The 3 Biggest Inspection Time Wasters in Oil and Gas



Who doesn't love efficiency? Efficiency means more for less. Nowhere is this mantra truer than in the oil and gas industry, especially now.  Not only for operations, but for QA/QC and Safety assurance as well.  Inspecting is critical for ensuring rigs’ productive uptime and operating at full capacity - all whilst safeguarding employees and the environment. Not only is inspecting more important than ever, the QA/QC and Safety programs must be more efficient and productive than ever.

Inspecting makes sure all equipment is up to standards, drilling tools don’t have flaws, and your safety procedures keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, conducting an inspection is exacting and demanding work. Inspectors have to inspect in remote locations, collect detailed data all day long, and take pictures and notes about observations, and document everything to exacting inspection standards. 

After the physical inspection, they then have to sit down and compile handwritten data and pictures into spreadsheets.  This is followed by spending an inordinately long time writing deficiency reports – which historically, are also created manually and tracked using email and spreadsheets. 

Wasted time has the potential to delay reporting findings and correct deficiencies. Unplanned – but avoidable - downtime can also occur if inspections miss a detail that causes equipment failure, a broken downhole tool or worse.  Delayed approvals and lengthy downtime have costly consequences and can hit your bottom line hard. Indeed, according figures cited in Petro Industry News, downtime costs oil and gas companies an average of $42 million a year – and up to $88 million in the worst case scenarios. 

One way to save time on oil and gas inspections is to invest in onsite mobile inspection technology and cloud-based quality management software. Doing so eliminates time-wasting in the following areas.

Time Waster #1: Spreadsheets

There is no question that electronic spreadsheet programs such as Excel made computations and data analysis easier than with pen, paper and a pocket calculator – but they are no longer the optimal solution.

The reason is that while spreadsheets are a powerful tool, an inspector still needs to spend time jotting down notes on a piece of paper for typing up into the spreadsheet later on – effectively performing the same task twice. Think about it. If you had a tool where you could enter all the inspection data using a mobile device (phone or tablet) instead of transferring handwritten data into a spreadsheet, wouldn't that be a real time-saver? Once and done in the field is both easier and quicker – and there’s nothing left to be done later at your desk.  

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Mobile inspection tools eliminate the need to compile handwritten inspection notes and then transfer these into a spreadsheet. The inspector makes his inspection rounds, enters his observations directly into the inspection tool, and then generates a report with a simple tap which is instantly shared to the cloud.

Time Waster #2: Over Complicating the Handling of Deficiencies and Non-Conformances

Non-conformance occurs when equipment fails to meet set standards. The traditional method of dealing with deficiencies and non-conformances is to capture them in reports, send out emails to the people responsible for resolution, and track the progress using a spreadsheet. These reports are usually quite detailed and can take a long time to prepare when the process is manual. For example, a simple non-conformance report will contain the following:

  • A description of the non-conformance (possibly with an image) 
  • A list of corrective actions needed to fix the non-conformance
  • The responsible party tasked with correcting the issue
  • Documented actions taken to correct the nonconformance
  • Acceptance of the corrective actions

From the above, it is clear that this is a complicated process. The last thing you want is to manage this process using email and spreadsheets.

In many instances, inspectors will also spend more time on a deficiency than the inspection itself. 

This approach wastes time. A better method is to use mobile inspection technology to document the deficiency or non-conformance on-site and then tap a button to immediately send the data to the team tasked with solving the problem. This is what software that is purpose-built for the oil and gas industry can do. Removing frustration and saving time is a winning combination.

Time Waster #3: Using Email as Your Quality Management Platform

It is common for oil and gas professionals to use email as a to-do list. People spend an entire day responding to incoming email and fail to get any work done. According to a study – which polled 3,750 employees across the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands – roughly half of work time is lost on inefficient tasks such as excessive emails and suboptimal processes, including poor work prioritization and a lack of standard processes for workflow and collaboration. Email overload is a sign of poor management. Some companies have gone as far as banning email at the workplace.


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While email is an essential work tool in certain scenarios, sending, monitoring, and following up on emails as part of oil and gas inspections is inefficient and a huge time-waster. 

The solution is a cloud-based quality management platform for better efficiency and accountability.

FTQ360 Oil and Gas Inspection Platform

To avoid these three time-wasters in your oil and gas inspections, consider using FTQ360.

FTQ360 is a cloud-based mobile inspection platform. It ensures your operations are of the highest standard and that you keep your inspections teams accountable. With this tool, you easily demonstrate compliance to stakeholders, regulators, customers, and litigants. 

The platform simplifies complex inspections and eliminates the need for spreadsheets. You can also plan and manage your quality control process seamlessly. FTQ360 ensures you avoid outdated email practices for inspection and deficiency reporting workflows. 

Reviewing, approving, and transmitting inspection reports in the oil and gas industry reduces from days to a matter of minutes. The tool also ships with powerful analytics to aid in your decision-making. It is highly configurable, customizable, and comes with free customer support. Book your free demo today and eliminate time-wasting during oil and gas inspections.

Oil Gas Inspection Software

If you're looking for construction management software, we'd be happy to answer your questions and start you on a free trials of FTQ360.

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