with W Energy

For field operators in upstream companies, it’s critical to have access to accurate data in real-time. W Energy’s Field Data Gathering (FDG) software is uniquely tailored to oil and gas lease operators. It allows them to collect and review accurate production, regulatory, and compliance data contextually in the field with ease. FDG is the only high-performance native mobile app with offline capability and real-time sync. It allows lease operators to perform all their data capture, view SCADA data, calculate volumes, review production analytics, and perform bulk operations like carry forwards and interpolations. Your company can experience enhanced productivity, improved safety, and significant cost savings with accurate real-time intelligence. W Energy is the leading provider of software solutions for the oil and gas industry. If you want to learn more about how FDG can benefit your company, contact us for a software demo today!

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