The freefall in the price of oil has been wonderful for Americans buying gas at the pump. It’s a different story, though, for companies involved in oil and gas production.
Only one year ago, the industry was looking ahead to an oil production boom, and a midstream build-out to move the mineral to refineries sometimes hundreds of miles away. The industry was ready to invest billions of dollars on the belief that $100-a-barrel oil would ensure a hefty return.
The price for oil, though, has fallen more than 50 percent. Oil rigs are being removed, thousands of jobs are being cut and energy companies are drastically scaling back capital spending for the rest of this year.
What’s been a welcome relief for American motorists has been a nightmare for one of our economy’s largest industries, as well as the individuals and families who count upon that industry’s success.
A glut of oil on the market has been blamed for the drop in price. Oil producing nations are producing more oil than the world market can handle, to the tune of approximately 1.5 million barrels of excess capacity per day. During a time of sluggish demand, oil producers keep pumping out the oil. Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC has kept production steady. Its strategy appears aimed at maintaining market share by squeezing out high-cost producers such as U.S. shale and Canadian oil sands producers. Look for the supply situation to get even more complicated depending on the current multi-national negotiations with Iran.
Renewable energy advocates would be wise not to cheer on the premature demise of the oil industry. The renewable infrastructure is not yet in place to sufficiently meet the world’s insatiable demand for energy. Meeting that demand requires, at least for the foreseeable future, fossil fuels to provide a significant percentage of energy needs.
Efficiency is key
So what are those oil companies - still willing to risk proceeding with large-scale projects in a time of depressed prices – to do? They must get their organizations lean and mean. They must focus on efficiencies in how they conduct business and complete projects.
geoAMPS offers products and services that help oil and midstream companies achieve project efficiencies. In fact, geoAMPS clients report an average savings of 35 percent on project costs. When applying that to projects costing hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, that level of savings represents substantial return on investment.
geoAMPS is the market leader in providing software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets. Not surprisingly, geoAMPS has rapidly increased its client base in the United States and Canada. Among its customers are some of the largest companies in the oil and natural gas industry. Those companies are drawn to geoAMPS by its quality software products and best-in-class training and support.
geoAMPS offers 11 software products, each highly configurable to meet the client’s specific needs. Among its software products, aimed to meet the needs of oil and natural gas companies, are landAMPS, rowAMPS, platAMPS and gisAMPS.
A significant cost early in establishing an oil or natural gas drilling site is acquiring leases for land and mineral rights. landAMPS helps meet the needs of fast-paced lease acquisitions and manage costly drill schedules where accuracy and speed are paramount. With landAMPS, oil companies have the ability to streamline their workflows and eliminate costly errors in exploration, drilling, mining and production operations. Those are capabilities that translate into substantial project cost savings.
The core of the landAMPS solution is the web platform. The platform’s dashboard-focused interface gives landAMPS users a centralized repository of data, ensuring easy and secure access in the office or in the field.
With landAMPS, manage lease checks, recurring payments, nonpayment obligations, mineral title research, legal processes, environmental studies, depth severances and property ownership changes all within a single system. The software also automates the time- and labor-intensive process of calculating and issuing lease payments. It standardizes data collection, so companies experience a reduction of errors and cycle times, which saves costs.
landAMPS comes with optional mobile, detached and GIS platforms.
rowAMPS provides a centralized repository for managing all land rights and infrastructure asset information for one or multiple projects, including mineral exploration and midstream projects.
The rowAMPS solution allows organizations to manage right-of-way projects and land assets in a real-time, paperless environment that enables collaboration, efficiency and error reduction. rowAMPS provides detailed coverage of all right-of-way processes, such as route planning, budgeting, due diligence, negotiation with property owners, title, survey, acquisition, environmental, payments and legal processes.
rowAMPS is packed with time-saving tools, such as bulk document generation, bulk update, automatic reminders, scheduled reports, workflows, and import/export capability. The rowAMPS software brings transparency and facilitates compressed cycle times on various tasks while maintaining compliance with applicable rules and mandates.
By utilizing rowAMPS, organizations realize measurable cost savings in their capital projects and ongoing operations.
As is the case with all geoAMPS software products, rowAMPS is a secure, web-based system that can be coupled with an optional detached platform for field agents and an optional mobile application for on-the-go users. Right-of-way agents have found the software streamlines their land acquisition efforts. The mobile technology capability improves their efficiency.
These capabilities add to return on investment and decrease the cost of expensive drilling operations and pipeline installations.
For survey companies, as well as oil and natural gas companies seeking efficiency in managing their survey crews and projects, platAMPS provides centralized web-based tools to manage assignments and all survey-related information.
platAMPS offers real-time information on title and associated documents to more efficiently and accurately complete survey work. platAMPS standardizes the data collection process, providing mobility to work anywhere with online and offline capabilities on mobile devices.
Surveyors and other field users can update survey information, including maps and plats, in real time and submit those maps and plats for approval using the built-in workflow engine. They can set up alerts for new assignments and get notified for revision requests that can reduce roundtrips to the office and increase overall work efficiencies throughout the organization.
Surveyors can keep accurate records of elevation markers, reference points, pins and documentation of property lines and easements by utilizing this powerful software.
Combining a real-time database with optional mobile, detached and geographical information system (GIS) capabilities, platAMPS gives survey and energy companies the most comprehensive technological tool available to manage survey projects.
gisAMPS is geoAMPS’ GIS viewer. It can be purchased as a standalone product or as an optional enhancement to any of geoAMPS’ other products. gisAMPS provides geographic information system (GIS) capabilities to provide an intuitive geospatial view that is compliant with popular mapping technologies, such as Esri, Google Maps and Bing Maps.
In addition, this technological tool can be leveraged to integrate with each organization’s unique, current data-gathering system to enhance mapping capability.
gisAMPS provides dashboard-like capability to monitor renewable energy projects and assets through color-coded maps and layers. The GIS application allows real-time analysis through the overlay of mapping layers.
gisAMPS improves project and overall organizational efficiency by making time-consuming processes, such as project area selection, route planning and selection, reroutes, cost analysis, environmental assessment, 3-D visualization and project management much simpler and quicker. gisAMPS is a comprehensive tool for end-to-end tracking of all land and infrastructure data.
With web-based editing capability, gisAMPS can greatly reduce the need for software deployment and increase efficiencies of any spatial editing.
geoAMPS has joined the worldwide community of companies in the Esri Partner Network as a Silver Tier Partner. Esri is the market leader in GIS technology. By becoming a Silver Tier Partner, geoAMPS taps into the Esri Partner Network for technological and marketplace strategies to develop and market geoAMPS business offering built on the Esri software platform.
Making a difference
From 2010 until the middle of 2014, world oil prices were fairly stable at around $110 a barrel. That price provided the incentive to develop new exploration sites and lay hundreds of miles of pipeline. A variety of factors – weaker global demand due to slower economic growth, and surging oil production – has led to a dramatic drop in prices. Today, oil goes for less than $50 a barrel.
The drop in price has led to companies delaying or scrapping projects. There have been thousands of layoffs. Monumental shifts like this in the oil industry can take many months, possibly years to correct. Some have even maintained that oil will remain at around $50 a barrel for the foreseeable future.
The industry will need smart planning and execution in order to continue to produce supplies necessary to meet energy needs. Smart planning and execution starts with efficiency.
To learn more about how geoAMPS can help your organization increase efficiencies, contact Guy Allen, Business Development Director, at 614-389-4871 or visit www.geoamps.com.
Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Consultant for geoAMPS, a technology company in the Columbus, OH area that specializes in software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets. For more information, call 614-389-4871 or visit www.geoamps.com.