Why The Low-Tech World Of Oilfield Reporting Is Going Digital

Whether you’re storing site data, tracking rig counts or calculating downhole fluid requirements, here are some of the top mobile apps available

| follow Jesse Snyder on Twitter

November 12, 2015

Subscribe Email This Post Print This Post Bookmark and Share


Paperwork in the oil patch used to involve, well, a lot of paper. But that’s changing now that more of the work in question, from expense forms and incident reports to job safety analyses and equipment inspections, is being stored digitally. A growing volume of that information is captured using mobile apps, which allow site workers to snap photos or fill out digital forms and instantly file them to a central server or cloud-based storage system. But these mobile technologies aren’t just about convenience and technological elegance. They also allow oil and gas companies to better monitor and manage their operations – something that’s increasingly important in today’s environment.

Take Oplii, a Calgary-based company that provides a mobile service that unifies all of the day-to-day operations on a site onto an integrated program that can be viewed from separate offices in real time. Companies can track basic paperwork filed on a daily basis, like work orders, as well as more complex information used in the monitoring of facilities, pipelines
and equipment.

Oplii targets small- to mid-size oil and gas companies because larger ones already have the personnel needed to funnel their data into a central database or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, says Johan Rothzén, the company’s co-founder. Peyto Exploration, for example, has been using Oplii’s software since 2007, and one large producer has piloted the technology.

Oplii offers its app for free but charges for the integrated backend system, which can cost between $50,000 and $200,000 per year depending on the size of a company’s operations and the kind of data it wants to collect. And aside from the mobile devices that are used to capture the data, there’s no additional hardware required to install the management system. “It’s a very lean solution,” Rothzén says. “It’s developed through the cloud, so there are no limitations in the amount of photos or documents you can store.”

There are other energy-specific apps that solely collect one kind of information or another, all with the aim of reducing the hassle of field-level paperwork. Zayfti, a company that launched in 2014, allows companies to digitally store all safety-related information that’s captured using its mobile app. By using the app, site workers can file job safety analyses, notes on tailgate meetings, incident reports and hazard identifications. It also allows them to digitally store personal job site tickets on their devices, like First Aid or WHMIS. “One thing we did uniquely was start by working with the guys on site,” says Karl Gartly, the founder of the company. The app then collects all the data and funnels it into a central system where, in the case of an on-site incident, operators can identify when and where the incident happened, and who was involved. In other words, it’s much easier than sorting through stacks of paper.

There’s an App for That

Whether you’re storing site data, tracking rig counts or calculating downhole fluid requirements, there are plenty of mobile apps that can help energy sector workers be better informed – and more efficient
* All apps listed are free unless otherwise indicated. Some may have in-app purchases.

At the Wellhead

Screen Selection Tool

Apple Store; Google Play
Determines the ideal screen for a rig shaker. Through the screen selection app, users insert numbers for API and micron cut point, in turn determining the ideal screen size. The app takes into account drill fluid type, and cost of reconditioning fluids, and will also connect users to consultants in case further questions arise.


DrillCalcs by Drilling Specialties

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
Apple Store; Google Play
Designed for drilling and mudding engineers. Includes calculators for fresh water, salt water and invert emulsion drilling; also calculates equivalent circulating density and does various unit conversions. Product guides are provided for various equipment, as well as emergency response contact info and frequently asked questions.


Quick Calc Hydraulics

Apple Store; Google Play
A quick calculator used for various drilling operations. Users can determine hydraulic parameters by punching in numbers for fluid density, flow rates, TFA, and bit diameter. Air, mist, and foam fluids not supported by the app.


eRedBook Mobile

Apple Store; Google Play
Provides calculations for drilling, cementing and completing wells. Users can consult a wide variety of volume calculations, as well as read data for casing, coil tubing and drill pipe supplied by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Users can easily access past tabulations to alter calculations as specs change.



Baker Hughes
Apple Store
Provides completions and production information for Baker Hughes products. Its interactive library includes product overviews, frequently asked questions, catalogs, videos and a function that allows users to email information directly from the app.


RapidSuite ETB

Apple Store; Google Play
A series of calculators used during horizontal well completions. Users can calculate displacement volume, differential pressure, select the ideal number of frack stages based upon casing ID and fracking rate, and more.

Oilfield Monitoring
08-service-icon07 08-service-icon07xtra

Oilfield Pipe Volume

Apple Store; Google Play
Provides calculations and storage for pipeline monitoring. Allows users to store and email up-to-date information on pipeline volumes and regular pipeline inspections; syncs data across devices. Calculator allows users to determine current volumes in an oil pipeline.


WellLink RT

Baker Hughes
Apple Store
Provides real-time well data. Includes an interactive well trajectory plot and directional survey listing table for tracking wells, and allows users to filter specific wells into “favorites” for easy navigation. Audible or visual alarms can be set for various thresholds on specific wells.


WellLink Vision

Baker Hughes
Apple Stor
Provides real-time artificial lift data. Data includes up-to-date numbers on press-pump intake and discharge, motor temperature and total daily production. Wells can be viewed individually, filtered, or viewed in a “Summary Listing” format. Audible and visual alarms can be set for specific wells.


Oil & Gas Rig Inspection Forms

Apple Store; Google Play
Allows users to document rig monitoring inspections. The app includes inspections for blowout preventers, confined spaces, derrick and substructure, general area workover rig vehicles and more.


WellEz Mobile

WellEz Information Management
Apple Store
Provides information on all active U.S. wells both drilling and completing. The app allows users to track daily field costs, view workover jobs and provides a daily summary of activity.


Drillutions ($11)

L.I. Studios
Google Play
A series of calculators used during horizontal well completions. Users can calculate displacement volume, differential pressure, select the ideal number of frack stages based upon casing ID and fracking rate, and more.



Apple Store; Google Play
Provides an interactive database for oilfield workers to store safety forms. Site workers can store anything from their first aid certificate to inspection forms on various pieces of equipment or incident reports. Information logged through the app can be accessed by office staff to track where and when (and with whom) accidents occurred.


InSite Mobile

Apple Store; Google Play
Provides well information in real time. Information can be viewed by various users at the same time, and can be shared between team members from remote locations.

08-service-icon15 08-service-icon15xtra


Apple Store; Google Play
Provides an interactive medium for viewing well logs and reservoir data. Users can see log data in real time, as well as after operations are completed; information can also be viewed and accessed by various users at the same time. Data can be filtered or arranged as preferred.

Information Gathering

Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary

Apple Store; Google Play
An exhaustive list of oilfield-specific definitions. Glossary includes definitions of oilfield activities and methods, each reviewed by technical experts, as well as high-quality illustrations and photographs to complement some definitions.

08-service-icon17 08-service-icon17xtra

Rig Count

Baker Hughes
Apple Store
Provides rig counts for all active U.S. rotary rigs. Rig information can be filtered by formation, commodity (oil versus gas), well depth and whether a well is vertical or horizontal.

Time Killers
08-service-icon18 08-service-icon18xtra

Bit Tacular

Baker Hughes
Apple Store
Tired of playing Candy Crush on your iPhone? Bit Tacular takes the “match three” format of the wildly popular game and gives it an oily spin. Correctly place objects to break through rocky layers using a drill bit, and unlock new (solely Baker Hughes) tools. Successfully complete a “multiples” drilling function for extra points.


OilMan: Seekers of Black Gold

Young Hoo Kim
Apple Store
Experience both the upstream and downstream side of energy across eight different oilfields around the world. Build oil rigs and refineries and expand your market share while protecting your business from fires and other catastrophes.

More posts by Jesse Snyder

Follow @AlbertaOilMag

Issue Contents