The Oil and Gas sector needs to recruit 120,000 new employees worldwide over the next decade to avoid a skills shortage. With a jobs boom[i] on the horizon, it’s an exciting time for the industry, but this widespread recruitment brings with it a number of people logistics challenges, especially in regard to the vetting of skills and the maintaining of health & safety standards. At this time of growth, operators need to ensure that they are putting sufficient measures in place to protect their workforce and critical infrastructure.
With much of the demand for Oil & Gas workers being in remote, hard-to-get-to locations, the challenges of ensuring the right people with the right skills are employed and then in turn appropriately skilled, is further compounded. Irrespective of these challenges, companies all over the world have a responsibility, under a number of legislative measures including the UK’s Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to protect their workers and accurately record any health and safety incidents that arise. New rules and regulations, such as the EU’s Directive[ii] on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations, ensure that the industry reacts effectively and promptly should an accident occur. These factors demand a new approach to the problem through technology which manages the complexities of compliance coupled with the versatility to be applied in remote, often disconnected locations and this is where Cloud and Mobile solutions have a part to play.
What is the future for Oil and Gas?
Companies operating in the E&P Production facility have already recognised the challenges being faced around people logistics and getting the right people in the right place with the right skills. Whilst much of the thinking is restricted to policy, there is a clear drive towards integrated technology approaches to both the convergence of identity, skills and security information with many IOCs and service providers reviewing existing systems. This provides a role for both Cloud and mobile technologies (such as MTrust and MSite Mobile) and the not-to-distant future will see companies embracing these technologies initially to standardise their employee identity and skills management and for this information to be integrated with existing access control systems in order to provide an integrated approach to security, whilst extending this capability to mobile PDA devices, empowering operatives in field with Persons on Board and ID and skills vetting capabilities. Once these platforms gain the confidence of the O&G operators, they will soon after extend this mobile capability with the inclusion of Apps, performing additional tasks such as association of assets with individuals and access control at remote drilling sites using wireless connectivity.
[i] PricewaterhouseCoopers research, September 2013