Energy companies and those that cater to them increasingly are embracing technology and social media to make the oil patch more efficient.
When oil-field equipment breaks down in rural Oklahoma, operators and service companies could lose many thousands of dollars in downtime if they have to hunt throughout the region for replacement parts.
Tulsa-based start-up technology company Equip Advantage executives hope to save companies money — and earn a bit themselves — by connecting people who need parts or services with companies in the area that can meet those needs.
The social app allows operators or other energy companies that need equipment to open the program and find nearby companies that have what they need.
“Anyone looking for equipment or services can log onto our website and find equipment or services close to them in a matter of seconds,” said Kirk Willard, a managing partner at Equip Advantage. “We’re looking to create simplicity to make people’s days easier. These services companies have all this equipment sitting in the yard. If they’re not working, they’re losing money.”
Equip Advantage and other companies like it are building on a trend sweeping throughout the country's oil patch by using technology to transform a century-old industry.
“There wasn't any innovation for decades, but new innovations have opened a door,” said Kirk Willard, a managing partner at Equip Advantage. “The oil field in general has latched onto that and has started to take hold of these new innovations that can make life easier for everyone.”
Industry associations also are turning to social media and technology to keep members informed of news and events and to reach out to potential new members.
The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association often uses Twitter, Facebook and other social media to inform members and followers of industry trends and upcoming events. Besides it’s broader reach to all members, the association also is making a special effort to attract new members who are 35 or younger.
“Social media is a big part of their lives,” OIPA membership coordinator Natalie Kinmonth said. “I think we’re really engaged and using it to get engaged with the public. I think this is really picking up.”