Adopting Digital Transformation in the Oil & Gas Industry



Quality control and assurance operations are of utmost importance for oil and gas companies and as such, are strategically important targets for oil and gas software and digital transformation efforts. 

As well as the issue of remaining compliant to industry regulations, solid quality control and management strategies are essential for maintaining the safety of field operators and engineers as well as the wider environment. Digital transformation in the oil and gas industry is a must at this point. With so many technological advances, sticking to the old ways might eventually become troublesome. With artificial intelligence and robotic process automation systems on the rise, the amount of capital and potential issues you can save and prevent is unfathomable.

Despite its importance, however, quality management in the oil and gas sector has often been hampered by outdated technology, inefficient communications procedures and a reactive, rather than proactive approach.

As digital transformation gathers pace and as energy companies look towards new solutions to reduce costs and streamline key processes, this is changing.

According to a recent report by Technavio, the digital transformation market in the oil and gas industry and energy sector as a whole is set to grow by $33.89bn by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of almost 16%.

Quality management is part of the ongoing digital transformation of the industry – and with cloud asset management and data analytics technologies increasing in prominence, oil and gas companies have an unprecedented opportunity to revolutionize their operations in this area.

Below, we outline three ways embracing oil and gas digital transformation could improve your quality management processes.

Oil and Gas Digital Transformation Ensures Consistency

If you use a combination of spreadsheets, PDFs and scans of paper reports to run your quality inspection processes, the chances are you’re losing valuable hours updating offline documents and troubleshooting problems brought about by lost emails, missing paperwork and inefficient communication methods. This, combined with the issue that spreadsheets are typically only updated after the fact (as opposed to in real-time), opens you up to a host of delays and inaccuracies. 


In addition, when relying on non-real-time documentation methods, you’ll no doubt be struggling to implement watertight and uniform quality management procedures across multi-site oil and gas operations. Standardizing your quality management practices internally is of course, the right thing to do, but can cause regulatory issues if you’ve set up your internal processes specifically to hit compliance targets.  

Cloud technology developments over the past decade have more or less eliminated the need to rely on cumbersome spreadsheets for quality management and enabled you to have remote access to your most important information.

Cloud-based quality management platforms, for example, centralize all the documents, processes and conversations needed to carry out pipeline inspections, routine heavy equipment maintenance and general asset integrity management – all of which can be updated and made accessible in real-time – without the roadblocks created by using spreadsheets.

Recent figures from PWC reveal that oil and gas companies are fast waking up to the benefits of transparent, centralized process management using cloud software. Nearly 40% of those surveyed claimed they had implemented cloud technology in their organization already, with a further 20% reporting ongoing pilot projects or plans to invest in this area. 

This suggests that the time is now to invest in such solutions, to not only improve the efficiency of your operations, but to keep up with the pace of transformation in the industry. 

By embracing cloud-based quality management software, you can: 

  • Use universally accessible inspection templates to ensure that inspections are carried out according to standard company procedures, every time
  • Communicate in real-time with colleagues on one single platform to avoid unwieldy email chains and lost messages 
  • Store all important documentation, such as manuals and process document in the cloud, so that they’re immediately accessible to whoever needs them
  • Standardize and accelerate sign-off processes, with push notifications sent to individuals when they need to weigh in
  • Eliminate spreadsheet reliance and record data in real-time so that predictions for future projects are as accurate as possible and not influenced by inaccurate or faulty data recording.

Oil and Gas Digital Transformation Speeds Up Processes with Remote Inspections

As well as cutting down hours spent on inspection planning and follow through, oil and gas digital technologies revolutionize the inspection process itself. 

Mobile-friendly oil and gas inspection software opens up a whole avenue of remote inspection possibilities that will save on the time and cost of finding an inspector that’s available to spend two nights on a remote rig – and getting them out there and back. 

If an inspection is needed before a piece of equipment can be used, inspection software drastically reduces downtime and keeps your operational productivity level high. 

With real-time video streaming, high-definition photo upload and GPS time/location stamping – together with user interfaces that require next to no training for your rig workers to use – remote inspectors have everything they need to conduct their inspections and then sign them off, or recommend further courses of action. 

Oil and Gas Digital Transformation Offers A Data First Approach

The two points above focus on how new technologies can cut inefficiencies in your existing processes – but what if digital transformation could do more? 

What if it could change the focus of your quality management strategy in upstream oil and gas Industries entirely, decreasing equipment downtime and breakages, all whilst lowering the number of routine inspections you need to carry out?

Heavy equipment inspection apps with integrated asset management features can do just that, thanks to their ability to collect and process data at a level human don’t have the capacity for. 

Analytics tools can pinpoint the equipment most likely to fail based on previous data and combine this with a prediction of resulting productivity losses to highlight the equipment that poses the highest risk to your company. 

The result? 

You spend less time checking stable, low-risk equipment and invest it where it will have the greatest effect in reducing costs and keeping productivity levels high.

Taking a risk-based approach to equipment maintenance offers significant benefits to oil and gas companies. 

According to research by IoT Today, 92% of shutdowns are unplanned, costing the industry billions of USD per year. 

Taking a proactive approach to quality management rather than a reactive one means that: 

  • You save the cost of repairing broken equipment – hiring specialist engineers or buying replacement parts
  • You save money by reducing downtime of essential equipment
  • Your equipment needs to be replaced less often, thanks to targeted inspection and maintenance activity

Start Your Digital Transformation with FTQ360

At FTQ360, we understand just how important a solid, consistent QA/QC business strategy is to ensure the safety of your workforce, meet compliance requirements and guard against environmental damage.

That's why our platform includes everything you need to meet demanding oil and gas inspection requirements and leverage digital transformation in the oil and gas industries.

With FTQ360, you can manage inspections centrally, save valuable hours (and dollars) on your inspection processes and implement a data-first approach that will revolutionize your quality management operations. 

Visit our oil and gas page to see what we could offer your company, or schedule a free demo to see our software in action. 

Image source

New call-to-action

Related Articles

The Important Role of QAQC in Large-Scale Solar Energy Projects

In recent years, the solar power industry globally has grown exponentially. The USA is one of the leading countries in solar...


How to Use Your Safety Software to Improve Your Safety Walks

If you're like most safety managers in the energy and construction industry, you conduct safety walks on a regular basis to...


6 Great Ways to Improve Your Oil and Gas Asset Management

As the oil and gas industry continues to grow, so does the need for effective oil and gas asset management solutions.Inspection...