It might surprise the average person living in the UK that the oil & gas industry still does some of its most vital inspections using old-fashioned pen and paper. If you’re in the industry though, you’ll know this is true. For those businesses, the clock is ticking…

Do you ever see someone walking around with a 1990s mobile phone? It’s slightly strange isn’t it, especially when there’s so much affordable modern tech around, that uses smart technology and is far more flexible, interactive and generally useful. Yet there are still businesses in the energy industry using the equivalent; far too many are still using 620s or Ci70s that are end of life and the equivalent of the 1990s phone. Using old tech means you can’t use the latest version of our software, which is going to have a detrimental effect on your OPEX efficiency.  In other words, the sands of time are slowly running out.

Recently, we did a SWOT analysis on using pen and paper for inspections. There are a few strengths, and the biggest strength of all is that there’s minimal outlay and little cost to maintain the status quo. It also means there’s total flexibility over how information is recorded, and it’s certainly tried and tested. It offers these opportunities where the inspection volume or frequency, or both is low.

When you consider its weaknesses though, there are lots of challenges that will cost your operations time, money and potentially compromise your HSEQ as well.

Pen and paper are just not robust enough for offshore or other outdoor environments. Recording manually is also open to manipulation and there’s almost zero data security. You can’t integrate it into your maintenance systems and there’s also a large risk of poor data integrity and transfer, human error and poor compliance with regulations and standards. You also end up double-entering your data, first recording inspections manually and then typing up the data to produce reports, increasing work and reducing productivity. You also need lots of people to do this type of work, increasing the number of people offshore at a time when everyone is being encouraged to reduce headcount to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections in the workplace.

If you look beyond your own operations, the threats to inspections using pen and paper are myriad – and growing. Most Energy operators are speaking loudly and clearly about their digital transformation strategies – pen and paper doesn’t fit this agenda at all.

Consider your inspection team’s morale and attitudes to their job. They’re using pen and paper or end of life kit when in every other aspect of their lives, from phones to banking, gaming to watching TV, digital applications aren’t even seen as cutting edge anymore, just part of everyday life. How can you get your inspection teams to truly engage when they may well feel that the lack of investment in their role means their job doesn’t even really matter? That feeling can have severe implications on productivity, HSEQ and employees’ health and wellbeing and your overall operational efficiency.

We’ve done studies showing that using our IntrinsixEX software improves productivity by 150% over pen and paper. That’s worth thinking about.

Cloud-based technology is here to stay; we saw during lockdown, and continue to see, that businesses who were already embracing agile technology were those that pivoted successfully and remained relevant to their customers.

At Arnlea, we’re supporting businesses to invest now in IntrinsixEX, either as an upgrade to their existing software or for the very first time.

We’ve introduced Windows, IoS or Android handsets and we’re combining them with our latest UX/UI interface and latest inspection software. IntrinsixEX gives your inspection teams a far more productive campaign, saves time and resources, and improves productivity by 150% when compared with pen and paper. IntrinsixEX supports compliance and HSEQ requirements, and upgrading actually saves time, resource and budget across both OPEX and CAPEX matrices.

Can you really afford to stay as you are?

Notes for Editors